Barry Jolly is the owner of Jolly Plumbing, where he has been serving clients in the greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky areas for more than 31 years. He is a graduate of North Kentucky University, where he earned a degree in business management. Here, Jolly explains what homeowners should do to stop their shower drains from getting clogged with hair.
Drains clog over time. When it comes to clogged shower drains, there are usually two culprits — soap scum and hair. To prevent your shower drain from getting clogged with all the gunk, you want to make sure that you always keep the shower grate cleaned of hair and debris. If you don’t pay much attention to the grate, the hair will eventually work its way down into your pipes and clog everything up.
If you have a plunger, you can plunge your shower drain regularly, which will help you clear your drain pipes. Another option that you can try is to use liquid chemicals. The chemicals will work better if you use them before the clogged drain gets bad. Use the products monthly, and you will find that your drain system is better off. Some people think that using the chemicals will hurt their pipes, but that isn’t the case. So you don’t have to worry about that issue.
I recommend people keep a drain catcher over the drain to make sure hair doesn’t get caught down in there. The number one reason we get calls to fix people’s shower drains is because too much hair has clogged the drain up, so just watch out for that. If someone is looking to prevent any problems from coming with his pipes or drains, he needs to be careful about what he puts into his systems.
If your shower problem has become serious, and simply plunging or using chemicals will no longer work, you need to hire a plumber experienced in drain cleaning. When we visit someone’s home for a situation like this, we always use a small sewer drain cleaning machine with about 0.25-inch cable on it, which is about 25 feet long. The machine is nice and compact, and the cable is built into a canister so there is no mess to worry about. We’ll go into the shower and run the cable down into the drain while the water is running, which pushes that hair and debris right into the bigger pipe.
In shower drain systems, a two-inch pipe is usually available from the drain, which leads to a three-inch pipe and then goes into a four-inch one. We just need to push the clog that is in the two-inch pipe down into the three-inch and then the four-inch pipe. It often costs clients around $110 to call us out to handle a small drain clog like this. There are ways for a professional to fix your clogged drain, but it will cost you. So remember, by taking precautions and using draining chemicals on a regular basis, you can avoid letting hair and debris get down into your drain.