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How to Unclog Shower & Bathtub Drain

Posted on: July 24, 2023

Nobody thinks about the speed of your bathtub drain until it starts to slow down and the water begins to pool. Standing in ankle-deep water as you shower or waiting half an hour for a bath to drain is not anyone’s ideal situation. However, shower and bathtub drains get clogged in ways that are both easy and difficult to solve.

How to Unclog Shower & Bathtub Drain
How to Unclog Shower & Bathtub Drain

At Bud Matthews Services, we know how important a clear tub drain can be to your quality of life, so today, we’re going to explain how to unclog shower drains and what to do if normal methods don’t work.

What Causes Shower & Bathtub Clogs?

Shower and bath drains are among the most prone to clogging due to the combination of hair, soap scum, and sometimes bath oils. If you’ve ever pulled the hair off the top of your shower drain, you know that combined with soap, it can form a water-resistant mass. Inside your drain, hair ties together with itself, and any other debris that makes it down the drain is then glued together by soap scum.

Bath oils can make it worse, as oil is fully water-resistant and can prevent the clog from washing away with normal hot water. All this means that good drain care and the occasional clog service are necessary to keep your bathtub and shower drains running smoothly.

If your home runs hard water, scale (mineral deposits) can also play a role in drain clogs.

Drain Clog Clearing Methods

The good news is that clogs built with soap as an adhesive usually break down with DIY clog removal methods. Removing hair and flushing your drain can help speed up a slow drain and unclog a bathtub drain with a near and easily broken-up clog.

Boiling Water

The most common solution to unclog a shower drain is boiling water. This solution includes boiling a large pot of water on the stove, carrying it across your house, then slowly pouring it into your shower as slowly as needed to avoid splashing. Be careful, as things can go bad quickly if not done correctly. It’s always safer for your home to call in a professional.

Manual Clog Removal

If you are able to remove the drain cover, use a Zip-It or needle-nose pliers to pull out any hair-balls that are clogging your drain entry. If water is backed up, you can also use a simple cup-shaped plunger to plunge your shower drain. Pay attention to other drains in your bathroom, which may make noises when you plunge into the shower.

Drain Cleaners

Sometimes, a chemical drain cleaner can be effective, but use it with care. It’s best to not breathe the fumes, and do not use drain cleaners repeatedly for a persistent clog, as you can degrade the inside of your pipes with harsh chemicals. Drain cleaners can lead to further problems, and it is often safer to hire a pro drain clearing service if the first chemical treatment does not work.

Professional Drain Cleaning

Professional drain cleaning goes above and beyond what you can DIY. Professionals can send a long snake down the drain to break up a stubborn or deep clog. They can also pressure-wash the inside of your pipes to force clogs to break up without risking the integrity of your pipes. If there are persistent or systemic problems, professionals can break up clogs in the shared drain system or run a camera line to find the source.

Effective Drain Cleaning Services are the Best Solution

Simple DIY solutions may only partially unclog your shower drain, leaving you with some of the same issues you had before. In that case, the most effective solution is professional drain cleaning services. Don’t spend days or weeks with a slow or stopped-up drain when the Bud Matthews service team can help you find and solve your tub drain problem with efficient and immediate drain-cleaning services.

Call the Drain Cleaning Experts in Chapel Hill, NC

If your shower or bathtub drain is clogged and won’t clear up despite your best efforts, Bud Matthews Services can help. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and professional drain-clearing services.

photo credit: Shutterstock

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We recognize that our services are of a special and often emergency nature, and we remain fully committed to fulfilling the needs of our community even as potential demand for our services may increase with more families either choosing to or being required to remain home for extended periods of time. More importantly, the safety of our employees and customers is always our highest priority, and we recognize that heightened diligence and focus on health and safety is required during these challenging times. We are actively monitoring updates from the CDC, WHO and local health officials; and we have been proactively and continually implementing measures and developing plans to prioritize the health and well-being of our employees and customers. Including:

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