What is Kitchen Plumbing and How Does it Work?
6 ways to unblock the shower drain
1. Hot and hot water
Unblocking a shower drain: In truth, this is unlikely to unblock a shower drain on its own, but it’s generally a good start. If the blockage is caused by an accumulation of soap scum, pouring hot water will loosen it and make things move. Boil a full kettle, leave it for a few minutes and then pour it all over there. Do not use water while it is at the boiling point, as a large volume of this can cause deformation and distortion of the pipes.
2. Take the plunge
We’re simply starting here, hoping for an easy fix before pulling out the big boys. If the block is close to the plug hole, a plunger will help pull it out. Add a little petroleum jelly to the plunger to get a better seal.
3. The usual suspects
It was inevitable that sooner or later the white vinegar would come out. First, fill a cup with baking soda and pour it down the drain. Wait two to three minutes and follow it up with a cup of white vinegar. The mixture will begin to boil. Plug in and let it do its job. After about an hour, pour very hot water (again, never boiling) down the drain. This should remove any clogs of hair or dirt. If not, try the procedure again. If it doesn’t work, it’s time to aggravate the situation. Keep in mind that while this is a more environmentally friendly and less caustic method of cleaning shower drains, it is still quite caustic, so don’t overdo it.
4. Down the drain
If nothing else has worked, this is the point where you will have to go in there and drag everything that blocks your drain. Take the cover off the drain: it will either have a screw securing it or you’ll need to take a flathead screwdriver and pry it off – and use a torch to look down and see if the block is visible and within reach. In case it’s not handy, use a hook to pull it out. You can try to straighten a wire hanger and use the hooked part to grab the block. If you still can’t retrieve the offending clog, you may need to grab a plumber snake and insert it down the drain. Push it until it reaches the plinth, turn the handle and pull it out.
5. Chemical warfare
This is a stubborn block. You have tried gentle reasoning and physical flattery, now we are getting to the last places. Your local supermarket or home improvement store will have a range of exhaust unblockers. Follow the directions on the bottle, rinse the drain, and the blockage should be gone. As we said before, this is the last resort and should not be used regularly to clean the shower drain as it will corrode the pipes over time.
There is nothing left to do but call a plumber. A blocked drain is highly unlikely to get to this point, but if none of the above worked, this is clearly a professional’s job.