3 Common Causes of Clogged Shower Drains and How to Prevent Them

When you are trying to enjoy a nice, hot shower, few things are as frustrating as a rising water level stemming from a clogged drain. Unfortunately, drain clogs are exceptionally common, causing problems that range from a dirty shower basin to bad odors. However, if you recognize the causes of clogs and learn how to prevent them, you can keep your bathing areas cleaner.

Here are three common causes of clogged shower drains and how to avoid them. 

1. Hair Accessories

While most people are familiar with the fact that hair can clog shower drains in no time, it’s easy to overlook hair accessories like hair ties, bobby pins, and barrettes until they have washed down the drain.

Unfortunately, once these smaller hair accessories have escaped your shower basin and entered into your drain, they can become lodged inside of the p-trap beneath your drain, where they create a snagging area for passing hair and soap scum.

Additionally, since chemical drain cleaners aren’t designed to dissolve inorganic materials like hair accessories, your clog clearing efforts might be in vain unless you have a plumber physically remove the drain cover and fish out the rogue accessories.

If hair accessories get deeper into your plumbing network, they can even cause clogs that require professional augering. Fortunately, if you remove all bobby pins, tiny rubber bands, or other small objects that could get stuck in the drain before you shower, you may be able to keep your drains clear.

2. Soap Byproducts

Vegan soaps, shampoos, and body washes aren’t just popular because they discourage animal cruelty. They also help to prevent drain clogs, since they don’t contain animal fats that are commonly found in body cleansing products. Many commercially available soaps contain ingredients like tallow and stearic acid, which are derived from animal fats.

While these animal fats are great for creating a long-lasting lather and a moisturizing finish, they can also coat the inside of drains, which can create clogs. Unfortunately, these fat residues can also decompose, making drains smell bad. In fact, these animal fats are same culprit that can give washing machines a musky smell. 

However, you can prevent these frustrating smells and drain clogs by switching to non-soap cleansers or vegan products, which aren’t made with fatty oils. Non-soap cleaners typically contain synthetic ingredients that won’t break down the same way organic materials will, which can help protect your drains while you get squeaky clean.

3. Hard Water

While keeping hair ties and fatty soaps out of the shower will definitely help to keep your drains clear, microscopic scales inside of your water supply can be just as damaging. If you live in an area where hard water is common, your water may contain high levels of magnesium, calcium, and even some metallic elements.

In addition, hard water itself can also create hard scales that coat everything from shower heads to drain openings. These scales are rock hard, and can coat the entire interior of pipes, making it difficult for water to pass through the area. Hard water can also leave an invisible film on your skin and hair, drying out your skin and causing your hair to appear dull and lifeless.

However, you can keep your body and your shower cleaner with a water softening system. These special units are designed to pull superfluous minerals out of water, so it is cleaner and less damaging.

Although shower clogs can be incredibly frustrating, you can always find help by calling our team here at Cleary Plumbing. With a commitment to 24 hour care and excellent customer service, we can help you diagnose and resolve plumbing problems in no time. Contact us the next time you have any type of plumbing need.