water floating on shower drain

How to Unclog a Bathtub Drain with Standing Water

Steve VanDenBerg Blog, water damage

Dealing with a clogged shower or bath can be quite a nuisance. Standing water not only attracts pests but also leads to various other problems. Understanding the causes of clogged shower drains and knowing how to clear them is crucial. If you find yourself unable to tackle the clog, it’s essential to seek assistance from a professional. They possess the necessary tools and expertise to swiftly and effectively remove the blockage, ensuring your drain remains in optimal condition.

Why is standing water in your shower drain bad?

Leaving a clogged drain and standing water in your shower unaddressed can lead to a multitude of problems that may worsen over time, potentially harming your property. Here are a few:

  • You can end up with mold and mildew which is unsafe for your health.
  • Standing water can attract insects such as dragonflies, mosquitos, and flies which can cause disease and grime.
  • The water can cause a bad odor in your shower or tub.
  • Over time, the clog can get worse, and your shower may stop draining overall.

Why do shower drains clog?

a shower drain with buildup and cleaning tools

Hair is often the primary culprit behind bathtub drain clogs. If your household members have medium to long hair, this could be the reason behind your clogged shower drain. Over time, hair accumulates and can lead to the formation of significant clogs, especially in the absence of a hair catcher. Additional factors contributing to clogs include:

  • Buildup of minerals
  • Soaps
  • Sugar scrubs and salt
  • Bath and shower liquids

It is important to clean your drains regularly. A good rule of thumb is to do it every year and a half to two years. Maintaining your drain will keep your plumbing in great shape and help prevent clogs.

How to Unclog a Shower Drain with Standing Water

How to Unclog a Shower Drain with Standing Water - ServiceMaster

Even if you take all the steps necessary to maintain your shower drain, you may still end up with a clog and standing water in your bathtub. Here are some easy ways you can unclog your shower drain:

  • Use baking soda and vinegar: Mixing baking soda, a cup of vinegar, and boiled water creates a solution that can clear a shower drain clog. Here is what to do:
    • Put 3/4 of a cup of baking soda down the drain. Then pour a cup of vinegar right after.
    • Pour boiling water down the drain after one hour to warm and melt the clog.
  • Use a plunger:

To effectively remove a clog, use a plunger with an airtight seal. Enhance suction by applying petroleum jelly around the plunger’s rim, then firmly press it against the drain before beginning to plunge. After three minutes of plunging, flush the drain with hot water followed by cold water to check if the clog is cleared. If necessary, repeat the process two or three times. Should this method fail, consider exploring alternative solutions.

  • Use a drain snake:

A drain snake is effective for reaching difficult clogs, however, there is a risk associated with using this tool. Plumbers know how to use this tool efficiently. If you are unsure of how to properly use this tool, you may cause some damage to your plumbing. The best way to use a drain snake is to place and remove the snake slowly and crank the handle carefully so you can avoid damaging the plumbing.

  • Use a coat hanger:

If you have standing water in your shower, you can use a wire coat hanger to remove the clog. Bend one end into a hook and while holding the opposite end, put the hook into the drain until you feel the clog. Then, remove the hook with all the gunk from your drain until the clog has been cleared.

  • Call a plumber:

If you are unable to clear the shower clog yourself, it is best to call a plumber. They will make sure the clog is removed using the right equipment and proper methods. They will also give you advice on how to prevent clogs and keep your drains running smoothly.

Preventing Clogged Shower Drains

Preventing Clogged Shower Drains

Clogged shower drains can be a major inconvenience in any household, disrupting daily routines. Fortunately, there are several effective strategies to prevent these frustrating blockages. Here are some practical suggestions to keep your shower drains flowing smoothly:

  • Never pour contaminated water into your shower drain but instead into your yard.
  • Use a hair catcher to keep hair out of your drain.
  • To remove stuck oils, run some hot water down the drain for at least two minutes.
  • Put all solid trash into the waste basket.

It is important to know what you can and cannot allow down the drain safely. This will help you protect your pipes and avoid future clogs.

Removing the Shower Clog Yourself vs Calling a Professional

Sometimes, a simple DIY approach like using baking soda and vinegar can effectively clear a shower clog in just a few hours or less. Yet, there are occasions when these home remedies fall short. In their quest for a solution, some homeowners may turn to harsh chemicals or even drain snakes, risking damage to their plumbing through improper use.

Should you find yourself uncomfortable tackling a clogged shower drain on your own, or if DIY methods have proven ineffective, it’s wise to seek professional help. Professionals are equipped with the right tools and expertise, ensuring they can safely and efficiently remove any clog.

Water Damage Restoration by ServiceMaster DRR

ServiceMaster DRR specialists

Following the steps above will help you address and prevent drain clogs in your shower or bathtub which will protect your home from water damage. If your home does become affected by water damage due to a clog or other issue, ServiceMaster DRR can help with our water damage restoration services.

Our skilled technicians have the experience in water mitigation to efficiently clean, dry, and restore your property to its original condition. Armed with the right methods, expertise, and state-of-the-art equipment, we are equipped to address any water damage concerns at your home or business. For comprehensive water damage restoration services, please contact us at (800) 439-8833.