Shower Drain Clogged? Call a Plumber!

If you find yourself standing in ankle deep water or your tub takes ages to drain following a bath, you are likely dealing with a blocked drain. If you begin to notice slow drainage in your shower, it will only worsen over time, so it is best to call a plumber right away!

Over time, hair, soap scum and small items will make their way into drains, creating clogs. As unwanted items build up they prevent water from passing though pipes and plumbing. Major blockages often don’t happen all at once but will build up month after month, and year after year. It is easy to overlook a blockage as it is building but there are some signs that you can look out for. The team of experienced plumbers at Pete & Son have put together a quick guide on how to identify clogs, common causes and the best way to deal with a clogged shower drain.

Symptoms of Clogged Drains in Your Shower

  1. Slow Drains: Slow drainage is the number one identifier of a clog/blockage. When pipes are clean and clear of debris your shower should drain at the same rate that water flows out of faucets or shower heads. If the drain is blocked water will not be able to flow out at this rate and will start to back up around your feet, carrying scum, grime and other contaminates up with into the tub or shower floor.
  2. Bad Odours: The purpose of indoor plumbing is to carry clear water in and carry wastewater out. Your plumbing system is in use all day, every day and this is a lot of pressure and a lot of different items going down the drain. The majority of bad smells that are produced from shower drains are caused by soap scum, hair and body products that have started to rot inside the drain. In the event that you start to smell sewage coming up from the drain, you may be dealing with an issue with the main sewer line and should call a plumber immediately.
  3. Pooling Water: Small blockages will push water back up into your tub or shower but severe clogs will cause it to pool in unexpected areas. In the case of severe clogs, impassable waterways will cause water to sit inside pipes with nowhere to go. As pressure builds water needs an outlet and it will cause the pipes to leak or even burst.

Common Causes of Clogs in Showers

During the course of a shower you likely aren’t thinking about all the things that are flowing down your drain. Hair, oils, soap scum and hair products are all flowing off of bodies and down drains but there are non-organic items as well. Safety foils from shampoo bottles, plastic covers from razors and more are all able to make existing blockages worse or start brand new clogs.

Soap: The fats found in traditional soaps as well as additives and talc are not great for your drains and plumbing systems. These items are bad on their own but are even worse when combined with other items like hair. Relaxing with a soothing bath bomb can mean unleashing items like flower petals or other like materials into water and eventually down drains.

Hair: Long hair has a way of winding around drain covers creating blockages at the surface level while shorter hair flows down drains and forms clogs in pipes. In addition to the longer strands found on heads, body hair, facial hair and even pet hair can contribute to clogged pipes.

Root Damage: Tree roots are the arch enemy of plumbers everywhere. Roots can form in the most unexpected places and can spread quickly and quietly. There is always a chance that roots are impacting main sewage lines and the smaller plumbing lines that run through homes and businesses.

Clearing Clogs from Shower Drains: Avoiding a DIY Disaster

All it takes is a quick Google search to come up with dozens of DIY methods to unclog a shower drain but some of these do more harm than good. For example, dumping boiling water down the drain is supposed to soften clogs and break down unwanted items so they can pass through pipes. This all sounds great in theory but pouring boiling water into a plumbing system with PVC pipes will cause severe damage.

Plenty of property owners are quick to reach for rubber gloves when they first encounter standing water and remove the drain cover. This might help to alleviate blockages at the surface level but it won’t do anything for those clogs that have formed lower down. It is easy to rely on harsh chemical drain cleaners to remove buildup but these can cause damage to pipes and surrounding areas, in addition to not getting the right results. If you are dealing with root damage, hot water and harsh chemical treatments won’t fix the issue but just means spending money and time only to end up with frustration. White vinegar isn’t effective and a wire coat hanger can cause damage so leave your drains to the experts!

Calling a plumber to flush the drain in your shower will help to not only remove the blockage but identify problem areas to avoid future clogs from forming. Highly trained and experienced plumbing professionals are able to identify and treat stoppage in shower drains so you can get back to a smooth running plumbing system.

Shower Drain Clogged? Call a Plumber!