I am sitting here in Suzie’s house, and she is complaining about her slow draining shower. Suzie happens to have long hair, and indeed, the hair gets loose, goes down the shower drain, mixes with oil, shampoo, or soap to form a large ball of hair blockage. Read on to learn how I helped my friend their shower drain.
Summary: To unclog the shower drain, physically pull off the hairballs using a wire coat hanger, pour the best drain cleaners (liquid or Granulated Crystal cleaner), allow 30-60 minutes & finally flash down the drain using hot water. But, it’s essential to install your shower drain in the first place properly.
The tools to carry are a shower drain cleaner, long screwdrivers, wire coat hanger, and pliers. However, to prevent shower drain clogs from hair using a shower strainer over the drain or install suction cups to block hair strands.
Step 1: Pull up the hair using a wire coat hanger (with a hook)
First, put on a pair of rubber gloves to help you avoid those nasty bacteria down the drain. Then, unscrew and lift the shower strainer to leave the drain open. Next, you’ll need to straighten the wire coat hanger, bend one of its ends into a small hook – or use a plumbers drain snake. Now, push the wire down the shower drain for a few inches before twisting it round to allow it to catch hair clogs.
Pull the wire out and remove the clogged hair placing it into a trash bin. Now run water down the drain to check whether it’s draining quickly. Repeat the process every time going deeper the drain a few more inches while still increasing the wire hook’s size.
Keep repeating this step until you’re sure that you’ve removed most of the hair. Next, treat the drain using a great enzyme promoting drain cleaner. However, hold the wire tightly so that it won’t get stuck in the gutter.
Step 2: Pour down a shower drain cleaner.
First things first, read the usage instructions on the liquid cleaner bottle. This will tell you the number of chemicals to use and the time you’ll need to allow for action. Also, ensure you wear goggles and gloves. Caution: Avoid mixing the chemicals as this might result in the production of poisonous gas.
1. For the Liquid Drain cleaner:
Now hold the bottle with the liquid cleaner and open its top. Pour the cleaner (as instructed) into the open shower drain. This will require that you squeeze the bottle to get the liquid out. Next, allow the cleaner about 30-60 minutes to act on the clogged drain. But remember, this must follow the label instructions.
The next step on this is to flash out the drain using hot water. However, when you notice that the shower drain does not clear enough, you might require adding some drain cleaner and giving it time to work.
2. For Granulated Crystal Cleaner:
If you’re using a granulated crystal cleaner, you’ll need to follow a different process to unclog the shower drain. However, first, just like with the liquid cleaner, read the label instructions.
For the granulated crystal cleaner, clear all the stagnant water in the shower and drain. Then pour about 2-3 tablespoons of the granular crystal cleaner into the shower drain.
Finally, pour about cold water (about two glasses) into the drain. Then leave the chemical to act for 35-50 minutes, after which you’ll only need to pour cold water to flash all the hair and debris in the shower drain.
How to prevent clogging of your shower draining
Definitely, after unclogging your shower drain, you’ll now require to stop any factors that could take you back to the slow-moving drain mess. Therefore, in this section, I’ll dig into how you can keep your drain cleaner longer and thus have an enjoyable shower time.
1. Replace worn-out shower strainers:
First things first, you need to keep your protection system up all the time. This comes down to having a reliable and screwed or corked down shower strainer in the shower drain. Further, it would help if you kept the strainers clean from any hairballs or dirt.
Therefore, the strainer prevents large hair from doing down the drain. Thus you can clean most of the large hairballs using your regular brush or broom after each shower.
However, avoiding falling back to chemical drain cleaners so fast as some could, over time, destroy the drainage pipes. Therefore, the alternative is avoiding drain blockage as much as possible instead of using chemicals every time.
2. Pour hot water once weekly:
Take some time once a week to do general cleaning to rid the shower drain of any clogged hair. Besides washing off any hair after every shower session, you’ll need to pour some hot water and some drain cleaner down the drain once per week. The hot water will dissolve oils, greats, and soap solids that could combine with hair to form large balls of clogs.
3. Don’t pour grease and oil into the shower drain:
Like your kitchen drain, the shower drain will clog whenever you pour down grease and oil into them. As noted above, grease and oil will help the hair cuttings to come together to form large balls. Therefore, if you think any oils are not safe to pour down the kitchen sink, they’re not good for the shower drain.
Further, you’ll need to have some safe soap dish since the soap (dropped down the drain) can help form large hair clogs. It goes without saying too that soap that lies around carelessly could cause slippage accidents.
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