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Our shower drain appears to be clogged and is draining slowly. What product can I use to safely clear the drain without damaging our septic system?

According to Drano's site (http://www.drano.com/unclog-drain/), they're septic safe but I'm still a little skeptical...

-M

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Most of my clogs are caused by long dog hairs caught around the grate and the drain stopper mechanism. (Equipment: screwdriver and long-nose pliers.) Can we assume that you've already tried that? –  Niall C. Nov 23 '10 at 23:23
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Along the lines of what Naill says - I use a piece of coathanger (a wire one - remmember those) with a small hook bent onto the end to clean hair out. –  BrianK Nov 24 '10 at 17:58
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4 Answers

up vote 7 down vote accepted

I stay away from chemical solutions all together.

I have had reasonably good luck with using a drain snare to snag most of the hair in my tub drain. Every few months, I will shoot one down the drain if I see it getting a little slow. This will normally clear things up without any further intervention.

When that fails, I usually move towards using a hand crank drain auger. This will allow you to get further down and (usually) past the trap.

If that fails, then there is something more serious going on, and pouring a bunch of caustic chemicals down the drain isn't going to help the situation (especially if you need to eventually open up the pipe to inspect further).

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+1 for the drain snare. I had no idea they existed. –  Niall C. Nov 28 '10 at 22:23
    
Yup, use a snake! –  mohlsen Dec 7 '10 at 13:44
    
I wish I would have read this answer more closely. You even linked to the product I ended up using. After wasting money and time trying chemicals that didn't work, I finally tried the Zip-it. Less than $3 and it solved the problem! –  Andrew Jun 24 '12 at 7:00
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I've had some success with a can of cola. Pour it in the drain and let it sit for several hours, then run some water through it.

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Our shower and tub get slow every month or so. I get a huge positive result by just rubbing my foot repeatedly over the grate, pulling a bunch of hair out of the drain and up into the shower, which I then discard. In the bath, the grate comes out easily, so I usually just pull it out and remove all the hair that's hanging off it. Then I'll reach into the inner grate below that one, and try to grab any hair that's hanging there and throw it away.

It takes around 30 seconds and is amazingly effective for me. If you haven't tried this, do.

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Cool tip. Thanks. –  Mike B Dec 7 '10 at 0:18
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You might try a simple plunger. Get a good one (maybe something like this: http://www.amazon.com/Grips-2209600-Toilet-Plunger-Canister/dp/B001797P7Y/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top).

The plunger is most effective with a couple of inches of water or more in the tub. Then give it a good plunge, you might be surprised (or scared?) by what comes out.

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