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A person with an orange glove holding hair that was founding in a shower drain and clogging the plumbing system at a home in Decatur, IL.

How to Unclog a Shower Drain

How to Unclog a Shower Drain

Hair, soap scum, calcium build-up from hard water minerals and small objects falling into unprotected drain holes are the leading causes of clogged shower drains. Decatur, IL residents with trees growing on or near their property may have a clogged shower drain due to tree roots infiltrating cracks in underground pipes.

Rock salt or other root killers may temporarily unclog shower drains but roots will return once the root killer’s effectiveness wanes. In addition, tiny cracks in sewer lines worsen as bigger roots push through pipes.

Riley’s Decatur Sewer Service provides prompt, affordable plumbing and sewer line repair for all types of clogged shower drains. Call today to schedule an appointment if you’ve tried unsuccessfully to unclog your shower drain.

Pour a Small Pan of Boiling Water Down the Drain

Boiling water can dissolve a minimal build-up of grease and soap scum but should not be used on PVC piping. If boiling water by itself doesn’t unclog a drain, try pouring about 1/2 cup of baking soda down the drain. Wait about 15 minutes before pouring boiling water into the drain.

Vinegar & Baking Soda

Instead of boiling water, pour 1/2 cup of white vinegar over 1/2 cup of baking soda. Allow the mixture to bubble for at least 30 minutes. If possible, let the baking soda and vinegar sit overnight in your shower drain. Flush the drain with hot water in the morning. If the drain is still clogged, just give Riley’s Decatur Sewer Service a call and we’ll be there ASAP!

Old-Fashioned Plunging

A close-up image of a black plunger and yellow gloves that are used for unclogging a shower drain in Decatur, IL.

It never hurts to try plunging a clogged drain. Pro tip: apply a little petroleum jelly (Vaseline) around the bottom rim of the rubber cup. This improves sealing and increases suction power to help pull out stubborn clumps of hair and other debris. Additionally, Riley’s Decatur Sewer Service is more than happy to plunge clogged drains for individuals with disabilities.

Use a Wet/Dry Shop Vacuum

If you suspect a shower drain is clogged with human or pet hair or a small object, a wet/dry shop vac may remove the clog. Set the vacuum on high and hold the hose over or slightly inside the drain. Make sure the vacuum is set to extract liquids.

Over-the-Counter Chemical Drain Cleaners

A white bucket filled with commercial cleaning solutions used to unclog a drain in Decatur, IL.

Ask any Decatur, IL plumbing repair technician if they recommend pouring commercial drain cleaners down a shower drain. You’re likely to get a resounding “no!” for an answer. Why? Liquid or crystal drain cleaners contain lye, a powerful alkaline chemical that quickly decomposes physical clogs in drainage pipes. Once lye makes contact with pipes, it raises the temperature on pipe surfaces to near the boiling point. Chemical reactions create a soap-like substance that dissolves clogs. However, it’s these strong reactions that can damage plumbing lines and drains.

Contact Our Decatur, IL Plumbing Repair and Maintenance Service Today

Riley’s Decatur Sewer Service uses state-of-the-art plumbing industry equipment to safely unclog household drains and for sewer line cleaning, septic/installation repair, and all plumbing maintenance requests. Call 217.428.3066 to speak to one of our friendly plumbers!

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