Tips for Preventing and Unclogging Shower Drains
Clogged shower drains happen due to various reasons. The usual culprits include hair, skin cells, grease, and soap. These clogs do not happen overnight; instead, they cluster slowly, over different periods. You might not notice it much at first, but eventually, water will start pooling around your feet when you take a shower. If the clog is not cleared away, water may flow very slowly through the drain, too. Fortunately, there are numerous home remedies for clogged shower drains, and while each solution can put the nuisance to an end, it does not safeguard against the return of the clogs. Leaving a clogged shower drain uncleared for extended periods can cause irreparable damage to the property and can also be a health hazard.
To prevent shower drain from getting clogged, you must take a few easy steps that will keep your shower drain safely flowing.
Blocked Shower Drains and its Harmful Effects
Clogged drains can cause numerous adverse effects on your health and that of your loved ones. For starters, it facilitates bacteria growth which causes allergies and diseases. When you have a blockage in the drain, you will see slow water drainage in your sinks and shower that sometimes remains stagnant. This water has bacteria in it that puts you at risk of viruses and contamination.
Those who suffer from allergies are most at risk when the bacteria diffuse in the water and air around your home. The contaminated water and air have irritable effects on individuals with skin problems such as eczema and those suffering from hay fever and asthma. The bacteria are liable for legionnaire’s diseases such as coughing, chest pain, and short breath.
Prevent Shower Drain Clogs
Install a Hair Catcher
Hair is to blame for most clogged drains. The average person loses numerous strands of hair every day and these wash down the drain. Over time, the strands clump together and form a clog, especially if they are also contaminated with soap residue and other sticky products. Installing a hair catcher over your drain catches wispy strands of hair before they make their way into your plumbing system. Also, try brushing your hair right before showering. Loose hairs will get caught in the brush and can be tossed in the trash instead of running down the pipes as you shampoo.
Drain covers are made from silicone or stainless steel, hence reasonably inexpensive when it comes to buying the agents that prevent bathroom clogs. Drain covers prevent hair from going into the drain while allowing water and small hair follicles to pass through.
Avoid Washing Oil and Grease in Shower
The second worst clogging agent after hair is grease and oil. These can originate from various sources, both animal and vegetable. These agents slowly build up on the insides of pipes and drain walls, creating a web-like block.
Scented body oils, hair grease, bath salt grease, shower lotions, hair conditioners, and organic oils, etc. are some of the contributing culprits. Avoid rinsing them off in the shower. Let them set even after you have towel-dried and then wipe them off yourself using tissue paper. The issue with oil and grease is that drain covers do not stop them, so you must be extra careful with them.
Flush the Drains
Flushing your shower drains is another way to eradicate clogs. It should be done at least once a week for optimal results. Boil a large pot of water, and then pour half down the drain. Wait about five minutes, and then pour the remainder. This simple plumbing maintenance task helps to loosen any gunk that’s lurking in your drain pipes.
Use Natural Solutions
When you have a clog, it may be tempting to use liquid cleansers. But the harsh chemicals in many commercial products can damage your plumbing system. Luckily, there’s a friendlier solution. Mixing baking soda and vinegar forms a chemical reaction that breaks up clogs. Pour a half-cup of baking soda into the drain, followed by a half-cup of distilled vinegar. After 30 minutes, flush the drain with hot water. This method can be used every few months or whenever you notice a clog.
Perform this easy plumbing maintenance every couple of months, or whenever you notice slow drainage or odors.
How to Unclog a Shower Drain
If you have standing water in your shower or the shower is draining slowly, there’s probably a clog somewhere in the shower drain line. A clogged shower drain is unsightly and inconvenient, and if you have to call a plumber for help, it can be expensive to fix. Fortunately, there are a variety of DIY methods you can use to quickly and easily clear the drain.
How to Clear a Shower Drain with Boiling Water
Sometimes you can clear a clog in metal pipes by simply pouring a kettle-full of boiling water down the drain, a little at a time. Do not pour boiling water down PVC pipes, which can be damaged by the heat. This simple fix may or may not work, but it’s worth a try. After the boiling water goes down the drain, run some water in the shower to see if the clog is cleared.
How to Unclog a Shower Drain with Vinegar and Baking Soda
If the boiling water and the hair in the drain removal methods do not work, mix 1/3 cup of baking soda with 1/3 cup of vinegar in a heat-resistant cup to make a DIY cleaning solution.
Remove the drain cover and pour in the solution, which will immediately start fizzing. Let it sit for at least one hour so the vinegar and baking soda can work. When the hour is up, run hot water down the drain to flush out the cleaning solution and any debris.
How to Unclog a Shower Drain with a Plunger
If you cannot eliminate a clog using baking soda and vinegar, try using a plunger. Start by filling your tub with a little water to create suction. Put the plunger over the drain and plunge quickly several times.
How to Unclog a Shower Drain with a Plumber’s Snake
Sometimes the best way to unclog a shower drain is with a plumber’s snake. Insert the snake into the drain until it hits the clog. Turn the handle clockwise to hook the clog and continue running the snake down the drain. When you start to feel resistance, that means the snake is picking up clogs. When the resistance lessens, that often means the snake has cleared the drain. Give the handle one more full turn to ensure the clog is hooked. Then turn the handle counterclockwise to back the snake out of the drain. Go slowly, so you don’t lose the clog.
When the snake is completely out, remove the debris. Run hot water down the drain to test that the clog is completely gone and replace the drain cover.
How to Unclog a Shower Drain with a Chemical Drain Opener
If you are using a chemical drain opener, be sure to wear rubber gloves and eye protection. Read and follow the directions on the label, and make sure you have good ventilation so you do not inhale any fumes. If chemicals labeled for use on shower clogs do not work, and you call a plumber, tell him what you have already used so he can work safely.
Can Shower Drain Clogs Cause Plumbing Leaks?
Although rare, shower drain clogs can sometimes go up the wall, through the shower pan and seep through cracks in the wall to cause leakage. Backup of water can also cause stress on the pipe joints. Joints do not hold well under pressure, and it can dislodge a joint in the wall.
Clogged shower drains are also known to cause pipe corrosion. The water that gets blocked by an obstruction can contain certain chemicals that can cause pipes to wither. Corrosion, in return, can affect the joints as well.
Usually, shower drain clogs do not cause lasting damage to property, but if things go wrong, they can be the cause of a major plumbing overhaul.
Call the Pros
Know When to Give Best Plumbing a Call
Since hair is the most significant cause of drain clogs, avoid hair debris from going straight in the drain. It is better to use natural products to fight drain clogs because they have fewer corrosive effects on pipelines and pipe joints. It is better to use an anti-bacterial and anti-fungal product (natural or commercial) to minimize the risk of getting diseases from the sewage water. If none of the solutions applied is working, and the clogging problem persists, there may be a more profound, inlaying problem with the plumbing pipes that needs immediate attention.
If you need help with any other plumbing issue, call Best Plumbing Services at 951-788-1321 for professional drain cleaning methods. Located in Riverside, California we are family owned and operated with over 10 years of experience. We take pride in our service and expect each job to be completed as if it were our own home or business. Our Licensed Plumbers and Technicians will be professional, clean and polite.