Your Ottawa Plumber's Clogged Shower Drain Guide

Hair contributing to Ottawa clogged shower drain.
Are you struggling to get rid of standing water in your shower? Clogged shower drains are common problems for homeowners, but that doesn't mean you should struggle with a solution. Bathroom plumbing fixtures only become more prone to blockage buildups over time as minerals and other materials collect inside drainage pipes. The most common reason that people in Ottawa struggle with clearing simple clogs is a lack of information. If you take steps to learn about these common plumbing issues now, you'll be prepared to deal with them when they occur in the future.

The professional Ottawa plumbers at Mr. Rooter Plumbing know everything about clogged shower drains, from what causes them to what makes them go away. You might be surprised to learn that harsh chemical cleaners are never your best option, even for stubborn clogs. Awareness and education about drain clogs should always be every homeowner's first step in dealing with waste and water flow issues. Knowing why they appear will help you treat your pipes with a high level of care that prevents problems from occurring at all. If you're already dealing with a drain backup, it's important to know how to effectively and safely resolve your issue without damaging your pipes or injuring yourself.

What Causes Clogged Shower Drains?

Your pipes are only designed for taking away three things: water, waste, and toilet paper. When it comes to your shower drain, you probably don't have to worry about toilet paper, but you should know that anything other than those three things will create stubborn drain clogs. Always avoid flushing anything other than water and waste down outlets if you want to avoid jams.

What Shouldn't You Flush?

If you're asking this question about something specific, don't flush it. Plumbing systems are perfectly prepared for pushing through water and waste, but even plentiful proportions of toilet paper will produce problems. It's best to be sparing with bathroom tissue, but you should also avoid sending down anything else you might find in your bathroom.

Always Avoid Flushing or Rinsing These Items Down Your Drain:

  • Paper Towel
  • Facial Tissues
  • Wet Wipes
  • Floss
  • Sanitary Products
  • Hair Buildup
  • Garbage
  • Dirt

In addition to foreign materials, clogged shower drains and other types of blocked fixtures are also created by time's effects. Over many years, soap scum, minerals, and other parts of wastewater cling inside your pipe's walls and take root. This type of gradual buildup restricts flow, creates opportunities for other serious situations to develop, and causes many problems that eventually need to be fixed with drain repairs from a professional plumbing company. Unfortunately, time can't be stopped, but its effects can be mitigated.

How Do You Avoid Clogged Shower Drains?

Prevention for blockage backups begins with homeowners. It's important to always adequately care for your waste lines. They're one of your most essential plumbing fixtures. They should be treated with diligent care and attention if you want to avoid slowly draining or standing water. It's important to understand the signs that your home's plumbing sends you, but there are also several habits of highly effective homeowners that create clear drainage.

Six Helpful Habits to Prevent Clogged Shower Drains:

  • Make drain cleaning from licensed plumbers part of your annual home maintenance schedule
  • Add drain catchers or hair strainers to your shower and tub drains
  • Brush your hair before showering
  • Slowly pour a kettle of boiling water down your metal pipes every week or two—this will help clear away built-up grease, soap, and debris
  • Pour down a solution of vinegar and baking soda around once every month
  • Avoid pouring dirty mop water or any wastewater containing dirt and debris into your shower

How Do You Deal With Clogged Shower Drains?

Drain cleaning methods vary depending on the severity of the situation and your available plumbing tools, but you can clear many jams yourself even with simple tools and limited knowledge. Not every type of plunger is suitable for every type of clog. Accordion plungers are great for toilets, but they're less useful than a standard cup plunger for shower plumbing issues. Likewise, some common methods are better than others. There are some common solutions that we recommend for homeowners in Ottawa.

Remove Your Shower's Drain Cover

This should be step one any time you're dealing with clogged shower drains that won't go away. It might only be your first step, but it might be your last step too. Clogged shower drains are often caused by clumps of hair that get tangled around your cover and occlude your outlet. Thoroughly cleaning away any buildup here might be all that's needed. You can confirm that's the case if your issue goes away as soon as you remove your cover.

Use a Plunger

A standard cup plunger is an essential tool for all homeowners. They're simple and require little instruction. Ensure that there's enough water to cover your plunger's rim when you place it over the clogged drainage hole, and always keep it flat to maintain an effective seal. If you're struggling to get a great seal with your plunger, or you need more suction for a persistent clogged shower drain, you can apply a little petroleum jelly around its rim for stronger suction.

Hot Water, Vinegar, & Baking Soda

You can sometimes dislodge material buildup with an equal mixture of vinegar and baking soda. Mix these in a heat-resistant cup before you pour them downpipes. The solution will start fizzing immediately, so be ready to pour it down quickly. Let it sit for an hour before following up with a pot of carefully poured hot water, which will clear out weakened debris.

What About Chemical Cleaners?

We don't recommend using strong chemical drain cleaners for clogged shower drains because of the danger they pose to people and the damage they cause to plumbing systems. They are rarely effective for clearing a blocked, slow-moving drain, and they get in the way of other, more helpful solutions.

When Should You Call a Plumber for Clogged Shower Drains?

If you can't get the job done yourself, our Ottawa plumbers will be able to help with advanced tools and drain cleaning methods like augers, drain snakes, and hydro jetting. If you're experiencing issues in multiple fixtures, frequent, recurring blockage, or any of the other signs of a backed-up sewer, you should call an emergency plumber as soon as possible.

If you live in Ottawa, including areas such as Edinburgh, Vanier, or Lower Town, and need a reliable, local plumbing service with licensed, courteous plumbers, feel free to contact our experienced team at Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Ottawa. We're available 24/7 for convenient appointments and plumbing emergencies. Call us today to schedule service.