Why Do I Have A Clogged Shower Drain

Clogged Shower Drain

clogged shower drainHave you observed that it takes a while for your shower to drain? Then chances are, there is a clog in your shower drain. A shower drain clog can be a major inconvenience. It can ruin your morning, as a tub filled with dirty water that won’t go down the drain is quite disgusting.

It actually does not take a rocket scientist to understand how all these things contribute to a clogged drain. Hair, soap, dirt, grease, and small items all go through the drain. But when these things gather and accumulate around parts of the drain, the all of these things can clog the drain. Once a shower drain becomes congested, drainage problems would 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 reason why there’s clogging in the drain. To the uninitiated, soap scum pertains to that creamy glaze that results from the mixing of soap with hard water. It is can coat the shower walls and tub aside from clogging the drain.

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, clogging happens.

Foreign Objects

Small things like product wrapper, bottle cap, and toys can be dropped in the bath room, resulting to a clogged drain in the process. Usually the object will go through the pipe too far for a plumber to retrieve.

The object may stick at a narrow part of the pipe. It can also be very difficult for water to dislodge the object since it has been stuck due to the build-up of minerals or soap scum. Since it is completely trapped in the pipe, the foreign object would restrict water flow through the drain.

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 must also make it a habit to clean out the hair guard regularly for best results.

You can also use bleach which is one of the best household products when it comes to prevention of hair clogs. You can pour a cup of bleach, ideally chlorine bleach, into the shower drain at night. Then pour water through the drain in the morning.


Boiling water can also help prevent hair clots 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.

Speaking of soap scum, you can prevent soap scum from building up by using a drain enzyme product. Use this once a month on your shower drains and it would keep that part of the shower clear from any potential cause of clog. But enzyme products won’t work well against hair, which explains why you should also have a hair guard in your shower drain.

If you live in an area where the water has too many minerals, you could invest in a water softener. For instance, an ion exchange softener can be attached over the shower that would prevent calcium and iron to build up in the shower drain.

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.

Solutions

What would you do if you discover today that your shower drain has been clogged up?

There are several ways for you to unclog it. You can utilize the coat hanger method, in which you remove the drain cover and insert a wire coat hanger that has been straightened to fish out hair or foreign objects that have jammed the drain.

If for some reason you can’t remove the cover, try pouring vinegar and baking soda to the drain. This solution can flush out whatever is clogging the drain. However, you’d have to wait for a few hours for the solution to successfully unclog the drain.

In case you are still unsuccessful in unclogging the shower drain, then it might be time to call a plumber.