Shower drains can clog due to hair and soap scum accumulations. The clogs are sometimes easy to remove with a specialized plastic grabber sold in hardware stores or with a combination of vinegar and baking soda poured down the drain. Stubborn clogs are harder to remove on your own as the clogs can be further down the pipeline.
If the shower and a nearby sink clog at the same time, you could have a clog deep within a shared drain. Or the simultaneous clogs could be a coincidence. There are a few tips for fixing a stubborn clog when a sink also doesn't drain. These tips assume you have some plumbing experience, otherwise you might want to leave these tasks in the hands of a plumbing services company.
Unclog the Sink First
You can work on the sink first as the clog removal process is often simpler than the process for a shower drain. Start by using a commercial drain cleaner according to the package instructions. Check to see if the clog is cleared.
If not, you can check the pipes under the sink – after you turn off the shut-off valve to prevent a flood. Remove the fasteners at the connecting points between the pipes directly under your sink then check each segment for clogs. You can rinse the segments out using the sprayer on your kitchen sink. If there are mineralization buildups, soak that section of pipe in a demineralizing solution according to package instructions.
Reassemble the pipes and turn the water back on. Test the sink for drainage. If the sink drains and the shower is still clogged, the simultaneous clogs were a coincidence and you can now unclog the shower.
Sink still doesn't drain? Call in a plumber for deeper drain cleaning.
Use a Hand Auger on the Shower/Tub
Skip the commercial cleaner for a stubborn clog that has resisted such attempts in the past. You will need to rent a hand auger from a hardware store or general supplies company.
If you have a standalone shower, you will simply need to remove the drain cover to gain access to the pipes. The drain cover is often screwed into place, so unscrew the cover and set it and the screws somewhere safe until you finish. If you have a combination bathtub and shower, you will want to remove the overflow plate that's on the front wall of your bathtub to gain access to the pipes. There might be some drain linkage components inside but those will simply pull out.
Insert the auger end into the drain and turn the crank handle to feed the end downwards. Keep turning until you hit an obstruction that is mostly solid but has enough give that you can tell it isn't another segment of pipe. Turn the auger a bit more to try and snag the clog then turn the handle in the opposite direction to retrieve the clog.
Try to run water down the drain to see if you fully removed the blockage. If the drain is clear, reattach the drain cover or overflow plate.
Call in the Professionals for Deep Clogs
Is the clog still hanging in there even after you used a hand auger? Or would you prefer not to rent an auger in the first place? Call in a plumber to have your drains cleaned quickly and efficiently. The plumber can also check for other signs of pipe issues and perform the fixes on the spot.Share