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swingliner's avatar

Shower drain is clogged. Draino doesn't work. What now?

Asked by swingliner (245 points ) February 7th, 2009

I don’t want to call a plumber just yet. Already tried draino and using a toilet plunger. I’m pretty clueless about this stuff. Any suggestions?

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15 Answers

scamp's avatar

Did you pull all the icky hair out before putting the draino in? Most of the time that is the problem.

bythebay's avatar

Call me silly, I’m not sure you’re supposed to mix draino & plungers. How about a drain “snake”?

Sueanne_Tremendous's avatar

Draino ( ar a reasonable alternative) will work. The secret is to run very hot water into the clogged drain and let it sit for a minute or two. Then pour in your drain opener. Then boil a pot of water. Pour boiling water into drain.. You need the heat that a water faucet can’t provide.

I sell all sorts of chemicals…drain openers are a big part of my business

marissa's avatar

I second Sueanne, I use boiling water also. But I just want to mention since you said you are new to all of this, if you have pets, make sure they aren’t anywhere around when you do this. Pets that usually would ignore a shower can be interested in it when there is water sitting in it and you don’t want them to get chemical burns. I know it sounds like common sense, but it is easy not to think of these things.

brycekerr's avatar

Very hot vinegar would be a smart alternative to boiling water just chillin in your bathtub

gailcalled's avatar

I have tried snakes and bent coat hangers; I would never put any chemicals down drain due to septic system

There is a cheap (< $3.00) plastic gadget called Zip-it that worked for me. I pulled up about a lb. and a yard of mattered hair, and then all was well.

Sueanne_Tremendous's avatar

@Gail: I would think that most drain clears, especially enzymatic ones, would be good for septic systems. Don’t you have to treat your septic system on occasion?

scamp's avatar

@Suanne & gail I had some trouble with my septic tank due to the laundry detergent going into it. I found some info on this tiopic here

What Are the Beneficial or Detrimental Effects of Additives From Various Research Studies Conducted?
The beneficial effects of biological additives on the septic system are still being debated, but two benefits may ultimately be identified. Based on available literature, enzymatic products might have the ability to reduce the amount of oil and grease in the septic tank. Second, under septic tank bacterial “die-off” conditions, slight reductions in the amount of effluent solids have been achieved by using additives.

A research study by Mark Gross, Ph.D. has shown that septic tank “die off” conditions occur when the bacteria in a septic tank are destroyed due to the presence of toxic substances. Die-off conditions were observed when adding a concentration of 1.85 gallons of liquid bleach, 5.0 gallons of liquid Lysol cleaner, or 11.3 grams of Drano drain cleaner to a standard 1,000-gallon septic tank. Other factors that can cause die-off include the use of anti-bacterial agents, and, in certain cases, medications taken by the home-owner.

gailcalled's avatar

@Sue and Scamp; No, never. Every few years I have the tank emptied; the guys try to sell me chemicals to put in bottom of tank. I refuse and all’s well. I just have to make sure city visitors don’t throw tampax, match sticks, and ciggies down the toilets.

(I do, rarely, flush some bleach down.)

I do now have cheapo plaster drainers with very small holes in all the showers so I can pick up the clumps of hair before they are washed down the drains.

Blondesjon's avatar

A drain snake is the way to go. I know a fella that worked for Roto Rooter and he told me how to make a “power drain auger” similar to what they use.

1. Cut an 8–10’ piece office an old drain snake.

2. Place the end you cut into the chuck of an electric drill.

3. Tighten the hell out of your chuck.

4. Ease the snake into your clogged pipe via the drain. When you can’t go any further have an assistant begin to gently squeeze the trigger on the drill and you continue to push the snake in.

Dangerous? Maybe. But this trick has saved me at least three or four hundred dollars in plumbing bills.

use the chemicals to maintain a clean drain…and keep Sueanne Tremendous flush with booze

scamp's avatar

@gailcalled You won’t have to have it emptied as often if you use the products designed to liquify the solids. When I was growing up, my father used products, and there were 7 people in the household. We only had to have the tank emptied once in 20 years.

Schenectandy's avatar

Add baking soda to brycekerr’s hot vinegar suggestion and take a plunger to it. Then fill the tub with hot water, either instantly or taking up to a couple hours or fill-drain cycles, it should clear out.

gailcalled's avatar

@scamp; Around here there is a huge number of people who grow their own food and worry about the water table. We really frown on grass fertilizer, spraying and such; the terrain is hilly and the stuff dribbles down.

We are slowly financing a Farmer’s Market of organic and locally grown produce. Just one large home-grown beet, roasted and eaten with a spoon reminds me of what food used to taste like.

I just saw eggs in the Supermarket that have 25% less cholesterol in them; I wonder how that is possible?

mike_perrault's avatar

Try a wet vac.

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