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How To Unclog Your Bathtub Or Walk-In Shower Drain

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I think we can all say that we have experienced a slow-moving or backed up shower drain. For some slow-moving drains, the moment we step foot in the shower, it starts filling up. Then when we get out, it slowly starts to drain. We keep repeating the process until something is done about it. We should all know how to unclog our bathtub and shower. Some homeowners call a plumber while others go the chemical drain cleaning route. A bathtub or shower drain and a bathroom sink drain are similar, in that much of the same substances go down them.  Most, but not all bathtubs and shower clogs, can contribute to a combination of bathroom products, grooming products, body fluids, and hair.

Products And Fluids That Build Up In Our Drains:

  • Toothpaste
  • Phylum
  • Soap
  • Hair products
  • Bathing beauty aids
  • Body oils

The products adhere to the sides of your drainpipe. Over time these products and fluids create a biological film. The slime is usually a buildup of bacteria living off the products and fluids. Over time the pipes get clogged because the hair attaches itself to the slime. There are very effective ways to clear this type of bathtub or shower drain clogs.

How To Unclog Your Bathtub


There Are Three Basic Bathtub And Walk-In Shower Stoppers

There are generally three types of bathtubs, and walk-in shower drains that block the flow of water. In each case, you’ll need to remove the stopper before you can remove the debris from the drain. Follow these simple directions on how to remove the stopper.

Push-Pull Tub Stopper

The first stopper is a push-pull tub stopper. You use one hand to lift the stopper and turn it counterclockwise to remove. In most cases, it will come off easily, but if it’s on too tight, use channel locks or a towel to grip it.

Lift And Turn Drain Stopper

The second stopper is a lift and turn drain stopper. This is very similar to the push and pull tub stopper. Keep the drain stopper closed flush with the tub then turn counterclockwise. The drain plug should unscrew, giving you access to the drainpipe.

Hair Catchers

The third is for your walk-in shower. Most have hair catchers that you can remove by unscrewing one or two screws. You can then easily remove the plate to access the drainpipe.

Fast Simple Way To Unclog Your Bathtub Or Walk-In Shower Drain

In most slow-moving or clogged drains, the clog is toward the top of the drainpipe.  Once the stopper is removed, the clog is very accessible. You now have options for removing the clog. First, use a metal clothes hanger. Straighten the hanger, and put a small hook at the end to capture the hair. Send the hanger down the pipe, keeping the hook against the pipe wall so that you don’t push the clog further down the drain. Once the hanger is well down the pipe, turn the hook inward and pull up slowly what you see may just surprise you. Chances are you’ll bring up a slimy black hairball.

An Effective Handmade Flush

Pour 1/2 cup of baking soda down the drain then drizzle with vinegar. Soon you will hear it working. Let sit for 15 minutes and pour a kettle of hot water down after it. If you would like, you can repeat the process once more to make sure you got everything.

Every Home Has A Toilet Plunger

You can also use a plunger, every home has a plunger, and most drains respond to the pressure of a plunger. If the plunger doesn’t work, then move to the next step, and that’s an auger.

Exhaust All Your Efforts First Then Call Your Plumber

Lastly, you can use an auger, also known as a plumber’s snake. You can purchase a fifteen-foot auger from your local home center for less than 20 bucks. That’s a lot less than a local plumber’s visit, and you’ll have a handy tool for years to come. Insert the metal coiled cable down the drain until it meets resistance. Then begin turning the snake clockwise until the obstructions are removed. If you cannot remove the clog using these methods, then it’s time to call your plumber.

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Brandon and Family, Licensed plumbing contractor

Family Owned & Operated

My name is Brandon Mageno. I'm the founder, President, and CEO of Big B's Plumbing Company. As the founder, I never thought about being average or good. My passion for being the best plumbing company in Southern California has always been the same. Providing plumbing services to this great county is simply in my DNA. Nothing makes me happier than to see a satisfied customer. Learn More About Us

1 thought on “How To Unclog Your Bathtub Or Walk-In Shower Drain”

  1. I noticed while showering this morning that my drain was gurgling and making some really weird noises. Thanks for mentioning that if an auger doesn’t clear out the drain, then it might be time to call a plumber. I really don’t want to deal with it so I think I’ll just call a plumber anyway.

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