A shower drain cover is a small finished piece that is installed on top of the shower drain opening to prevent dirt from falling in and clogging the shower.
Even with a drain cover on, hair, soap scum, mineral deposits and other types of debris still manage to enter the shower drain and clog it. Removing the shower drain cover will help you access the drain and unclog it by removing these substances.
To remove a shower drain cover, look for a screw or two that connects it to the drain flange. Use a screwdriver to remove the screw and lift off the cover. If the shower drain cover has no screw, pry it off using a flathead screwdriver or needle-nose pliers.
Just below the shower drain cover, the drainpipe is usually U-shaped. The U-shaped part of the drainpipe is called a drain trap.
The drain trap holds a constant level of water at all times, which acts a barrier, preventing sewer gas smells from coming up into the bathroom. Every drain in your house has a trap. Check under your bathroom sink and you will see one.
Every time you have a sewer gas smell in your house, it means one or all of your drain traps are dry. Running water down the drains is enough to fix the problem.
Secondly, the drain trap as its name suggests traps potential clogs, preventing them from clogging the drainpipe far from the drain opening. This is why it is easy to remove hair from your shower drain after removing the drain cover.
How to Remove a Shower Drain Cover
- Look for a screw or 2 that secure the shower drain cover to the shower drain flange.
- Use a screw driver to remove the screws. Be very careful as you can easily drop them inside the drain.
- Once the screws are out, the shower drain cover should just pop out. If it doesn’t, it is because it is stuck around the drain. Use the back of the screwdriver to tap around it to loosen it. When loose just lift it off.
Some shower drain covers do not have any screws on them. Instead they have some prongs underneath them that hook on the drain flange. These type of drain covers can be a little hard to remove. Here is how to go about it:
- Around the edges of the drain covers, you will some slots. Insert a flathead screwdriver on one of the slots and gently lift off the drain cover. You will notice that the side will lift off slightly.
- Insert the screw driver on the slot at the other side of the drain cover and wiggle it out as well. Work your way round the drain cover until you remove it out.
- If there are no slots on the side of your shower drain cover, insert the screwdriver inside one of the drain covers holes and lift it up gently. Make sure that you insert the screwdriver on hole that is near the edge of the drain cover.
- When you notice that side of the drain cover has lift off slight, insert the screwdriver in a hole on the opposite side lift the cover out.
- If the shower drain cover is stuck, a needle-nose pliers is a fantastic tool to use. Put its prongs inside 2 of the cover’s hoes and turn it turn it round to loose. Once the cover starts to spin freely, lift it up at once with the pliers.
Clearing a Shower Drain
- Once the shower drain cover is out, you can now access the shower drain. As you will find out, clogs in shower drains are usually caused by hair. Removing the hair is quite easy.
- Get a wire coat hanger and straight it into a 1 or 2 foot long wire. Make a small hook on one side of the wire with a pair of pliers.
- Insert the hooked end of the wire in the shower drain and start pulling out the hair.
- Once most of the hair is out pour about half a cup baking soda down the drain and slowly add vinegar. Wait for 30 minutes.
- After the 30 minutes pour about a gallon of hot water down the drain to wash down the loosened gunk, completely unclogging the drain.
How to Prevent Shower Drain from Clogging
The best way to prevent your shower drain from clogging is by installing a shower drain hair catcher. A shower drain hair catcher installs under and some over the shower drain cover and will need to be emptied/cleaned periodically.
Emptying a shower drain hair catcher is however way easier than unclogging a clogged drain. Additionally, pouring a vinegar and baking soda solution followed by hot water down the shower drain once in 2 weeks will great help to prevent shower drain clogs.