Does your shower take ages to drain? If it's the only drain in the house that is slow, chances are the problem is specific to its location. You can troubleshoot and fix the drain in no time by using these four tricks:
#1: Plunge the Problem
Plungers work by applying pressure to dislodge clogs. You can use yours to loosen a clog in or near the shower drain. Does your tub or shower have an overflow hole? Stuff an old rag into it to prevent pressure from diverting through it while plunging. Run a small amount of water. Place the plunger directly over the drain. Use short, powerful bursts to plunge. If the water drains quickly, you've fixed your slow shower drain.
#2: Baking Soda and Vinegar
If the plunger doesn't do the job, then a mixture of two common household products might. When combined, baking soda and vinegar create a chemical reaction that produces carbon dioxide gas. The gas scours whatever it comes in contact with. Mix one cup of vinegar, one cup of baking soda, and one cup of salt together. The salt is optional – it adds extra scraping power. Ensure the drain is void of water, and then dump the mixture into the drain. The mixture should produce a froth, which signals it is working. Allow it to work its magic for roughly ten minutes before flushing with boiling water. Turn on the water and see what happens next. If the mixture was successful, you should see increased drain speed.
#3: Snake It
You can purchase a plumbing snake at any hardware store. Use it to remove hair and gunk that has built up in the drain. The most common cause of a slow shower drain is a buildup of hair and soap scum. Snaking the drain and connected pipe can dramatically increase drainage speeds.
#4: Treating a Drop Stopper Drain
If your shower drain has a drop stopper, you might feel like getting around it is going to be problematic. You're right. A stopper can get in the way of clearing a clogged drain. If drain cleaners and the baking soda and vinegar trick don't work, remove the stopper, and then work to clear the drain.
If these four tricks don't fix your slow shower drain, the problem may require the professional expertise of a plumber. It could be the first sign of a much larger issue.