How to Unclog a Shower Drain with a Plunger

Last Updated: February 28, 2018

Shower drain clogs can happen to anyone at any time. Hair, soap scum, and an accumulation of small items can cause a clog in no time. The best thing you can do is to take care of a clogged shower drain as soon as possible. Nobody likes to have standing water gathering around their ankles during their morning shower, but more importantly, drain clogs only become worse over time and can cause serious, costly damage.

Popular Remedies for Unclogging a Drain

Many homeowners reach for the generic drain cleaning products when their shower backs up. Plumbing snakes have also become very popular with homeowners because they can help to reach whatever is clogging the drain so that the homeowner can easily dispose of it. However, when it comes to a bad clog that needs to be addressed right away, there is nothing like a plunger to get the job done right.

Trust the Plunger to Save the Day

Drain cleaning products, or natural remedies including baking soda and vinegar, can prove to be helpful in clearing away a pesky clog. However, if no drain cleaning products seem to be working, then the plunger can save the day. A plunger will force pressurized water in both directions, which will help to effectively loosen whatever is clogging your shower drain.

The Proper Plunging Technique

  • Carefully remove the overflow plate by removing the two screws holding it down. Once you have removed the screws, you can gently remove the overflow plate and drain mechanism at the same time.
  • Inspect the interior of the drain to see if you can locate and remove the source of the clog.
  • In order to plunge most effectively, stop up your shower’s overflow opening with a wet rag because it will ensure that the force exerted by the plunger will remain only on the source of the clog.
  • Fill the shower with a small amount of water, just enough to cover the bottom of the plunger.
  • Begin plunging with a forceful upward and downward movement. Most clogs only require about six good plunging rhythms.
  • Lift up the plunger to see if the water is draining away quickly.
  • If the water is not draining quickly, plunge again.

Is It Time to Call a Plumber?

If all else fails, don’t wait any longer to call the plumbers. The problem will quickly become worse and if nothing else is working, then your local plumbers know what needs to be done to eliminate the clog once and for all. Addressing the issue now can prevent additional water damage from happening.