How to Easily Remove a Shower Drain

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Are you tired of standing in a puddle of water every time you take a shower? Is your drain clogged with hair and soap scum? Don’t worry! We have the answer to your shower problems. Learn here how to remove a shower drain.

This guide will demonstrate a simple process for easily removing a shower drain and restoring the flow of water in your shower. With the use of some basic tools, you will be able to unclog the drain quickly and efficiently. Say goodbye to soggy feet and hello to a clean, efficient shower experience. 

Let’s dive in!

How to Remove a Shower Drain

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Assess the Situation

Before trying to remove a clogged shower drain, it is crucial to evaluate the situation first. This will assist in recognizing the issue and deciding on the most effective approach.

Identify the Problem

To fix the clogged drain, you need to find out what is causing it. Hair, soap scum, and other debris are some of the usual suspects. If water is not draining or draining slowly, it’s probably because the drain opening is obstructed.

To determine if the blockage is in the shower drain itself or further down the line, remove the drain cover and inspect the drain flange and drain basket. If there is visible debris, use a hair catcher or other tool to remove it.

If the clog is located farther in the pipe, you might need to take out the metal pipes or hire a licensed plumber to evaluate and fix the problem.

After finding the reason for the blockage, you can use a plunger or drain snake to open the drain and remove the clog. However, for stronger clogs, you might need to use chemical drain cleaners or seek help from a professional.

Overall, taking the time to properly assess the situation before attempting any removal can save time and prevent further damage or mold growth.

Gather Your Tools

If you’re planning to remove a shower drain, it’s important to have the right tools on hand to make the process as smooth as possible. Here are the tools you’ll need:

Klein Tools 32500 11-in-1 Screwdriver / Nut Driver Set, 8 Bits (Phillips, Slotted, Torx, Square), 3 Nut Driver Sizes, Cushion Grip Handle Screwdriver

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Edward Tools Slip Joint Pliers 6” - Heavy Duty Carbon Steel with Rubber Grip Handle - Fine Grip Teeth in front and Coarse teeth in back - Rust resistant finish (1)

Colgate 360 Optic White Advanced Toothbrush, Medium Toothbrush for Adults,2 Count (Pack of 1)

Old toothbrush

CRAFTSMAN CMHT81645 8-in. Long Nose Pliers, Chrome

Needle-nose pliers

Steps to Follow

1. Remove the Drain Cover

Removing the drain cover is the first step in removing a shower drain. Here’s how to do it:

2. Lift the Drain Cover

To remove the drain cover, first lift it off the drain. Typically, shower drain covers are secured with screws, so you will need to find and remove them. Check around the perimeter of the drain cover for screws and use a screwdriver to unscrew them.

To remove the drain cover, first remove all the screws and then lift it off. In case it is stuck, you can use a flathead screwdriver to pry it off gently. Ensure that you are cautious enough not to cause any damage to the drain or the cover.

3. Inspect the Drain Cover

Inspect the drain cover for any damage or wear and tear, such as cracks or rust, before removing it. You may need to replace the drain cover if it is damaged.

4. Remove the Screws

To remove the screws, use a screwdriver that fits the head of the screw. Turn the screwdriver counterclockwise to unscrew the screws. Be careful not to strip the screws, as this can make them difficult to remove.

5. Lift the Drain Cover

Once the screws have been removed, you can lift the drain cover off the drain. If the drain cover is stuck, you can use a flathead screwdriver to pry it off gently. Be careful not to damage the drain cover or the drain itself.

Removing the drain cover is a simple process, but it’s important to do it carefully to avoid damaging the drain or the drain cover. By following these steps, you can remove the drain cover safely and easily.

6. Remove the Clog

Before attempting to remove a shower drain, it’s important to clear any clogs. One easy method is to use baking soda and vinegar:

  1. Start by pouring a pot of boiling water down the drain to loosen any debris.
  2. Next, pour 1/2 cup of baking soda down the drain, followed by 1/2 cup of white vinegar.
  3. Cover the drain with a plug or duct tape to prevent the mixture from bubbling out.
  4. Wait 5-10 minutes.
  5. Finally, pour another pot of boiling water down the drain to flush out the mixture.
  6. By following these steps, you can effectively remove a clog and prepare your shower drain for removal if necessary.

Using a combination of baking soda and vinegar is a natural and effective way to remove clogs without using harsh chemicals.

7. Clean the Drain

Once the clog is removed and the drain cover is off, it’s time to start cleaning. Start by using an old toothbrush or a drain snake to remove any dirt, soap scum, and hair that has accumulated in the drain. You might also want to use a flashlight to get a better view of the inside of the pipe.

Afterward, clean all surfaces by using a damp cloth or sponge. This will eliminate any remaining debris and allow for an easier inspection of the drain prior to replacing the cover. Lastly, utilize hot soapy water and a brush to remove any remaining dirt or residue. Once complete, rinse with hot water and dry with a clean cloth.

How to Unscrew and Loosen the Drain

When removing a shower drain, the first step is to unscrew and loosen the drain. This can be done by following the steps below.

Lifting the Shower Drain Out

  1. Start by removing the drain cover. This can be done by either unscrewing it or prying it off with a screwdriver.
  2. Next, use a pair of pliers to grip the top of the drain and turn it counterclockwise. This will loosen the drain and make it easier to remove.
  3. If the drain is still stuck, apply some lubricant around the edges to help loosen it up. You can use a silicone-based lubricant or even some cooking oil.
  4. Once the drain is loose, lift it out of the shower pan. Be careful not to damage the surrounding tiles or shower pan.
  5. If the drain is still stuck, you may need to use a drain removal tool. These tools are designed to grip the drain and provide extra leverage for removing it.

By following these steps, you should be able to unscrew and loosen the shower drain easily. Remember to take your time and be careful when removing the drain to avoid causing any damage.


Can I remove a shower drain without any special tools?

It depends on the type of shower drain you have. Some shower drains can be removed by hand, while others require special tools. If you have a screw-in shower drain, you will need a screwdriver or a drill to remove it. If you have a snap-in shower drain, you may be able to remove it by hand.

What should I do if the shower drain is stuck?

To fix a stuck shower drain, first attempt to loosen it with a plunger. If this does not work, try using a drain snake to clear any obstructions that may be causing the blockage. As a last resort, consider hiring a professional plumber to remove the drain.

How do I know if I need to replace the shower drain?

If the shower drain is damaged or corroded, it may need to be replaced. You may also need to replace the shower drain if it is not functioning properly or if it is causing water to back up in the shower.

Can I replace the shower drain myself?

It is possible to replace the shower drain yourself, but it can be a difficult and time-consuming process. If you are not comfortable working with plumbing, it is best to hire a professional plumber to replace the shower drain for you.

How much does it cost to replace a shower drain?

The cost of replacing a shower drain can vary depending on several factors, including the type of shower drain, the complexity of the installation, and the location of the drain. On average, you can expect to pay between $100 and $300 for a professional plumber to replace a shower drain.


Clogged shower drains can be a nuisance, but they don’t have to be. With the right steps and preventive maintenance, you can easily keep your shower drain clear and prevent future clogs. 

By following these tips, you can have a clean and clear shower drain all year round.No matter what issue you are having with your shower drain, and it can be fixed quickly and without too much hassle.

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