Over the weekend, we had a call from a long-time customer, Nelson, in Moonee Ponds saying that the shower water was slowly building up on the shower floor.
Our experienced Master Plumber on call decided that he might be able to save Nelson some money by talking him through the process of unblocking the shower drain with a plunger.
How to determine if a customer can unclog their drain themselves
To determine if unblocking the drain themselves was an option, our master plumber asked Nelson the following simple questions:
- How long has the drain been showing signs of a blockage?
- Are there any other fixtures in the bathroom or home e.g. sinks, basins or a bath showing signs of a blocked drain?
- Is there any gurgling sounds or water running slowly down the drains?
- Is the toilet drain flowing freely?
- Has there been any works carried out recently to the bathroom and the shower?
The bathroom had been renovated 2 years ago and all the pipework was replaced with new ones. All other fixtures in the home were operating properly but Nelson had noticed the shower drain had started to run slowly over the past 2-3 days.
Luckily Nelson contacted us quickly and the plumber suspected the drain was probably just clogged with hair and soap scum, nothing a bit of elbow grease, a plunger and some hot water wouldn’t fix.
Unclogging the drain
Over the phone, our plumber walked Nelson through the process starting with removing the grate from the linear shower drain and removing any hair or obstructions in the water trap by bending a coat hanger and fishing it out.
Secondly, our plumber told him to fill the trap with hot water, place the cup plunger over the waste hole creating a seal, then push the plunger with force up and down 6-10 times, ensuring the drain is always full of water and the seal maintained whilst plunging. Nelson noted that black dirty water and hair were coming up in the shower base when he plunged. Our plumber told him to make sure the trap was full of hot water and to keep plunging following the same process and the drain would clear.
After the third plunging attempt, the drain made a vacuum sucking noise and the water rushed down the drain. At this point the plumber was pretty sure Nelson had unclogged the drain. He advised him to run the shower with hot water for 2-3 minutes to flush and clean the pipework out and make sure the blocked shower drain was clear. He reported the shower drain was flowing away freely and he no longer had a blocked drain.
Needless to say, we had a very happy customer, not only was his shower drain flowing again, it cost him nothing.
Locating blockages and identifying the cause prior to attempting to unblock will save you time and money in the long run. As you can see by this case study, for simple blockages, it’s not always essential that a plumber attend site. On some occasions we can step you through the process and get your drains flowing again.
For more serious blockages it’s important to call your local master plumber as they will require high pressure water jets and mechanical sewer snake machines to unblock the drain.
Essendon Plumbing Services has a team of experienced licensed plumbing professionals ready to unblock you drains. Whatever your plumbing issue, our 24/7 emergency master plumber can help. Call us on 03 9335 4755 for a fast and reliable service.