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Shower Drain Cover Removal: Essential Tips & Steps

Learn how to easily remove shower drain covers in this comprehensive guide for homeowners. We’ll cover various types of covers and the tools needed for efficient shower drain cover removal. You’ll also discover effective methods for dealing with clogs and reinstalling the cover securely. If you encounter persistent issues, consider calling a professional plumber. To better understand your individual plumbing needs, check out New West Plumbings Comprehensive Plumbing Guide and continue reading for an in-depth overview of shower drain cover removal.

Identifying the Type of Shower Drain Cover

Before attempting to remove a shower drain cover, it’s essential to identify its type. Different types of covers include screw-in, snap-on, and lift-and-turn.

Screw-in Shower Drain Covers

Screw-in covers are one of the most common types found in homes. They have screws that hold them securely in place over the drain opening. To easily remove this kind of cover, you’ll need to utilize a suitable screwdriver to unfasten and detach the screws before lifting the lid away.

Snap-on Shower Drain Covers

A snap-on cover is easy to install and popular with homeowners. It snaps into place using built-in clips or hooks. To remove it, use needle-nose pliers or fingers with steady pressure.

Lift-and-Turn Shower Drain Covers

The lift-and-turn cover has a modern design with a knob handle for easy access. Turn counterclockwise and gently lift upwards to avoid damage.

Tools Required for Removing a Shower Drain Cover

Necessary tools may include utility knives, needle-nose pliers, flat-head screwdrivers, silicone caulk removers or cutters, spray lubricants, and masking tape. Having the right tools at hand will not only make the process easier but also prevent any potential damage to your bathroom fixtures.

Utility Knife for Cutting Caulking Around the Cover

A utility knife is essential for cutting through any old caulking holding your shower drain cover in place. This will help you loosen the cover and ensure its easy shower drain cover removal without causing any damage to your bathtub or tiles.

Needle Nose Pliers for Loosening Clips or Rings

Needle-nose pliers are perfect for reaching into tight spaces and grasping small parts like clips or rings that hold some covers in place. By carefully using these pliers, you can easily loosen these attachments and remove the cover with minimal effort.

Flat-Head Screwdriver for Unscrewing Certain Types of Covers

If your cover is secured by screws, a flat-head screwdriver is the tool you’ll need to remove it. Make sure to choose a screwdriver that fits the screws properly, as using one that’s too big or small can strip the screw heads and make shower drain cover removal more difficult.

Silicone Caulk Remover/Cutter Tool

Sometimes, old silicone caulk may be stubborn and difficult to remove with a utility knife. A silicone caulk remover/cutter tool can help you remove any remaining residue quickly without damage.

Spray Lubricant to Ease Shower Drain Cover Removal Process

A spray lubricant, such as WD-40, can be beneficial in loosening up stuck shower drain covers. Spray a lubricant around the edges of the cover to reduce friction and make it easier to lift off.

Steps to Remove Drain Cover Types

1) How to remove a screw-in shower drain cover

  1. Locate the screws holding the drain cover in place, usually found at the center or around the edges.
  2. Spray a lubricant on the screws.
  3. Use a flat-head or Philips screwdriver (depending on your drain’s design) and carefully unscrew each one until all are removed.
  4. Gently lift off the shower drains cover from its position, not damaging any surrounding surfaces or components.

2) How to remove a snap-on/shower strainer

  1. Pry gently around the edge of your snap-on shower strainer using a flat-head screwdriver wrapped in masking tape (to prevent scratches). If necessary, apply some spray lubricant along its perimeter before continuing with prying efforts.
  2.  Once loosened enough, lift away the entire piece, exposing the underlying drainage system beneath the surface area where water flows outwards into the main piping network.

 3) How to remove lift-and-turn/push-pull/pop-up drain covers

  1. Grasp the knob at the top of the cover and turn it counterclockwise to unscrew.

2.  If dealing with pop-up drain covers instead, pull upwards firmly yet gently until the entire component dislodges itself from surrounding attachments.

