Unclogging a Shower Drain- Unclog Your Shower Fast

A common plumbing repair is unclogging a shower drain. In this video I show you how to unclog your shower drain using a tool called a Closet Auger.

A Closet Auger is usually used to unclog a toilet, but it is a pretty versatile tool. The one I’m using in the video is an “extension” model.   You can find a good one at your local Home Depot, Lowe’s or other hardware stores.

The good thing about an “extension” model is that there is extra cable in the handle portion that can be extended to increase the reach of the auger. These types cost around $30-$40 but are worth the extra few bucks.

Closet augers are simple to use. You just pull the handle all the way out, stick the “business end” in whatever you want to unclog and push the handle down while cranking the handle. (Tip: Don’t try to hold the handle on the bottom part while cranking, this is too awkward.  Just loosely hole the handle part under the crank portion so you can keep everything lined up.)  This pushes the snake cable into the drain. The cranking motion helps the auger at the end grab whatever is causing the clog. 

When you have the cable all the way in, just pull it all the way back. You may have to pull sharply but it will come out. Most likely, whatever was causing the clog will be wrapped up at the end of the auger. Get it off, using pliers or some other tool if necessary (or your foot).  If you have an extension auger it doesn’t hurt to run it through again, this time extending the cable. When you are finished you should have fixed the clog.

Here’s the video so you can see what I mean:

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I hope that helps.

Bryan Stevens

Copyright 2010

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12 comments to Unclogging a Shower Drain- Unclog Your Shower Fast

  • Dear Bryan: I watched the utube titled
    “unglogging a shower drain”. I used to be a resident manager and used a closet auger very similiar for toilets. In my home,I have used the cheap retail augers and drain openers with only average results. Until I saw your utube, I have never been able to find the same kind I used at the apartments. I always thought that if I could find the model auger I used at the apartments I’d be a lucky man. We have four females living at our home. I noticed you were using the same kind, can you please tell me where to get on just like yours. Please be specific in what I should buy Thank you.

  • Nice article, and great video on youtube!

  • Very helpful guide, as a plumber myself I often deal with blocked shower drains and my customers do ask if they can solve it themselves so it saves me visiting them. This guide is spot on for unblocking the drain so a big well done on a well written post.

    • Bryan

      Thanks for the kind words. They will get you a link. And if any of my friends across the pond need a plumber I hope they call AB Drains Plymouth.



  • VAJay

    Hello. This closet auger is very interesting. I have a mobile home tub that’s backed up with sewage. I’ve tried chemicals, boiling water, the plunger, one of those augers with the thin cable (too flimsy to get through the tub drain trap) – nothing works. Will this closet auger work – keeping in mind that I don’t want to stand in the filth-filled tub? There’s no grate in the drain hole, so that won’t be a factor.

    • Bryan


      The best way to use a closet auger on a tub drain is to remove the overflow cover and any connected linkage inside the overflow pie and run the auger down the overflow. You should be able to do this without standing in the tub.

      Good Luck.


  • nice blog and video. Like watching help videos rather than reading steps. Thanks, ill have to see what else you have on your site.

    thanks, Will

  • Hey Bryan,

    Thanks a lot. I always seem to struggle with a blocked drain here in there. I think the plumbers at Pipe Perfection, my local plumber, are tired of seeing me and my house. Now thanks to you I should be able to do it myself.

  • This is great! Thanks for being willing to help those of us who don’t know how to unclog a shower drain.

    • Bryan

      Hi Mary,

      You are welcome. Unclogging a shower drain is something almost anyone can do with a closet auger. Learning this simple plumbing tip can save you the cost of a plumbing service call.


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