How to Unclog Shower Drain

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Unclogging a Shower Drain: A Step-By-Step Guide

Clogged drains are one of the most common plumbing issues homeowners deal with, particularly when it comes to shower and bathtub drains. Hair, soap, shampoo and conditioner can all build up in your shower drain over time and cause water to back up into your shower as you bathe—which can be a very unpleasant experience. 


Slow-draining showers are not only a nuisance, but can be indicative of a more severe plumbing problem that needs to be addressed. In most cases, a clogged shower drain is simple to fix, but can become a nightmare if left unresolved. 


Check out these tips for how to unclog a shower drain:

Step 1: Clean Out the Drain Cover

If you’re just starting to notice some backup into the shower when the water is running, it’s possible the clog is relatively close to the drain surface. In these cases, you may be able to resolve the issue by simply removing the drain cover and cleaning off any hair or residue build-up. While wearing rubber gloves, scoop the visible clog from the top of the drain and throw it in the garbage (do not flush it down the toilet!)

Step 2: Clear the Drain with a Plumber’s Snake

For a more severe, you may need to utilize a plumber’s snake—either manual or electric—to remove the clog from deeper within the pipe. Insert the snake into the drain and begin turning the handle clockwise until you feel the snake hit the clog. When you start to feel resistance, it means the snake has hooked the clog. Once you feel the resistance lessen, the drain should be clear. Slowly begin turning the handle counterclockwise and you pull the snake out of the drain. After you’ve finished, run some hot water down the drain to ensure any remaining debris is eliminated. 

Step 3: Dissolve the Clog with Chemical Drain Opener

If all else fails, head to your local hardware store and pick up a chemical drain opener to dissolve the clog. It’s important to properly ventilate your bathroom and use the recommended safety equipment, such as safety goggles and rubber gloves, when working with hazardous chemicals. Be sure to follow the instructions provided for that specific product. 

What other plumbing services does CroppMetcalfe offer?

If you’re having trouble unclogging your shower drain, or seem to have recurring/persistent problems with clogs, call the plumbing experts at CroppMetcalfe. Our licensed plumbers can diagnose the severity of the clog and determine the best approach for how to unclog the shower drain.


In addition to drain clog removal, we offer a variety of solutions for any plumbing need, including:


What is a plumbing service plan?

CroppMetcalfe’s Plumbing Service Agreements grant homeowners peace of mind knowing they’ll be taken care of should a plumbing issue ever arise. All residential homeowners may be eligible for coverage under our plumbing Preferred Service Plan. Benefits include:


  • Priority Emergency Service. CroppMetcalfes Services our Preferred Service Plan customers first, so you can be sure your issues are resolved promptly.
  • Annual Planned Maintenance Inspection. Our preferred service plan include an annual maintenance inspection. Our plumbers will advise you of any needed repairs plus make recommendations to ensure your plumbing system is operating properly.
  • 10% Discount on Repairs
  • 50% Discount on Diagnostics

Call to speak with one of our plumbing experts or contact us online to schedule plumbing service. 

What areas does CroppMetcalfe provide plumbing services?

CroppMetcalfe provides plumbing services to the entire D.C. metro area including:


...and more!



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