Tips to Prevent Shower Clogs

showerEvery morning, you rush out the door to get to work on time. When you run late, you don’t even have time to shave or do your hair, so you certainly don’t have time to deal with a clogged shower drain. The best way to fix a clogged shower drain is to prevent it from clogging in the first place.

Here are some tips and tricks to prevent shower clogs, and what to do if you do see a clog.

1. Use a Hair Catcher
You’ve probably noticed that hair is the most likely culprit for shower clogs. Since they’re thin and
long, strands of hair can easily wash down your drain, where they clump together and form a stubborn blockage.

Some people try to avoid clogs by setting stray hairs aside as they wash their hair. But even if you pay close attention to your hair, you can’t prevent every strand from falling down the drain.

To block hair clogs, purchase a hair catcher. This device sits on your drain so hair and other debris land in it rather than down the drain. To clean the hair catcher, you simply empty it into the garbage every once in a while.

2. Flush All Drains
Another creative way to prevent hair clogs is to flush all your drains at once, sending a cascade of water to clear up the hair and debris. You’ll need several people to help you with this task.

First, close all your bathtub and shower drains and sink drains, and fill each tub or sink with warm
water. Next, make sure someone is standing next to every drain and toilet in the house. Everyone should open all the drains at the same time, and then flush all the toilets in the house at the same time.

3. Use Natural Solutions
If you do notice a minor blockage in your shower drain, there are a couple of tricks that might remove it. First, see if you can remove the clog with a bent wire or with your hands. If you can’t, you’ll need to loosen the clog.

Rather than use harsh chemicals, you can try one of the following to loosen the clog:

  • Pour boiling water down the drain. Then turn on the shower on a warm setting for about five minutes.
  • Pour one cup of bleach into the drain at night. In the morning, run the warm water for a few minutes.
  • Pour ¾ cup of baking soda and ½ cup vinegar down the drain. Plug the drain for about 30 minutes, then
    pour boiling water down the drain.

Now, shine a flashlight down the drain to see if the clog is removed.

4. Use a Plunger
If you tried one of the natural solutions with no luck, try plunging your shower drain. Fill the tub with a small amount of water. Place the plunger over the drain, and then plunge the drain several times.

5. Call a Plumber
If these techniques don’t work, and the clog doesn’t improve, call an experienced plumber.

The plumber will use a piece of equipment called a plumber’s snake.  The plumber’s snake is a long, steel cable with a hand crank. The plumber sends the cable down the drain by turning the hand crank. As the plumber’s snake moves down the drain, it breaks up obstacles in the way. It also scrapes the walls of the pipe to remove oil and minerals. Finally, it can snag certain pieces of debris, which will come up when the plumber removes the plumber’s snake.

Don’t let shower clogs ruin your day. Try a few tips above, and if you can’t clear the clog on your own, call a local plumber to get rid of it for good.

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