Shower clogs can be inconvenient and frustrating. A slow shower drain can lead to pools of standing water, creating a breeding ground for bacteria, and making your shower room produce foul odors. The good news is that you can prevent most shower clogs with several simple steps. Knowing how clogs form in shower drains and taking the necessary steps to prevent them, you can keep your home’s plumbing system in great shape and prevent the hassle of dealing with clogged shower drains. Here are the main causes of shower clogs and practical tips to help keep your shower drains clean and flowing freely.
1. Build-Up of Hair
Hair is one of the common causes of shower blockages. It can easily get trapped in your shower drain and accumulate with time. When washing your hair, some strands can fall out and later combine with shampoo, soap, and other bathing products, creating a clog in your bathroom drain. Over time, the accumulation of hair can become compact and dense, preventing water from flowing smoothly through the shower drain.
Also, hair strands tend to wrap and tangle around other things in the drain, such as mineral buildup or soap scum. As hair and other objects continue to collect in your drain, they can develop into a thick mass or blockage that can be challenging to remove without professional assistance.
Experts recommend using a hair catcher to prevent hair from causing clogs in your shower drain. Hair catchers are installed in the drains to catch hairs that fall out during showers before they go down your drain. Getting your drains cleaned regularly by a plumbing professional can also help break down hairballs or other debris that might be building up in your drain pipes.
2. Excess Soap Scum
Soap scum is the buildup of soap residues that can easily accumulate with time, causing severe shower blockages. When you and your family use shampoo or soap during showers, the products combine with water to make a soapy solution or scum. As the water flows down your shower drain, some of the soap residues can stick to the walls of the drain pipes and accumulate with time.
The soap scum buildup can create thick layers on the walls of your drain pipes, making it hard for the water to flow smoothly through the shower drain. In addition, the soap scum may also trap other objects, such as mineral buildup or hairs, making the clogs worse.
You can prevent soap scum buildup from causing clogs in your shower drain by regularly cleaning the drain. Cleaning can help break down soap scum and prevent it from accumulating in your drain pipes. Using less soap or switching to soaps that are less likely to leave residues, such as soap-free body wash or liquid soaps, can also help prevent soap scum buildup.
3. Mineral Buildup
Mineral buildup is another common cause of shower blockages, especially in regions with hard water. Generally, hard water has high levels of minerals such as magnesium and calcium that can leave some deposits on the walls of your drain pipes. Over time, these mineral deposits can accumulate and form blockages in your drains, making it hard for water to flow. Mineral buildups can trap other items in the drain, such as soap scum and hairs, worsening the blockage. With time, the clog may become so dense that dirty water might not flow at all, causing flooding water in your shower.
To prevent the accumulation of mineral deposits from causing drain clogs, install a water softener in your home to minimize the mineral content in the water. In addition, you can use filters in all your showerheads to help trap some of the mineral deposits and prevent them from accumulating in the shower drain pipes.
4. Foreign Objects
Foreign objects in your shower drain can cause blockages by hindering the flow of water. Any item small enough to fit down the shower drain is large enough to get caught in any pipe’s u-bend. Common foreign objects that can lead to clogs include shampoo bottle caps, toothbrushes, soap dishes, dental floss, and chunks of bar soap that can accidentally fall into the shower drain. These items can get lodged in your drain pipes and form a blockage that hinders water from flowing smoothly.
Additionally, flushing inappropriate objects down your toilet, such as feminine hygiene products, wet wipes, or diapers, can cause drain pipe blockages. These items may get caught in your plumbing system, causing backups in the shower drains.
Installing drain covers is the best way to prevent foreign objects from causing clogs in your shower drain. Also, be mindful of what you are putting down your toilet and shower drains. Avoid flushing anything down your toilets apart from toilet paper and human waste. Additionally, ensure you keep small items such as soap dishes, razors, and dental floss away from your shower drain to prevent them from falling in by accident. If a foreign object falls into your drain, it is important to remove it immediately to prevent it from causing a clog.
5. Lack of Regular Drain Maintenance
Another cause of shower clogs is a lack of drain maintenance. Debris can accumulate in your drain pipes over time. Without regular drain inspection and cleaning, mineral buildup, soap scum, hair, and other debris, can create blockages. One of the initial signs of a looming clog is a slow drain. Showers are cut short since the drain cannot keep up with the water flowing into your shower.
Additionally, a lack of drain inspection and maintenance can cause damage to the drain pipes or other parts of your plumbing system. For instance, a worn-out gasket can lead to leakages that damage your pipes and form a clog, or small cracks in the drain pipes may allow debris to accumulate and cause a blockage.
The best and most effective way to prevent shower clogs is by scheduling drain cleaning. Regular drain cleaning can help break down all buildups accumulating in your pipes and even prevent them from causing nasty clogs. Additionally, experts recommend having your plumbing system inspected regularly by a licensed professional to catch and address any potential problems before they become plumbing emergencies. By staying on top of regular drain maintenance, you can keep your shower drains flowing smoothly and prevent the inconvenience of clogged drains.
Schedule Drain Cleaning Today!
Shower clogs are a common problem caused by many factors. Hair, soap scum, and other debris can accumulate in the shower drain with time, causing clogs. Foreign objects, hard water, and other plumbing problems can also contribute to serious clogs. However, regular plumbing maintenance can help prevent blockages in your drains. Using hair catchers, installing a water softener, keeping foreign objects from your drains, and regular maintenance can prevent clogs and keep your shower drains clear.
If drain clogs are inconveniencing you, contact our plumbing experts at AC by J. Our professionals have the necessary knowledge, skills, and tools to inspect and clean your drains, ensuring your home’s plumbing system remains in top shape all year round. We also offer ductless systems, energy-efficient thermostats, cooling, heat pump, air quality, heating, and emergency repair services in Scottsdale, AZ and the surrounding areas. Contact us today to schedule your drain cleaning appointment or any other service.