The Toilet Plunger: A Best-Kept Plumbing Secret for Clogged Showers

December 14, 2015

Do you get clogs in your shower or bathtub? If you wash your hair in the shower you will find that these clogs are a fact of life, especially if you have long hair. Hair accumulates with soap and shampoo scum to effectively block your pipes. A shower's plumbing system is completely adequate to handle all the water from a shower. Therefore, you will know it is time to work on your shower clogs when the water begins to drain slowly and leaves you standing in a pool of water before you finish your shower.

Use a Plunger

Using a plunger is the first step to take for shower clogs. If you plunge your shower at the first sign of a slow drain it will help you avoid or postpone the need to take apart the drain assembly or call a Roto-Rooter plumber. We recommend every home have a toilet plunger that has a funnel on the end for the most effective toilet plunging. You can use this same plunger in the shower or bathtub. Simply fold the funnel into the plunger cup.

Effective Techniques for Using a Plunger

While plunging may seem intuitive, many individuals do not use their plunger effectively. When you use a plunger, make sure you pay attention to the following techniques:

  • Use a wet rag to block the overflow opening in a shower/tub combination.
  • Put three or four inches of water in the bottom of the tub or shower to help give a better seal.
  • Make sure the plunger seals tightly around the opening and keep the seal intact while plunging.
  • Start with a soft plunge to get the air out of the plunger then plunge vigorously 10 to 15 times.
  • Repeat this process three or four times before you move on to other methods.

Other Remedies

You can reduce the frequency of a shower clog by following these preventative maintenance steps:

  • Put a strainer over the drain to catch hair.
  • Pour three to five boiling hot gallons of water down the drain once a week to help loosen and dissolve grime that is accumulating on the edge of the pipes.
  • Use an environmentally friendly drain cleaner once a month to help prevent grime from building up in the first place. You can call our Roto-Rooter plumbers for an effective product if you don't have one.
  • Pour a small amount of bleach into the drain and let it sit overnight in the p-trap. Be careful to avoid getting bleach on stainless steel fixtures since it can stain them.


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