Fix-It Friday: How To Clear A Stubborn Shower Drain Clog When You’ve Got A Snap-In Strainer

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PVC Shower Drain
Fix-It FridayHome Improvement 1 Comment

“I got the above drain when my shower was replaced from the fiberglass insert to tile. It is now clogged…I am unable to remove top to clean out drain… I added bottle of lqd plb still see slime. How do I remove to clean? Or is there professional cleaner that will dissolve grime? Feel like I made a mistake removing insert been in house 13 yrs without any drain issues in shower. Thanks!” – WYSK Reader Kenya

NV: Hi Kenya – We’re gonna unclog this sucker, don’t you fret! Smart of you to send a link to the specific shower drain you have. They can attach differently so seeing the exact one helps.

Also, thanks for letting me know what you’ve already done to correct the problem. Knowing that you’ve used a chemical drain opener tells me you’ve got a stubborn clog on your hands, but being a Taurus woman, I assure you, I’m WAY more stubborn. It also tells me to give you this warning: you MUST wear protective gloves and safety glasses when you try again to unclog this drain. Any remaining chemical cleaner in the drain can splash up as you’re unclogging in these next steps, so be careful!

If you read in the drain description specs in the link you sent me, you’ll see the strainer is called a Snap-Tite™ Strainer. The name implies (and my experience tells me) that this strainer snaps out. You see the two indentations on each side of the strainer? Use a utility knife or small screwdriver to pop it out. Stick the tip in there, and pry it up. Don’t worry about bending it, it should give way with a little coaxing, and even if it does bend, you can inexpensively replace it. Once it’s up, you may be surprised at the sludge that’s accumulated beneath it – amazes me every time!

Clothes HangerNow that the strainer is out of the way, follow these steps, which I covered in a previous Fix-It Friday column after my three gorgeous nieces and their flowing locks clogged up my own shower stall drain:

  1. Cut a wire hanger and bend it into a straight length. On one end, with pliers, bend a ¾ inch hook.
  2. Stick the hanger down the drain and start fishing.
  3. The hanger will get caught on hair – start to pull it out. Discard your catch in the plastic bag and go back for more.
  4. Keep going back for more – you’ll most probably hit the mother load at some point. If it tries to pull you in, run for your life!
  5. Once the hanger isn’t getting caught on any debris, pour boiling water down the drain.
  6. Snap the strainer back on.

If this does not do the trick, I’ll be very surprised. In the event you have the mother of all clogs, let me know, and we’ll take it from there.

Good luck and happy unclogging!

Norma sig


Got A DIY Question? Ask-The-Expert!

If you have a DIY home repair, maintenance or improvement question for Norma, now is your chance to ask-the-expert and have her answer. Your burning question may just be the “star” of an upcoming Fix-It Friday column.

Add your question to the comments section below or email it to Women You Should Know.

Fix-It Friday is an exclusive Women You Should Know® editorial series authored by seasoned veteran of home improvement, Norma Vally, the former host of Discovery Home Channel’s series “Toolbelt Diva” and a show on Sirius Satellite Radio by the same name. The weekly column is designed to inspire women – weekend warriors, aspiring handywomen, and even seasoned DIYers – to take on home repairs and maintenance projects with confidence and gusto.

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  • Kenya Lee

    Thanks! Going to try now

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