You look down and spot a slight puddle starting to form around your feet in the shower - your drain must be slowing down. You hop out, take a peek at the drain and are forced to step back. Now you're looking at a clogged drain. Looks like all the sand you washed off from those Port Charlotte, Florida, beaches finally accumulated in your drain. Take care of this quickly, because your pipe could be moments away from rupturing.
Here are six ways to unclog your shower drain:
Simply boil a pot of water and slowly pour it down your clogged drain. Leave some space between sequences of pouring out the water. This will allow the hot water to fully trickle down your pipes for several seconds between each pour. It doesn't get much easier than this.
This is probably the second-easiest tip you'll come across and definitely more sustainable for the environment than your standard cleaning solutions. Pour a cup of baking soda down your drain followed by a cup of vinegar. These two products create a fizzy reaction that will help remove buildup surrounding the drain. Let it sit and work its magic for a couple of hours and then flush it out with hot water.
It's time to pull that wet/dry vacuum out of your storage closet and put it to use. This is the best method for dealing with sand in the drains. Before you begin, be sure the device is set to vacuum liquids. Next, create a suction by placing the end of the hose around the clogged drain. Turn the vacuum on and hold it there for a couple of minutes. This can be a powerful tool that sucks up some of the material trapped in the pipe. You can also try this method with a traditional plunger. To create a better seal around the drain, add a bit of petroleum jelly around the edges of the vacuum hose or plunger.
Now you finally have a use for those flimsy hangers you continue to save from your dry-cleaned shirts. Do your best to straighten out both ends of the hanger. Next, bend one of the ends to create a small hook. Slowly finagle it past the drain cover and start fishing and poking around. This is a great method for removing clumped-up hair.
Surprisingly enough, carbonated beverages like Pepsi and Coca-Cola can be effective in terms of tackling a clogged drain. Pour a two-liter of either brand down the drain and let it settle in for about an hour or two, then rinse by running hot water. The phosphoric acid in these products is strong enough to eat away some of the gunk.
If you've tried these DIY methods and aren't seeing improvements, or are worried you might cause even more damage if you try them, give your local Roto-Rooter plumber a call. Additionally, if you have more than one clogged drain in the house, this might indicate that the actual problem is beyond the local drain and deeper into your sewer.