What is a Shower Drain?

In this blog post, you’ll read:Its purpose is to capture water and funnel it into the sewage wastewater system. A shower drain differs from a tub drain in that it doesn't normally have a levered fixture blocking the drain to fill the tub with water.

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Do you know what a shower drain is? If you don’t, it’s a plumbing fixture between a shower enclosure and a drainage pipe. Its purpose is to capture water and funnel it into the sewage wastewater system. A shower drain differs from a tub drain in that it doesn’t normally have a levered fixture blocking the drain to fill the tub with water.

It’s important to know that every shower drain includes a grid, strainer, vent and trap. The grid has holes or slots that allow water to flow through them. The strainer is located below the grid, and its purpose is to prevent large objects from clogging the drain or waste pipe from entering. The trap, a u-shaped conduit, collects water to stop sewage gas leaks from entering the bathroom through the drain. A pipe that delivers air pressure to the system is the vent.

shower drain cover

It is important to choose the right shower drain for the existing type of shower and drainage pipes, and it’s also key that the drain system is installed correctly. This is because transporting water from one fixture to another without leaking or enabling waste system gases to back up into the home is a difficulty for shower drains and all fixture-to-waste connections.

How does the shower drain work?

Possibly, all you see in your shower drain is an opening where water escapes. Despite this, many parts of your shower system work to ensure water travels properly to your sewer drain through the pipes.

drain system

Shower drains are designed deliberately so that gases from the sewer cannot come back into the bathroom, which would cause bad intentions, but it also ensures water doesn’t build up and flood while you’re showering. So, how does a shower drain work?



The Drain Trap, Vent, Drain Seal, and Shower Base are the five components of your shower area and drainage system. They all collaborate to guarantee that water flows smoothly to the constricted sewer drain.


drain trap siphon

Each drain has a trap that connects it to the drain line and the waste stack. Gas from the sewers is kept out of your home by the water in the trap. Shower traps can be S-shaped, unlike the P-shaped sink traps that often reside beneath kitchen cabinets.

There is a compartment in the trap’s bottom that can hold some water. By doing this, sewage gas leaks that may otherwise fill your bathroom with an unpleasant odour are stopped. This is often twisted into the shape of a s or a p and “traps” some water to prevent gas from entering your home.


The main waste vent helps remove sewerage from your home by regulating the air pressure inside the shower drain pipes. The venting is important as it allows the air to flow freely into the drain at a constant pressure.

The main waste vent starts from the waste point and extends to the outside of the building. The venting is important as it allows the air to flow freely into the drain at a constant pressure.

When you take a shower, water descends from the drain hole and generates a suction as it does so. The venting is important as it allows the air to flow freely into the drain at a constant pressure.



A shower drain typically has a cover that can be removed to access the filter beneath it. To guarantee that the water flow enters the drain opening, the shower base should be constructed on a slope. Maintaining a seal on the filter is crucial to eliminating leaking water from under the base. This is important because leaked water can damage the floor and become a dangerous hazard due to soap and shampoo.

It’s crucial to remove the chance of sliding on a damp floor from a safety perspective.

Five easy ways to unclog your shower drain

It’s a good idea to check your drains every year or two, particularly if you notice a buildup of standing water during showers or a bathtub that takes a long time to empty.

shower drain from hofen

What causes blockages in the first place?

A slow drain is usually caused by a clog. In the case of a toilet or a kitchen sink, a large obstruction may be the problem—but shower drains mostly slow down when hair, lint, and residue from bath products build up over time.

What to do if a blocked shower drain is suspected

Check visible obstruction

stainless steel floor drain

If you notice your shower drain is clogged, the first thing you should do is check for a visible obstruction. The main offender is typically clumps of hair. If nothing is blocking the drain from the outside, you may need to remove the drain cap and look inside with a flashlight. Once you have located the obstruction, you can remove it by hand or plunger.

A plumbers’ snake

A plumbers’ snake

You might need to use a plumber’s snake or similar instrument to access the blockage if it is deeper down the drain. Sometimes, you may need to call a professional to clear a stubborn clog.

Keep the drain open

drain open

Before proceeding, check that your drain is open. Can water flow through unimpeded by a stopper? Depending on your stopper and drain, the answer to this question will be different. Some drains feature a screw-on or liftable stopper, while others have a switch beneath the faucet to open and close the drain. If your drain has any mechanism for stopping the flow of water, ensure that it isn’t engaged and blocking off drainage inadvertently.

