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Shower & Tub Drains: Clearing a Clog


Shower drain clogs

Shower drain clogs usually are caused by an accumulation of hair in the drain line.  Remove the strainer cover and look for clogs in the drain opening.  Some clogs are removed easily with a piece of stiff wire.  Stubborn clogs should be removed with a plunger or hand auger.

  • Check for clogs:  Remove the strainer cover using a screwdriver.  Use a flashlight to look for hair clogs in the drain opening.  Use a stiff wire to clear shower drain of hair or to snag any obstructions.

  • Use a plunger:  Place the rubber cup over the drain opening.  Pour enough water into the shower stall to cover the lip of the cup.  Move the plunger handle up and down rapidly.

  • Clear stubborn clogs:  A hand auger may be used by pushing the end of the auger cable into the drain opening until resistance is met.  The resistance usually indicates the end of the cable has reached a bend in the drain pipe.  Solid resistance that prevents the cable from advancing indicates a clog that will need the assistance of a Fort Worth plumbing and drain specialist.

Fixing Tub Drains:  The Basics

When water in the tub drains slowly or not at all, remove and inspect the drain assembly.  Both plunger and pop-up type drain mechanisms catch hair and other debris that cause clogs.

If cleaning the drain assembly does not fix the problem, the tub drain line is clogged.  Clear the line with a plunger or a hand auger.  Always stuff a wet rag in the overflow drain opening before plunging the tub drain.  The rag prevents air from breaking the suction of the plunger.  When using an auger, always insert the cable down through the overflow drain opening.

  • Run the auger cable through the overflow opening, but first remove the coverplate carefully to lift out the drain linkage.

  • Push the auger cable into the opening until resistance is felt.

  • After using the auger, replace the drain linkage.

  • Open the drain and run hot water and vinegar through the drain to flush out any debris.

Plumbing Pro Tip:  Plunger-type tub drains have a hollow brass plug that slides up and down inside the overflow drain to seal off the water flow.  Pop-up tub drains have a rocker arm that pivots to open or close a metal drain stopper.

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