Shower Drain Maintenance

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If left unattended, clogged piping can quickly lead to slow water drainage, accumulation of fungi in the pipes, and flooding. Below are some tips you can use to prevent shower drain blockages:

Preventing Shower Clogs

1.      Use Natural Solutions

Most minor blockages can be removed with your hands or single bent wire. If you are having trouble removing the blockage, you’ll have to loosen the lump first. You can do that the natural way, such as using boiling water or using cleaning chemicals. Considering that natural solutions are the safest way of approaching this type of problem, you might want to stick with those first before trying the other methods, such as pouring bleach.

An easy way of safely loosening blockages includes using baking soda and vinegar. You can do that by pouring ¾ cup of baking soda down the drain. Wait a few minutes before pouring half of a cup of vinegar down the drain. Plug the drain and wait a few hours to see if the clog gets dissolved. Finally,  pour boiling water down the drain and check if the clog has been removed by shining a flashlight down the drain.

Another safe and natural way of taking care of this problem involves simply using boiling water. Pour boiling water through a funnel down the drain to avoid damaging other accessories in your bathroom. The water can break down the soap or grease that is holding the clog together and clear the blockage.

2.      Use a Plunger

Even though plungers can practically unclog most drains, there are some blockages that are impossible to clear with just a plunger. Its success rate is especially low when it comes to unclogging shower drains. But it is still worth a try! For it to be effective, you’ll need to have enough suction to detach the lump. And if the blockage is made of hair, which often happens with shower drains, you must expect to struggle to break it.

3.      Find an Expert

If you have tried everything mentioned above and have still not seen any improvement, it might be a better idea to hire an experienced plumber.

At the same time, don’t keep this as a last resort. If you believe you won’t be able to try any of the above-mentioned techniques, then immediately get in touch with a local plumber. Plumbers have a piece of equipment called plumber’s snake that is able to go down the drain and clear the clog by:

  1. Breaking down even the tough blockages.
  2. Scraping oil and mineral accumulation off the walls of the pipes.
  3. Remove that debris that cannot be broken down.

Stop the Drain from Getting Clogged

When it comes to bathtubs and showers, it’s better to prevent the blockage altogether. To ensure the drain doesn’t get clogged, here’s what you can do:

  1. Do not leave hair in the strainer after you shower. Collect all the hair that’s fallen and dispose of it.
  2. Remove the strainer or stopper at least once per week to clean the drain to prevent the accumulation of any material.
  3. Regularly treat the drain. Store baking soda and vinegar for this purpose only. You can either use a mixture of these two products or use some other drain cleaner. Favor organic cleaners over the chemical ones.

Safety Measures

Whenever you are unclogging the shower drains, there is a list of precautions you need to take. Some of these precautions will depend on the type of drain cleaner you use. Below is a list of Dos and Don’ts to follow when unclogging the drain:

The Do’s:

  • When removing things from the pipe, always use a wire.
  • If the drain becomes slow or plugs, apply a mixture of baking soda and vinegar or an organic drain cleaner.
  • If you choose to use chemical cleaners instead of organic ones, ensure you:
  • always follow the manufacturer’s directions.
  • Wear safety goggles to protect your eyes from the toxic fumes that these cleaners emit.
  • Put on rubber gloves to protect your skin. Some of these chemical cleaners can burn your skin.

The Don’ts

  • If you choose to use chemical cleaners instead of organic ones, ensure you:
  • Never look down the drain after pouring a chemical. These solutions tend to seethe, bubble and give off toxic fumes.
  • Never mix chemical cleaners unless you are a 100% sure they are compatible. Some cleaners when mixed with others can cause. If you’ve already used one chemical cleaner, avoid using another chemical cleaner immediately after.
  • Do not use a plunger. When using plungers, there is always the risk of splashing chemicals on yourself.
  • Never remove the trap immediately after or a few days following the chemical was used. When removing the drainer, the chemical can splash on you or drip on your hand and burn your skin.

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