Using a shower almost every day means it’s likely to clog at one point or another over the years. In this blog post, we’ll tackle the primary causes and contributing factors of tub and shower drain clogs and what you can do to prevent them. We’ll also address what you should do if these tips are too late and your shower drain is already clogged. Let’s get started.
What Are The Primary Causes of Tub & Shower Drain Clogs?
Considering how often your shower gets used, it should come as no surprise that over the years, debris can build up in the drain. This is true whether you have a stand-alone shower or a combined bathtub and shower. Though it’s worth noting that tub drains are often more prone to clogging due to their smaller size.
Every time we shower, a bunch of hair and dead skin cells certainly get washed down the drain. But so does product buildup and soap scum (a solid, chalky residue from bar soap mixing with hard water particles). Other debris can get washed down, and what starts small accumulates over time until you notice the water now taking longer to fully drain from your shower or tub.
How Can You Prevent Tub & Shower Drain Clogs?
With a little maintenance and conscious product choices, you can effectively prevent tub and shower drains clogs. We first recommend you purchase a hair catcher device that fits over the drain opening and filters out hair. Routinely emptying the hair catcher allows water to drain through without contributing to clogs.
The next recommendation is to look at what products you use when bathing. Much like recommendations to limit oil or grease down kitchen drains, using products with lower oil content in the shower will have a positive impact. You may also consider switching from bar soap (the main culprit of soap scum) to liquid soap or body wash.
The last recommendation is to refrain from emptying buckets from mopping or other cleaning activities down the tub or shower drain. Not only do they contain dust, hair, grime and other particles, but the cleaning chemicals in the bucket could potentially harm your drain pipes.
What Should You Do When Your Tub or Shower Drain Clogs?
If these tips are too late and your shower drain is already clogged, don’t fear. Try a few of these home remedies before calling the pros in. Begin by putting on rubber gloves and trying to remove any visible debris caught in the drain. Then, try carefully pouring hot water down the drain to loosen and hopefully dislodge the clog. Some professionals recommend boiling water (if you don’t have PVC pipes), but the hottest water from the tub faucet or showerhead is often sufficient. If that doesn’t work, use a combination of vinegar (1 cup) and baking soda (½ cup) to induce a chemical reaction. Wait 15 minutes, then turn on the shower faucet and see if the water drains.
If those home remedies don’t work, it’s most likely time to call in a professional plumber. Major clogs often require expert assistance to efficiently resolve. Your local plumber will help you by pinpointing the location of the blockage and clearing it from your pipes, so you get back to enjoying your showers.
Local, Professional Plumbing Assistance in Northern Virginia When You Need It
Our technicians at Atlas Home Services have seen many tub and shower drain clogs over the years, so we’re experienced in providing solutions to fix such issues when they occur. When your tub or shower drain gets clogged and you can’t resolve it on your own, Atlas Home Services can help. Contact us today to get your shower drain running smoothly in no time.