3 Common Shower Drains and How to Clear Them

Starting the day with a blocked shower drain can really affect your daily routine. When a shower drain cannot keep up with the flow of water, there may be a build up of calcium that needs to be cleaned. Perhaps a clog has formed that is slowing or even halting the flow of water into the drain. In this article, we will look at three common shower drain types and explain how you can clear them.

  1. The Push-Pull Stopper

This shower stopper has a center mounted knob that’s pushed to close the drain and pulled to open it. You will need the following tools to clear this drain: a flathead screwdriver, a pair of pliers and a clean cloth. First, you will need to remove the top of the knob from the stopper. Then hold the main body of the stopper in your hand and use your other hand to turn the knob in a counterclockwise direction. This should unscrew the stopper; if it does not turn wrap the cloth around it to protect the surface and use the pliers for more grip. Once the stopper is removed you will see a brass post, unscrew this counterclockwise with the flathead screwdriver. Finally, you can separate the brass post from the strainer crossbar, and the stopper will lift off.

  1. The Toe Touch Stopper

This shower drain is closed and opened by touching your toe against a spring loaded switch mechanism. To remove this stopper, you will only need a flathead screwdriver. Start by ensuring that the stopper is set to the open position, take hold of the cylinder shaft and at the same time turn the top part counterclockwise. The shaft cylinder may rotate too; if this happens, ignore the cylinder and unscrew the stopper.

Some toe touch stopper designs have a metal cap that unscrews from the cylinder shaft without any need to turn the actual shaft. This top piece can be unscrewed easily by removing the post that is screwed into the crossbar in a counterclockwise direction. On certain units, you may be able to remove the shaft and post with a flat head screwdriver.

  1. The Linear Drain

This has become a popular choice for commercial and residential properties in recent years. A linear shower drain is a panel style drain that is placed along the edge of a shower floor. This is one of the easiest shower drain covers to remove and the only tools you will need are a shower drain key and a clean cloth. Simply use the drain to lift up the shower drain cover and place it on the cloth until you’re finished.

Once the stopper cover or drain is removed, you can manually clear any clog that you find in the drain. Avoid using chemical cleaning products because they can damage your plumbing and they are often a short term solution. If you’re having problems gaining access to the drain or you cannot clear the clog call in a local professional plumber for expert help.

By Giovanni Longo President Flood Brothers Plumbing
Giovanni Longo is a 3rd generation master plumber who has been practicing his craft and trade in the greater Los Angeles area for well over a decade and a half. A plumbing and hydraulics-engineering innovator, Giovanni’s particular world-class expertise focuses on dealing with challenging sewer system designs as well as resolving complex commercial and residential draining issues. As a certified Flood Mitigation expert, he is also well versed in a wide variety of water damage and remediation solution.