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How to Remove a Shower Drain Grate

Updated February 21, 2017

If your shower drain is slower than it used to be and pouring liquid clog removers down the drain is not working, then you need to get in your drain and clear it out. People with long hair, or families with a lot of people, often find themselves needing to clean out the shower drain to restore water flow. The first step to cleaning a drain is removing the drain grate, but if you have never done it before, it can be a frustrating experience.

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  1. Put on a pair of work gloves. This is an important first step that is often forgotten. Your shower drain grate is made of metal and, regardless of how old it is, it has sharp edges to it. It is also possible that years of use have created jagged edges on the drain grate that you cannot see until you remove it. The work gloves will protect your hands from the sharp and jagged edges.

  2. Analyse the drain cover to see if it is kept in place by a screw. If there is a screw used to mount the drain cover then it will be directly in the centre of the grate. If there is no screw in the centre of the grate, then the grate is placed on top of the drain without anything to anchor it.

  3. Remove the screw if there is one. If the screw is rusted in place then coat the shower drain grate with WD40 and wait 10 minutes for the WD40 to work its way around the screw. It should move after that.

  4. Insert a screwdriver between the holes in the grate and slowly lift the grate from the shower drain. Lift the grate by lifting straight up on the screwdriver. Depending on how your drain is designed, if you lift at an angle the drain grate may not move.

  5. Wipe the grate down with a dry towel and clean it using a standard bathroom cleaning solution. Pull out any visible obstructions (e.g., hair balls) from the opening beneath the grate.

  6. Tip

    This is a simple job that can go wrong if you rush it. Take your time and do it right the first time.

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Things You'll Need

  • Work gloves
  • Screwdriver
  • WD40
  • Dry towel
  • Cleaning solution

About the Author

George N. Root III

George N. Root III began writing professionally in 1985. His publishing credits include a weekly column in the "Lockport Union Sun and Journal" along with the "Spectrum," the "Niagara Falls Gazette," "Tonawanda News," "Watertown Daily News" and the "Buffalo News." Root has a Bachelor of Arts in English from the State University of New York, Buffalo.

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