shower drain with rubber plug

Drains are some of the most vital systems in a home, though most people do not think much about them often. Yet, when water stops moving through them, that can create a highly dangerous situation, including backups that can cause damage to drywall, flooring, and the overall ability to use your shower. 

The goal is to remove the blockages present, allowing water to flow again. You can learn how to snake a shower drain to improve this situation, but that, in itself, can be a challenge.

At Plumbing by Jake, we can handle snaking the drain for you, and we can offer more advanced solutions that allow for the improvement of slow-moving drains that are more effective. We encourage you to reach out to us for immediate help if you have a non-working drain.

How You Can Snake a Shower Drain

A snake is a long, metal type of tubing that turns in a circular motion. As it does, it pulls material out from the center of a pipe, cleaning out the lines as it goes. This device must be fitted properly and used according to the manufacturer’s directions to ensure the line is not damaged. Ultimately, it will pull off all of the material along the interior of the pipelines.

You can purchase or rent a drain snake to do this work. Typically, they are not hard to use, but there can be some differences between snakes. Typically, you will follow these steps to use a snake.

  • Remove the covering over the drain opening.
  • Ensure that the snake is no larger than the pipe and, most importantly, that it does not touch the edges of the line when moving into it.
  • Insert the snake into the opening. If it is a manual auger, you will then need to crank it to move the snake deeper into the opening, but if it is an electric version, you will need to apply pressure to the trigger to allow the snake portion to advance. 
  • Continue to advance the snake into the opening until it hits the clog. Once you get to that point, turn the handle in a clockwise position which will hook it into the clog.
  • Continue to run the snake into the drain, advancing it forward. Every time the snake encounters a clog, you will feel a bit of resistance. 
  • Turn the handle again to latch into that clog.
  • Once you reach the end of the line or where you believe the threat is, you can then turn the handle in a counterclockwise position, which will back the snake out of the drain slowly, bringing with it anything that is clogging the drain. You do not want to go too quickly and cause the clog to come off the line.
  • Once the snake has been fully removed from the line, remove all of the debris present.
  • Run hot water into the drain to help with the removal of any material present. Put the drain cover back in place.
  • Following these steps should get rid of most concerns with the clog in your shower drain, but that may not be enough if the clog is deeper or if there is a significant buildup of material from a long period. In this situation, it may be best to allow a plumber to provide a more thorough cleanout of the process.

How Often Should You Snake a Shower Drain

Snake the shower drain whenever you find that there is a backup occurring. If the water moving down the drain is slow and not moving efficiently, or it is backing up on a routine basis, you may need to snake the drain again. If this happens every few days or even every few weeks, that means you may have a deeper clog that needs to be cleaned out and treated.

You should only snake the drain when you know there is a problem with it. If the lines are older, snaking them too often can lead to damage to the lines, and that may eventually require the replacement of the lines.

What Can a Plumber Do for Your Shower Lines?

There are many situations where the clog in your drain lines may be more significant and may be brought on by a buildup of material over time. That material can cake on the interior walls of the pipe and make it nearly impossible for water to flow down. While snaking it can help, there may be other solutions to cleaning out more of the material.

For example, your plumber can use a high-powered jet of water to help remove all of the material that has built up from soap residue to hair. This can help to flush most of the problem out of the way and allow for the drain line to work more efficiently overall.

There are times when the damage may be severe, or there could be instances in which the line is so backed up that you will need to remove the line and replace it. This is often a job left to a professional who can efficiently replace the line.

Set Up an Appoint with Our Plumber Today

Learning how to use a snake is one step in learning to take care of your home’s plumbing, including the shower drain. It is not uncommon for a drain to back up from hair and other material that backs up within the lines. Yet, it is never a good thing to wait too long. 

The sooner you get the drain opened up and working properly again, the better. Over time, these blockages can lead to a significant failure, and backups can occur, leading to damage to the wood under the shower floor or to the floors below.

Contact Plumbing by Jake for a fast, efficient appointment to help get your shower drain cleaned out and moving properly again. You can appreciate the benefit of having a clear-moving shower in no time. We are available 24 hours a day to help you.