All drains in your home see use every single day, but your shower drains see a variety of different substances and debris that can easily cause clogs, such as loose hair and soap. Clogs in your shower drain can place additional stress on your plumbing and make clogs and backed-up drains more likely, which can severely disrupt your daily schedule. Fortunately, there are a few different things that can be done to remove minor blockages and buildup before they can become full-on clogs. Knowing what you can do to keep your drains flowing properly can help save you headaches and repair bills associated with plumbing damage and clogs.
Home Drain Cleaners
While there is a range of different commercial drain cleaners that are available on the market, you should avoid using them because their harsh and corrosive chemicals can cause structural damage to your pipes and make a leak or a similar plumbing problem more likely to occur. For particularly strong blockages, you may want to try pouring vinegar and baking soda down the drain and then plugging the drain shut. The result will be similar to a science fair volcano and will spread through your pipes and cut through soap scum and other organic debris that may have accumulated.
Flush the Pipes with Salt
Another way to remove debris and anything else that may be stuck on the sides of your pipe is by flushing salt down the drain. Warm water will dissolve salt but create a mixture that is abrasive enough to remove material that may be inside your drain. Keep in mind that you should not do this if you have an older home with iron or steel pipes, as salt can cause rust and corrosion to occur and can thus make the risk of a leak much higher. Other modern materials, like PEX and copper piping, are immune to rust.
Finally, the simplest and most straightforward way to remove clogs in your shower drain is to use a drain snake to clear away the blockages. You can rent or purchase small drain snakes at most hardware stores, or get in contact with a plumber to use a larger model. Drain snakes are inserted using a motor or crank down your pipes and have a bladed head that will cut into and break up clogs, allowing you to either flush the debris down the drain with water or pull it up and out of your plumbing so you can throw it away—a common occurrence for hairballs.
Call a plumber if you need help unclogging your shower drain, and click here for more information about plumbing services.