Clogged drains are a common problem in many American homes. According to Statista, millions of dollars are spent every year on different drain cleaner products.
Here are some of the hazards of a blocked drain:
- Unpleasant smells: The accumulation of stagnant water produces bad odors which can fill your entire home. This could cause nausea and headaches for the occupants.
- Insects: Stagnant water is the ideal breeding ground for mosquitoes and other insects. Such insects carry germs and diseases which could be harmful to your health.
- Mold growth: Besides attracting insects, clogs also promote the growth of mold and other contaminants which are dangerous for your health.
- Leaky pipes: When water accumulates in pipes due to clogging, the pressure could intensify and cause the pipes to burst. The leaks can cause significant damage to your walls and floors.
- Contaminated water: When pipes get blocked, water that doesn’t find an exit could flow back into your bathroom sink. The contaminated water could cause skin irritation and inflammation, as well as other serious diseases and allergies.
- Costly repairs: Repairing damaged pipes or homes can be very expensive. This is why you need to act as soon as you realize there is a clog.
In this article, we will look at the causes of blocked drains, how to clean a clogged drain and keep it clear, and the best shower drain hair catchers in the market.
Common Causes of Clogged Drains
Here are some of the most common causes of clogged drains:
Bad Pipe Installation
Poor pipe installation can result in numerous plumbing problems, including clogged shower drains. Quite often, such problems occur when a homeowner tries to install pipes themselves without the proper know-how. This is why you should always leave pipe installation, repair, and replacement to the professionals.
Over time, your pipes will wear out, resulting in breakage or cracks. When this happens, it is much easier for objects to get stuck and clog your drains
Different kinds of sediments can accumulate and block your drains. Soap residue can build up over time, reducing the diameter of your pipes and resulting in blockage or slow drainage. Hard water can also deposit all kinds of micro solids and minerals on the walls of your pipes. Oil, fat, and grease poured down the drain often solidifies in the pipes and causes clogging.
When you take a shower, strands of your hair tend to come off and fall down the drain. Pet hair will also go down the drain when you are washing your pets. Combined with other sediments, short hair and long hair can stick to the walls of your pipes and block water flow over time.
How to Clean a Clogged Shower Drain
When it comes to cleaning a blocked shower drain, there are several options to consider. Here are a few:
Pouring boiling water down the drain can break down the grease or soap scum that is holding the clog together. Use a funnel to direct the water down the drain. However, this method may not be very effective when used on its own. It works better when used in combination with some of the methods listed below.
Use a Plunger
This is a common method used to unblock shower drains. To get a better air suction, apply petroleum jelly to the seal of the plunger. Using a plunger regularly will minimize hair build-up in your drain. However, it might not be very effective if the obstruction is further down the pipe.
Baking Soda and Vinegar
If the blockage is deeper, you could try dissolving hair clogs using a combination of baking soda and vinegar. This is a safer and more ecologically friendly solution compared to harsh chemical drain cleaners. Start by pouring a cup of baking soda down the blocked drain. Wait for a few minutes and then pour a cup of vinegar down the drain. After a few minutes, the chemical reaction could get rid of the hair clogs. You can then clean out the drain using boiling water.
Also referred to as an electric eel or a toilet jack, a plumbing snake is another cost-effective way of fixing clogs. This device can be purchased online or at your local hardware store. Insert the snake down the drain until you locate the clog. Then, twist the handle, and then pull it up. You could then follow it up with pouring hot water or baking water and vinegar down the drain.
If all the above methods fail, you might have to settle for chemical drain cleaners. Since such chemicals can be hazardous to your health, always wear goggles and gloves when using them. In addition, be sure to follow the instructions on the packaging. However, to avoid damaging your pipes and shower fittings, only use chemicals when there’s no other option.
Call a Plumber
When dealing with an especially tough hair clog, you might have to pay for professional plumbing services. An experienced plumber will accurately diagnose the cause of the blockage and use their tools to offer an effective solution. Though it will cost you more compared to the other methods, it is worth the expense.
4 Ways to Keep a Drain Clean and Clear
Though there are many ways of dealing with hair clogs, prevention is the best strategy for keeping your drains clean, clear, and flowing freely. Here are some of the ways you can keep your drain free from clogs:
1. Use Beard Trimming Mats
Beard hair washed down the drain is a common cause of clogs. As the name suggests, a beard trimming mat is simply a large fabric that catches your hair as you trim your beard. You can then shake the mat outside or in a trash can, thus leaving your sink free of beard hair.
2. Brush Hair Before Showering
The simple step of brushing your hair before stepping into the shower can get rid of loose hairs. Though you will still shed some hair when in the shower, there will be fewer strands going down the drain.
3. Use Recycled Drain Covers
You can use different household items to prevent hair from going down the drain. For example, you can cover your drain with a recycled dryer sheet while you shower. The shower drain cover will act as a fine mesh that will trap small bits of soap and hair. Once you are done showering, simply get rid of the sheet. This method can also be effective when washing your dog in the shower.
4. Hair Catchers
One of the best ways of preventing hair clogs is by using a shower drain hair catcher. As the name suggests, these are gadgets that catch strands of hair before they go down the drain. They come in a wide range of sizes and designs to suit your needs.
Choosing the Best Shower Drain Hair Catcher
When it comes to drain catchers, there are numerous options to choose from. Here are some of the best shower drain hair catchers on the market right now:
DrainWig Shower Drain Protector
This disposable hair catcher fits most shower drains well and doesn’t block the flow of water. Its design allows you to pull out hair without actually touching it. The DrainWig shower drain protector can last 2-4 before it needs replacement.
OXO Good Grips Silicone Drain Protector
This bathtub drain protector is made of silicone and stainless steel. Its tall, dome shape makes it suitable for pop up and flat drains. The OXO drain catcher is also weighted to keep it in place
DANCO 10306 Tub/Drain protector Hair Catcher
This flower-shaped gadget sits on top of the shower drain to catch hair and other debris. The Danco drain protector comes with a basket handle, which makes it easy to remove and clean. Its white finish blends well with most showers and existing fixtures.
HOLIKME Drain Hair Catcher
This silicone hair trap sits on top of the drain and comes with detachable suction cups which keep it in place. It has a center raised design, thus trapping hair while allowing water to drain fast.
With a solid 4.5-star rating on Amazon, TubShroom is a revolutionary tub drain protector. In the 2018 KBB Product Innovator Awards, TubShroom emerged at the top of the home and bath category. Unlike other drain protectors which are placed over the drain, this hair catcher fits inside and collects hair around it. With its patented mushroom design, TubShroom fits any standard 1.5 inch shower drain. It takes only a few seconds to remove and clean this gadget.
Keep Your Drains Hair-Free
With all these options available in the market, there is no reason why you should have a blocked drain in your house. TubShroom is your best choice for a shower drain hair catcher. You can get it on Amazon with a 60-day money-back guarantee.