You might open the drain cap on your shower and see water. Is this supposed to be there?
It is normal that some water is sitting in your shower drain. Most showers have a bottle trap or p-trap that contains some water. This water makes sure that bad smells stay outside. Every time that you take a shower, this water is renewed so it shouldn’t be too dirty. Every sink in your home has a p-trap under the sink that serves the same purpose.
Too much water in the shower drain can be a problem though.
It can be annoying if the water in the shower doesn’t drain well. It can make your bathroom wet and can lead to water damage. In this post, we will examine what is going on and how you can fix this. In most cases, this is something that you can fix yourself. In some situations, you will have to call a plumber to get more assistance.
In most instances, it is just hair that is clogging the drain. It is also possible that something is stuck in the drain or that the drain is broken. Let’s examine this in more detail.
Clean the siphon
Showers often have a siphon that can be removed quite easily by lifting the metal part. Then you lift a cup and a plastic part. These part might be dirty and needs to be cleaned. You can rinse them with water and wipe them clean. You can also get hair and soap out of this area. This is often gets clogged and it is a great idea to clean it every few months.
Other showers have a metal plate (as seen in the first video). You can use a screwdriver to remove it. Once you see the opening, you can use a toilet brush to get it cleaned. Wear gloves when you do this as it can get messy. You might get some wipes as well as this can splash around some dirt.
If there is no screw in the drain, you might have to use a drain removal tool to turn the drain counterclockwise. This tool will make this a lot easier to do. Just Google drain removal tool and you will find one.
Check the hole in your shower if you can get dirt removed and this can already solve a lot of problems. Wear gloves to do this. There are also tiny pieces of metal that you can use for this. These are inexpensive and make it possible to remove some of the hairs already.
In most instances, this will solve the problem and you can reinstall the drain. Adding a hair catcher above the drain can solve a lot of problems. This is a cheap part and makes it easier to clean hair from your shower without having to open up the drain all the time.
When you reinstall the drain, it is important that you place the pieces in the correct order. These are made out of plastic and they can break if you don’t install them correctly. You might have to try a few configurations to see what works (or check the manual).
Use a plunger: how to dissolve hair in the shower drain
If that didn’t work, the clog might be farther in your drain. Getting a plunger might work. Make sure that you get the right type of plunger. Don’t use a dirty toilet plunger as this can make your shower dirty. Remove the metal part and place the rubber part over the hole.
Fill the shower with water (make sure that it doesn’t leak in your bathroom). Give it a few good pumps and see if this works. You might have to be patient and use it a few times before you see results.
If your shower has a flexible drain, you might have to be careful as this is not attached that well. Using a snake might be a better idea (as discussed later on). Some shower drains are flimsy because the installer wanted to save a few dollars but this can lead to problems when you want to unclog them.
Don’t use hot water or liquid drain stoppers as these can mess with your drains and create more problems. A plunger is generally the best option if the shower has been properly installed.
Check what is going on with a camera
If the plunger didn’t work, we might have a bigger problem. There are cameras that can go into drains. These have lights and this allows us to see what is going on. Given that the problem can be quite far away, we have to get a camera with a long cable. This makes sure that we can find the root cause of the problem.
Cameras allow you to record the problem and find the best way to fix it. Without it is a guessing game and you might be looking in the wrong place.
Plumbers have more advanced systems that also send a signal to detect where the issue is. Drains can be underground and it can be difficult to find out where to dig without this system.
For this reason, you have to be careful with chemical products as these can damage the drain of your shower. This can lead to leaks and other problems.
Use a drain snake
You can buy a smaller drain snake. This uses manual power or you can combine it with your drill. This can remove a lot of clogs but not everything. It can get stuck in your drains as well so you have to be careful when you use it. This is why it is essential that you check with a camera to know what is going on before you start working. You will need protective equipment such as gloves and goggles.
You can also rent a drain snake at construction stores. These can be rented for a few hours. These machines are quite powerful and plumbers use the same ones. You have to be careful when you use these as they can cause quite a lot of damage. Read the instructions and call a plumber if you are not sure if you are doing it right. This should remove most clogs.
Use a water jet
You can get an attachment for your pressure washer and use this to spray water in your drain. This can remove clogs and make sure that your shower works again. This is not for everyone as you can damage your drains if you don’t do it correctly. You also have to wear protective equipment such as gloves and safety goggles.
A water jet is easier to use than a drain snake as it pushes itself forward. The main drawback is that the backsplash can flood your room if the clog doesn’t disappear.
Plumbers often use high-pressure waterjets and they are able to clean clogs quite efficiently. Even if there are tree roots in your drains, they can get destroyed. In more than 95% of the situations, a plumber is able to fix the problem with a waterjet. They might charge a few hundred dollars for this as they have to use their expensive equipment to get it fixed. In some instances, the drains have to be fixed and this can involve digging them up.
Avoid future problems
You can check what the clog is made out of to avoid the same problem in the future. It is possible that the soap that you use is clogging together. It is also possible that you are pushing too much dirt (such as nails) into the drain. Showers should only get water in them and no other liquids or items.
People often throw a lot of objects in it and this can lead to clogs. You can also get a hair catcher so that this doesn’t clog up your drains. If a shower gets used a lot, hair and soap can build up quite fast. It might be needed to clean the shower more often.
You can also check if the size of the drain is correct if you have the same problem often. Installing a bigger train takes more space but can solve a lot of problems if you got the wrong one. The drain also has to be installed at a correct angle. If there are often problems with your shower, you can ask a plumber to inspect it and see if the installation was done correctly.
To conclude, we can state that clearing a shower drain is often quite easy. This can remove the clog and gets the water flowing again. In some instances, the problem is farther down the drain and more work is needed. A camera is a great tool to check what is going on. When in doubt, just call your plumber.
This can be a dirty job so make sure that you wear gloves and have some old towels and a bucket nearby. The smell can also be quite overwhelming so be prepared for this as well. Hair that has been stuck in a drain can be quite sticky and hard to remove.
Water sitting in the shower drain is often quite easy to fix.