Dealing with Clogs Below the Shower Drain Cover

Using a Plunger to Clear the Drain

A plunger is an essential tool for dealing with clogged shower drains. To use a plunger on your clogged shower drain: Cover the overflow opening (if present) with a wet cloth or duct tape to create suction. Firmly place the plunger over the drain hole and push down gently. Pull up quickly without breaking contact between the plunger and the drain surface. Repeat this process several times until water begins flowing freely through the drain again.

Baking Soda and Vinegar Method for Clearing Clogs

An alternate solution to using chemical-based products is combining baking soda and vinegar. Follow these steps: Pour one cup of baking soda down your shower drain, followed by two cups of boiling water; wait five minutes before proceeding further into the procedure outlined below. Slowly add one cup of white distilled vinegar while covering the open end immediately afterward – this will cause a fizzing reaction which helps break apart stubborn blockages found within pipe systems. Allow the solution to work its magic for approximately thirty minutes before flushing out the remaining residue via a hot tap running at full force throughout the specified duration, ensuring complete shower drain cover removal.

Drain Clog Remover Tool Usage

A Zip-It drain cleaning tool is cheap and effective. Insert it into the drain, and twist it back and forth to remove clogs. Dispose of waste properly. Call Rick’s Plumbing at (203) 874-6629 if DIY doesn’t work. Reinstall the drain cover carefully.

Reinstalling the Shower Drain Cover

Cleaning and Preparing Surfaces for Reinstallation

Before you reinstall the shower drain cover, ensure both surfaces (the drain opening and the underside of the cover) are thoroughly cleaned. Remove any debris or old caulking that may be present using a scraper tool. Once clean, dry both surfaces thoroughly with a lint-free cloth.

Applying New Silicone Caulk if Needed

If you had to remove silicone caulk during the shower drain cover removal process, now is the time to apply new caulk around the edge of the drain opening. Use a high-quality silicone caulk. Apply an even bead along all edges where contact between surface and component occurs, then smooth outwards towards outer perimeter regions, ensuring no gaps remain exposed.

Aligning Attachment Points/Screw Holes Accurately

Screw-in covers: Align screw holes on both sides before inserting screws into corresponding positions within the drain opening itself. Snap-on covers: Position the cover over the drain opening, ensuring any clips or attachment points properly align with their corresponding slots on the drain body. Lift-and-turn/pop-up style/ push-and-pull drain covers: Reinsert the central mechanism component back into place while ensuring proper alignment between all moving parts involved during operation processes.

Properly Securing/Tightening Shower Drain Covers

Secure and tighten to ensure that the shower drain cover doesn’t become damaged, along with the surrounding area. Tighten screws for screw-in covers and press down firmly for snap-on covers. Refer to instructions for lift-and-turn/push-pull/pop-up styles. Call Rick’s Plumbing for persistent issues or damage. Reinstall with minimal tools and effort.

When to Call a Professional Plumber like Rick’s Plumbing

Persistent Slow Draining Issues After DIY Attempts

Even after trying different methods like using a plunger, baking soda, vinegar mixtures, or specialized clog remover tools, if you still face slow draining issues in your shower, it’s an indication that there might be a more severe problem at hand.

Damaged or Stuck Shower Drain Covers

During shower drain cover removal attempts, shower drain covers may get damaged or stuck due to rusting or improper handling. In both cases, it’s best to let professionals handle the delicate shower drain cover removal process to avoid further harm.


Removing a shower drain lid may seem daunting, but with the right tools and knowledge, it can be quick and easy. Follow the specific steps for your type of cover, clear any clogs, and reinstall the cover correctly. If you encounter persistent issues or have damaged covers, don’t hesitate to call a plumber Chilliwack BCContact New West Plumbing today at 604-256-5590 for all your plumbing needs in Vancouver and surrounding areas.