What causes a shower drain to be clogged?
Soap scum buildup and hair are the two main causes of clogged shower drains. Dirt or grease also can line the drain and cause a backup, and even minerals from hard water can cause issues. Clearing a clogged shower drain can be an unpleasant experience.
Shower drains tend to gradually slow as a buildup starts, which is how you know that a clog is coming on. Here are some tips to follow:
- Don’t use a chemical drain cleaner if the drain is completely backed up. It can damage the piping.
- Keep the hair clear of the drain. If the hair clog is tight enough to block water, it will stick together as you pull it up. Run a bio-friendly solution down the drain every month to help prevent soap scum and sludge buildup.
- When the drain is slow, call to have it cleaned.
- The vast majority of clogged shower drain problems can be solved by using some fairly simple and straightforward methods and tools. A few things you can try are:
- Pour boiling water down the drain
- Take the drain cover off and pull out the clog by hand.
- Try using a plunger, a straightened out wire hanger, a hook or plumber’s snake to clear out the clog.
If your shower clog is caused by a larger object that is caught in the drain, you may want to call a plumber. A homemade or purchased snake may not be able to remove solid objects.
To prevent future clogs, consider buying hair-catching inserts that can be placed over a bathtub or shower drain, and flush all the drains in the house simultaneously.