What is Causing Your Shower Drain to Need Plumbing?

All shower drains are eventually going to need plumbing. Here are some ways to prevent plumbing problems with your shower drain and how to fix a clogged drain.

Taking a shower is a very routine task, so we think we know exactly how to shower. Turn on the water, get into the shower, wash, etc. However, there are many bad habits we practice while taking a shower. Learning to recognize these habits and how they can affect your plumbing will help you avoid spending money on unnecessary maintenance or repairs.

Long, Hot Showers

Unfortunately, if you like taking long therapeutic showers, you may be ruining your plumbing. These hot showers are not a problem if taken on occasion, but if done often, they can affect your skin as well as drain your wallet. Long, hot showers can dry out your skin, making the skin irritable and itchy. Long showers also create the perfect environment for mold to grow in the shower drain or even the bathroom itself. You can fight mold growth by keeping your bathroom ventilated during a shower. Keep the bathroom fan on, and open a window or door to help eliminate the excess humidity in the bathroom. Additionally, limiting your shower to 10 minutes or less and removing hot water from your shower equation can significantly reduce your chances of encountering plumbing problems with your shower drain. 

Leaving the Loofah

Although it may seem like the perfect place to store your shower accessory, you should not leave your loofah hanging in the shower. The warm and wet environment creates the ideal conditions for mold to grow. Even worse, when reusing the loofah, you are scrubbing yourself with the bacteria leftovers from previous showers. After finishing a shower, take your loofah with you and wring it dry. Store the loofah in a dry place until your next shower, and be sure to wash it with antibacterial soap, so it is clean and free of any bacteria. 

Water on the Floor

Just as you would never leave water on the floor in any other room, you should never leave standing water on the bathroom floor. Double check to make sure you did not drip any water on the floor and use a shower mat to collect any excess water. Leaving the water on the bathroom floor can cause damage in multiple different ways. It can destroy the grout, warp the floor and linoleum (floor covering) and create the conditions for mold growth.

Ignoring Hard Water

Hard water not only leads to spending more money on conditioners and moisturizers, but it can also collect and block the nozzles of your shower head. The dry and flaky substance located on your shower head is the residue left over from hard water. Instead of ignoring the residue, wipe the shower head using shampoo or vinegar to keep the water flowing smoothly and prevent any blockages from forming.

Hair in the Drain

One of the most common damages your shower drain plumbing will face due to bad shower habits is clogging. Any material, mostly hair, will accumulate over time in your drain and will cause a blockage in the pipes. Hair will cause your drain to run slowly, and eventually, it will completely block the drain. Once again – it doesn’t matter whether you have long or short hair, it will ultimately build up in the drain and clog it. Hair can sometimes be as oily as cooking oil. Once it begins plugging and mixing with large amounts of other items such as soap, conditioner, and body washes, it can create an impressive blockage. Using a drain cover or any other kind of drain stop will collect the hair so it will not cause you any trouble down the line. Take note – one day the drain cover may even save a dropped piece of jewelry. (We’ve retrieved many jewelry items from drains.)

If you do encounter a clog, you want to know how to fix the clogged shower drain. Many people make the mistake of pouring massive amounts of chemical drain cleaner to deal with it rather than physically removing the clog. It is far better when unclogging a shower drain to use a standard and inexpensive hair clog remover. These are a flexible plastic strip with sharp barbed sides and a handle. These are very efficient at pulling hair clumps out of drains, provided that the tool can reach the clog. Plungers and small drain snakes may be able to fix the clog as well, but in the event none of these methods works, you will have to call a plumber to remove the drain clog. Happily, we’re always standing by to help!