Clogged Shower Drain
Different Ways To Unclog Drains From Hair
The only things capable of dissolving hair in drains are strong chemicals such as bleach, sulfuric acid solution or hydrogen sulfide. There are lots of commercial plumbing fluids that can dissolve hair in drains and there are a variety of things that can cause blocked drains. Regardless of your geographical area, hair is the most common reason behind a clogged drain. Whether it’s long or short hair, it is responsible for most blocked drains.
A clogged bathtub drain can be caused by short hair just as much as it could be caused by long hair, therefore it is a common misconception that women are responsible for hair clogs. Even if there are no long hairs going down the drain, a clogged drain can still form. In fact, homeowners who bathe their pups contribute to hair clogs the most. This is because of how blocked drains are formed. Debris or oily deposits from our bodies comes in contact with hair to form strong blocks. This article will provide valuable tips to unclogging your drain.
How does hair clog drains?
Hair is notorious for creating clogs. As soon as it becomes caught in the drain, it is transformed into a hydro-dynamic form naturally. This means the clog won’t be dislodged easily. There is absolutely no foolproof way for keeping bathtub drains free from hair strands. However, there are steps that may be taken to reduce the amount that still enters the drains. Here are some things that you can do to control the problem:
Preventing hair from clogging your shower
These tips provide a simple and fast method of keeping almost all the hair out of the drains. Despite the fact that most of the homeowners don’t realize the quantity of hair that falls as time passes, the total amount is quite significant. Drain strainers may be used to prevent most the hair from heading down the drain and creating clogged bathtub drains . On top of that, the strainers are affordable, easy to keep up and simple to use. In addition, using drain strainers will make your bathtub much easier to clean. Both long lasting and momentary drain strainer options are available.
Methods to uncloging a bathtub drain
Its always be worth preventing the expense of hiring a plumber. If you can “de-clog” a bathtub drain yourself it often isn’t as difficult as some may think. Almost all clogged bathtub drain problems can be fixed by using some fairly easy and uncomplicated methods and tools. Once you’ve unclogged the drain, you should work on reducing or stopping the chances of it happening again. Here are some DIY methods on clearing a clogged shower drain:
- Pour Boiling Water Down the Drain
This may sometimes breakdown the cleaning soap or grease that is retaining the clog.
On its own, this method might not work, particularly if you are dealing with a significant blockage which has a whole lot of matted hair. However, it could partly clear the blockage and work when found in conjunction with another method listed below.
- Using a Plunger
Trying a plunger may work in certain scenarios. In case the clog is deep and build up from hair, for instance, you might have a hard time getting enough suction for the plunger to work. You can try adding vaseline to the border of the suction pad to get an improved seal and also adding more water to the bathtub so the end of the plunger is submerged, if it is not already. Plunging is another method which has a low success rate as it pertains to showers usually, but I would recommend trying it just to be sure.
- Baking Soda and Vinegar (the Natural Option to Chemicals)
This is a far more the natural solution than using cleaning chemicals. Put a glass of baking soda and soda water down the drain, await a few moments, and put a glass of vinegar down as well. Wait for a few hours and pour boiling water to rinse out any remaining debris. Although this technique is ecologically more suitable and won’t damage plastic pipes, you may have to result to using the chemical approach.
- Remove the Drain Cover and Grab the Clog yourself
This technique has a good potential for success, but it entails making use of your hands, therefore I advise wearing silicone gloves. First you will need to remove the drain cover. Sometimes there’s a screw in the centre you need to remove. Other times you can pry the drain cover off by using a screwdriver. Look inside the drain and identify the clog. Utilize a flashlight, if required. In the event the clog is at reach, move it out with your fingertips.
- Using a Hook
If you cannot reach the blockage yourself, try fishing out the clog with a cable. A simple do it yourself way would be to use the wire coat hanger in your closet. You could improvise a hook instrument with a wire coat hanger. Simply make a hook shape on the end of the wire and use it to unclog the drain. If you wish for a more efficient tool, I would recommend investing a few dollars for a plastic unclogging tool shown below. Store it in under your sink and use when needed.
- Plumbers Electric Snake
Force the snake down the drain. Turn on the snake’s handle and remove any debris. Run water to check the drain and confirm that the clog is totally removed.
- Using Chemicals
Most hardware supply stores and supermarkets sell strong chemical based cleansers to unblock drains. Make sure to follow the instructions carefully, as frequent use can damage your pipes and seals. Using chemicals is generally quick and easy in most cases, but sometimes you will have to use multiple bottles which could get pricy as a regular bottle is around $5 to $10.
- Call a Plumber
If nothing seems to be working, you will need to call a plumber. It’s not the most affordable option if you don’t mind the expense. The average cost per hour for a plumber is $45-$150.
Types of Chemical Decloggers
Weather its liquid, powder or gel form, almost all of the unclogging forms you will discover on store racks use strong chemicals. What happens is when the chemicals come together it forms a dissolving agent that breaks up the actual hair and dirt causing it declogging your drain. You will find three main types of drain cleansers:
Caustic drain cleansers
Caustic Drain Cleansers contain chemicals such as lye and caustic potash. They are bases, their hydroxide ions create the response that clears the clog. Their alkaline, or basic, chemicals release heating and convert grease into a soap-like compound that’s easier dissolved. These drain cleansers are heavier than normal water typically , which permits them to attain the clog through running water.
Oxidizing drain cleansers
Oxidizing drain cleansers contain chemicals such as home bleach , nitrates and peroxides. These chemicals cause the drain clog’s organic and natural material to reduce electrons and be oxidized. The solution is bulkier than water, so that it can undertake standing water, and it produces gas and warmth to help clear the blockage.
Acid drain cleansers
Acid drain cleansers aren’t commonly sold in supermarket stores. They are usually sold directly to licensed plumbers. These typically contain high concentrations of sulfuric acid or hydrochloric acid solutions, which are chemicals that increase hydronium ions. The hydronium ions chemically react with the material in the clog, and the reaction releases heat, which is essential to melt congealed grease [source: Sheridan]. Because almost all of these products make heat, they could soften the polyvinyl chloride, or PVC, pipes within homes today. However, such damage is rare if you are using the drain cleaner as directed. Damage is much more likely to happen on older, metal pipes.
If you’re wondering how or where you can get all these products, I suggest your local hardware supply store or Amazon. Here’s a link to purchase recommended products directly on Amazon.