Plumbing Help: What to Do When Your Shower Won’t Drain

[fa icon="calendar"] August 14, 2020 / by Home Services Expert

shower drainHave you recently taken a shower and noticed that the water wasn’t draining properly? If the water doesn’t flow quickly and smoothly down the shower drain, but pools up around your feet instead, then you have a clogged shower drain. At first you may not notice the water draining slowly, but eventually you will have a problem on your hands when it won’t drain at all.

When you have a clogged shower drain, you have a couple of choices. The first choice is to try and unclog the drain yourself. And the second choice is to hire a professional Chico plumber to do it for you if you can’t stand the thought of trying a DIY repair (yes we know it can be gross to clean a drain). If you want to try a few quick fixes that could save you some money, then read on!

Here are a Few DIY Fixes to Unclog Your Shower Drain from


Tip #1:

This trick is perhaps the easiest one in the book: Fill your teakettle (or a large saucepan) with water, and bring it to a boil. Next, pour the water directly down the drain a little bit at a time, giving the hot liquid the chance to work its way through the clog in between each pour. The temperature of the water will help break up and dissolve the gunk that is blocking your drain. Attempt this only if your plumbing consists of metal pipes; don’t use boiling water if you have PVC pipes, as it could cause joints to loosen.


Tip #2:

This next solution is a nod to that elementary school science fair classic—the volcano project. That same foamy chemical reaction that fueled your papier-mâché mountain doubles as a powerful home cleaner. Mix 1/3 cup of baking soda with 1/3 cup of vinegar in a heat-resistant measuring cup. As soon as it starts to fizz (which will be immediately), pour the solution down your clogged drain. The chemical reaction will help break up the hair and grime that has caused the backup in your pipe. If you can, let it sit for at least one hour. Then, turn on the bathtub faucet and run hot water down the drain to help flush the mixture through the pipes.


Tip #3:

For a really nasty clog, you’ll need to roll up your sleeves and snake the drain. It’s easier than you think (though every bit as disgusting as it sounds): Put on rubber gloves if you have them, then use a screwdriver to unscrew or pry off the shower drain cover. Once that’s removed, straighten out a wire coat hanger, retaining a tiny hook on the end. Feed the wire down the drain to fish out any hair, accumulated soap scum, or other debris that’s causing the clog. After you’ve pulled out all that you can, pour boiling water down the drain and replace the drain cover.

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Other Options

Let’s be honest, doing this yourself can be gross. If you are shuddering at the thought of pulling stuff out of the drain yourself, or if you’ve tried and it’s just not working – give our Expert Chico plumbers a call at 530-419-5817 for Chico area plumbing service. 

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