If nothing is blocking the drain and it’s open, but water still isn’t going down, it’s time to unclog it.

5 Ways To Unclog Your Shower Drain

There are a few different ways you can unclog your shower drain. Try one of these methods to remove or dissolve the clog.

  • Remove the clog by hand.
Remove the clog by hand.

The first thing you may attempt if you see that your drain is beginning to clog is to remove the obstruction by hand. This is especially effective if the clog is near the surface. To do this, simply put on a pair of rubber gloves and try to extract the clog. You might need to use a plunger or a plumber’s snake if it’s obstinate. However, if it’s not too bad, you should be able to remove it without too much trouble. Not all clogs will be easy to remove by hand, but it’s worth trying before moving on to other methods.

  • Use a drain snake.
Use a drain snake.

A drain snake should always be kept on hand as a backup. A drain snake is a retractable, flexible drilling tool you can pick up at most hardware stores. Simply send the metal wire down your drain and try to break up or remove the clog. You may need to try another strategy if this one doesn’t work.

  • Use boiling water
Use boiling water

If your drain is blocked and you can’t seem to clear it no matter what you do, it might be time to try boiling water. Boiling water can help dissolve softer buildup like soap scum around the edges of your drain. To ensure that the buildup is completely removed, repeat the process while taking care not to burn yourself with the hot water.

  • Use a natural drain cleaner.
drain cleaner

There are several drain cleaners available, but many of them have hazardous chemicals in them. A more natural solution may be made using one cup each of vinegar and baking soda. To remove the blockage, pour boiling water down the drain, then follow with the baking soda-vinegar mixture and wait 15 minutes. Rinse with more boiling water. This method is usually just as effective as chemical cleaners, but it’s much safer for you and your family.

  • Call a plumber

Calling a specialist could be necessary if none of the aforementioned techniques appears to be effective. A plumber can quickly and efficiently clear your drain, so you can return to using your shower.

4 Tips for Preventing Clogs

  1. Use a drain cover
Preventing Clogs

Clogged shower drains are a common problem in many households. The cause of the clog is almost always snags of hair. A drain cover is an inexpensive way to capture stray strands and prevent them from causing a clog. Many different drain covers are available, but a basic rubber or plastic model will suffice.

sizes of drain floor

Simply place the cover over the drain after every shower to catch any hairs that might otherwise end up in the drain. In addition to using a drain cover, cleaning the drain regularly to remove any buildup of hair and other debris is also important. With a little care, you can keep your shower drain clear and free-flowing for years.

Skip the body scrubs.

Skip the body scrubs.

Your skin may benefit greatly from a thorough scrub, which removes dead skin cells and leaves you feeling revitalized. However, some scrubs are best avoided. Body oils may make your skin feel amazing, but most of it winds up in the drain as you rinse off. This can lead to hardening overnight as the pipes cool between uses. So, if you’re looking to keep your plumbing in good shape, it’s best to avoid oily bath products or save them for post-shower. You’ll still get all the benefits of a good scrub without damaging your pipes.

No excess waste.

No excess waste

Firstly, don’t let there be any excess waste around your home. Everything might seem alluring to shake a rug or pour a trash can into the shower and wash it away, but doing so can lead to bigger particles of dirt and debris accumulating and worsening blockages in the future. Sweep up any dirt, dust or debris regularly, and dispose of it in the bin. Secondly, try to use less water overall. This will reduce the strain on your drainage system and should help prevent clogs from forming in the first place. Finally, take action immediately if you notice a clog starting to form. Don’t wait for it to get worse – use a plunger or other tools to clear the blockage before it has a chance to build up. By following these simple tips, you can help to keep your drains clear and clog-free.

Good drain maintenance.

Good drain maintenance

You may take a few easy steps to maintain your drains clear and operating effectively. First, pour a little distilled white vinegar or baking soda down the drain after every few showers. Any soap scum or other accumulation that could be causing the drain to slow down will be broken up by doing this. After that, give the area a hot water blast. This will help to flush away any remaining debris and keep your drains flowing freely. By making drain-cleaning part of your regular cleaning routine, you can help to prevent clogs from happening in the first place.

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