Have you observed that it takes a while for the water in your shower to completely go down the drain? Then chances are, this may be one of the first warning signs that there is a clog forming in your shower drain. A blocked shower drain can be a major inconvenience and it can ruin your morning or your day.
What causes a clogged shower drain?
You may be surprised that simple things like hair, soap, and foreign items can cause bathtub drain problems. But when these things gather and accumulate around parts of the drain, then clogs can occur. Once a shower drain becomes congested, drainage problems can eventually worsen over time.
- Human Hair – Perhaps the most common cause of a clogged tub drain is the accumulation of human hair around that part of the bathroom. When hair builds up around the drain, it can prevent water from passing through the shower drain.Not only does hair block the water in going through the drain, but it can also serve as an area for deposits like grime and soap scum to stick to. Plus, hair that gets stuck in the drain won’t be dislodged easily by water flowing through the pipes.While it is easy for men to point to women as the culprits for hair gathering around the drain, the fact is that everyone’s at fault. It does not matter whether the hair strands are long and short, hair can accumulate easily and clog up the shower drain.
- Soap Scum – Soap scum is another factor with regards to the clogging in the tub drain. To the uninitiated, soap scum pertains to that creamy glaze that results from the mixing of soap with hard water. It can coat the shower walls and tub aside from clogging the drain. As mentioned above, it can also attach itself to hair clogs making them worse faster.When it comes to the shower drain, the soap often sticks to the inner sides. In turn, rough spots are created and this narrows the diameter of the pipe, restricting the flow of water in the process.Another reason why soap scum can cause a lot of potential headaches for you and your plumber is because it has the potential to thicken and form into a solid blockage. When it hardens into a solid shell, it can restrict the flow of water through the drain. It can also be tough to remove the soap scum when it has hardened into a solid matter.
- Hard Water – Hard water has minerals like calcium and iron which can corrode the water pipes. These minerals are actually safe for human consumption, but they have a tendency to stick to the sides of the drain. When these minerals build up over time, clogging can occur.
- Foreign Objects – Small objects like product wrappers, bottle caps, and small toys can be dropped in the bath tub, go down the drain, and often result in a clogged tub drain.
A major warning sign is when you flush your toilet and it would begin to back up in your shower drain. This is a sign of a main line clog, meaning the clog is beyond the toilet and the shower. This is time to call your local professional plumber to evaluate the issue before it escalates into something major.
Shower Drain Clog Prevention
So what can you do to prevent the shower drain from being clogged?
It is recommended that you put a hair guard over the shower drain. This would prevent the hair from entering and gathering in the drain. You should also make it a habit to clean out the hair guard regularly for best results.
Boiling water can also help prevent hair clogs and soap scum from gathering in the pipe. Pour boiling water down the drain at least once a month. This habit will prevent possible hair clogs in the future.
If you live in an area where the water has a high mineral content, you could invest in a water softener that would prevent calcium and iron build up.
Finally, don’t treat your shower as a trash can. Keep items like small toys, paper clips, bottle caps, and product wrappers away. In case you are renovating the shower, cover the drain to prevent dust and debris from gathering around and plugging up the shower drain.