Why Is My Shower Slow To Drain?
May 26, 2022
If your shower drain is draining very slowly, and you find yourself standing in a half-full bath every time you shower, you most likely have a clogged drain. Besides being inconvenient, clogged drains can lead to serious plumbing issues if you don’t take care of them.
Unsure of what to do next? The most important things you need to know are:
- What type of clog it is
- How to unclog a shower drain
- Tips to prevent future clogs
- How to get help from a professional
Let’s look at each of these topics closely to help you navigate the situation.
Want a plumber to unclog your shower drain?
Our Red Cap family is committed to providing Tampa with the best drain cleaning services to help you get rid of clogs and keep your pipes healthy. Call us at (813) 963-3056 (Tampa) or (727) 474-8287 (Pinellas) or schedule service online today!
What Type of Clog It Is
If your shower is slow to drain, a clog is most likely the issue. It’s helpful to know what type of clog you’re dealing with because it will affect how a plumber unclogs it and how much the drain clearing will cost you.
To explain, let’s look at water lines. Florida homes have two types of water lines: a main line and secondary lines, which feed into the main line. (Think about the main line as the trunk of a tree and the secondary lines as the tree’s branches.)
- Secondary lines connect to your home’s plumbing fixtures, like toilets, sinks, and bathtubs.
- The main line carries wastewater from these fixtures and funnels it out to the city’s sewer line.
Typically, clogs located in the main line are more expensive to fix because they’re further down in the pipe and require specialized equipment to reach. Depending on the severity of the clog, a plumber may also have to spend additional time cleaning up sewage backup.
Common signs of a main line clog include:
- A foul odor coming from your drains, sinks, or tubs in the basement
- Gurgling noises in your drains
- Slow drains in multiple areas of your home
- Water backing up in multiple showers, toilets, or sinks
- Water collecting in your yard
If symptoms only affect one drain, like your shower, it’s likely a secondary line clog. When in doubt, a plumber can help you determine what type of clog you’re dealing with and take care of it for you.
How To Unclog a Shower Drain
If your shower drain is the only one that’s slow, it’s probably a secondary line clog, and you may be able to unclog it yourself. To do so, you’ll need:
- A manual drain auger (A 15–50 ft. spring that's fed out of a drum and into the drain)
- A manual snake
- A screwdriver
Next, here’s the step-by-step process to unclog your shower drain:
- Put the gloves on and remove anything blocking the drain, such as clumps of hair trapped in the drain strainer.
- Use the screwdriver to remove the drain stopper or strainer.
- Insert the manual snake into the drain. Try to hook and lift the clog out.
- If that’s not working, grab the manual auger. Squeeze the trigger and turn the handle clockwise to feed the snake.
- Insert the snake into the drain and turn the auger handle 10 times clockwise. To repeat the process, hold the trigger to feed more of the snake into the drain until the water starts flowing freely.
- Replace the drain stopper or strainer and enjoy your unclogged shower drain! If you’re uncomfortable doing this, contact a plumber. They will install it for you.
Tips To Prevent Future Clogs
Dealing with a clog in your shower drain is a huge hassle, and it’s not something you likely want to face again. To prevent future clogs, follow these tips:
- Use a hair catcher or drain gate in your shower to catch hair before it heads down the drain. You can buy drain protectors at most big chains like Target and Lowe's.
- Flush out the shower drain with hot water once a week.
- Pour one-half cup of baking soda and one-half cup of white distilled vinegar down the drain and let it sit for about 30 minutes. Then, flush out the drain with hot water. This mixture will help remove soap scum and debris from the inside of your pipes and get rid of gross odors.
- Invest in a preventative drain maintenance plan to keep your plumbing in tip-top shape and prevent expensive clogs and leaks down the line.
How To Get Help From a Professional
If the above DIY steps don’t work for you, it’s time to call in a professional plumber. To find a reliable plumber, look for one that:
Need a Pro To Unclog Your Drain? Call Red Cap!
Our top priority at Red Cap Plumbing & Air is to keep your family comfortable and your daily routine smooth with clear, easy-flowing drains. Our friendly and dependable plumbers provide convenient, hassle-free drain cleaning services to get your shower flowing again. And with our unique Clear Drain Guarantee, we promise to come back to your home and take care of any returning clogs within seven days of service — for free!
Call us at (813) 963-3056 (Tampa) or (727) 474-8287 (Pinellas) or schedule service online today!
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