A shower drain cover, as the name suggests, is a small cover that is placed over a shower or bathtub drain. If has a small grate design and allows water to pass through while trapping debris such as hair. The purpose is to prevent things such as hair from getting down the drain and causing a clogged drain that could damage the drain and pipes.
There are two main reasons to remove a shower or bathtub drain cover. The first reason is that you need to replace the actual cover. This could be for cosmetic reasons, to have the cover match new faucets. Or it could be because the cover is not working properly; for example the grate openings are too large and letting debris down the drain. Another reason to remove the drain cover is to get to a tough clog that isn’t being removed by chemical drain cleaners and requires actual access to the pipe opening itself.
You’ll need a flat head and a Phillips head screwdriver to remove the drain cover. Make sure the cover and area around the drain is dry and free of debris. If there is a stopper on the drain pull it up gently until it comes loose from the drain lever. Note that this feature is only in bathtubs and not in stand alone showers.
Look for a small screw in the center of the shower drain cover. Use a screwdriver to remove the screw. Don’t worry if you can’t find the screw, only some covers utilize a screw down setup to keep the cover in place.
Use a flat head screwdriver to very carefully pry the cover up and out of the drain opening. You’ll need to get the tip just under one of the drain cover edges and move around the edge lifting slightly upwards. You may need to work at it a little bit as some drain covers may be held down by a sealant or adhesive.
Use a plumber snake to remove the clog if that is why you removed the cover. Otherwise proceed with replacing the shower drain cover. If there was sealant or adhesive use the same kind (plumber’s sealant or adhesive) and apply a small amount just inside the opening of the drain. Line up the cover and place it firmly over the opening. Replace the center screw if there is one. Replace the drain stopper if there was one in place.