Three Ways To Unblock Your Shower Drain That Won't Break The Bank
Sometimes, home ownership comes with unexpected surprises, and when things go wrong, there is always an inclination to panic about the cost of repairs. As a first-time homeowner, a blocked drain is particularly worrisome. Blocked drains give instant reminders they need fixing when you are standing in the shower surrounded by rising water. However, never fear, there are some inexpensive ways to unblock your drain out there. Consider these three options when your shower drain refuses to do its job.
Wet & Dry Vacuum
So you have a wet & dry vacuum sitting out in your garage? If so, this is your first choice for clearing a blockage because it costs you nothing to use it (except a few cents worth of electricity). Start off by setting the vacuum to its liquid setting first and place the hose over the shower drain. After you have removed any liquid sitting in there, change the setting to dry vacuum to remove any solid items left in the drain.
While this is not guaranteed to unclog a drain, it is often a useful tool for dislodging debris which is trapped in the pipes.
Vinegar & Baking Soda
The next low-cost trick to try if the vacuum doesn't work is a mixture of vinegar and baking soda poured into the drain. You need to combine 1/3 of a cup of vinegar with 1/3 of a cup of baking soda in a glass measuring cup. As soon as the two ingredients are combined, the chemicals react and fizz. Pour this straight down your shower drain and let it sit for a minimum of one hour. If possible, let it sit overnight, so it has plenty of time to dissolve the gunk clogging up your drain. Pour plenty of hot water down the drain after it has had time to work. Then, turn on your shower and see if it was effective.
Hot Water & Dishwashing Liquid
If you don't have vinegar and baking soda in your cupboards, try a combination of hot water and dishwashing liquid instead. Measure a quarter-cup of the liquid you use to wash your dishes into your shower drain. Follow this with two electric kettles of freshly boiled water. Dishwashing detergent breaks up greasy fat molecules, so if a buildup of body fat particles is causing your drain blockage, the dishwashing liquid breaks these apart. The boiled water then flushes the particles away.
If these three suggestions don't unblock your shower drain, it is time to call the plumber. While it would be nice to remove a drain block using the items found already in your home, sometimes you need professional assistance to get your drain flowing freely again.