This DIY can help you fix the following problems:

  • The water in your shower or bathtub drains slowly or not at all

What you need to know:

Unlike clogs in sinks, bathtubs and showers may have more limited access to the plumbing behind them, so you'll need a different set of tools and techniques to fix a clog in those.

What you'll need:

  • Bottle brush
  • Screwdriver
  • Plunger (available at any hardware store)
  • Chemical drain opener
  • Rubber gloves designed for use with chemicals

How to fix it:

  1. Remove any drain covers. In showers, there's sometimes a strainer cover on the drain that can be removed with a screwdriver. Some bathtubs have a plug, cover or strainer as well. If you're having trouble figuring out how to remove this, contact us.
  2. Look for any obvious obstructions in the drain. Fish around in the drain with your fingers. Pull out any debris that you can feel, such as hair, small soap pieces, etc. (Bare hands work best for this, but if you're squeamish, use gloves.) If you can't pull a blockage out, try pushing it further down the drain with your fingers, or running a bottle brush in and out of the drain. Run some water, and see if it drains more quickly; if it does, you may be done.
  3. If the blockage is not visible, use a plunger to try to dislodge it. Here's how to use a plunger on a drain:
    1. On a bathtub, ask someone to help you by holding a wet towel firmly over the overflow drain. This is usually located just below the taps. If you don't cover this drain, the plunger's pressure may just be released through it, rather than down the drain where the clog is.
    2. Place the plunger's rubber cup squarely over the drain, making sure you have a good seal all around the drain.
    3. Press down with the handle firmly and quickly to compress the cup. This will force air into the drain, pushing the clog further down the pipe and hopefully dislodging it.
    4. Run some water to see if the drain flows freely. If not, repeat the above steps a few times.
  4. If a plunger doesn't work, try a chemical drain opener. Read the directions on the bottle carefully and follow them exactly. Always wear rubber gloves when using a chemical drain opener.
  5. If none of the above works, contact us for more advice or to set up an appointment.
  6. To prevent clogs in future, consider putting a filter or strainer in your shower or bathtub drain. If you have difficulty finding one that fits, contact us; we may have one in stock, or know where you can find one.

Still having problems?

We try to make all our DIY tips easy to follow, but if you need help, we're here for you. We're only a call or an email away! Click here to find out how to get in touch with us.

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