Why Is Your Shower Drain Backing Up?

Why Is Your Shower Drain Backing Up?  - Seattle, WA - Quality Plumbing

If water is filling up in your tub after you take a shower, you may be wondering if your drains have a serious problem. It’s important to call a plumber to take care of the problem before it gets worse. Learn why your shower drain may be backing up and how to fix the problem and future plumbing issues.


What Causes a Shower Drain to Back Up?

You will need the expertise of a plumber for a diagnosis. However, before the plumber arrives, you may want to gain a general idea of the possible reasons why your shower drain is backing up. Consider the following three reasons.


There’s a Clog in Another Area of Your Home

You may be surprised to hear that there would be a clog in another area of your home when the shower drain is the one backing up. However, your home’s plumbing system is like a tree: there is one main sewer line with secondary branches. This means that your shower drain is connected to other drain systems in your home.


If the main sewer line is backed up, this could lead to water building up in your shower. You should get a plumber out ASAP since main sewer line clogs can be expensive to fix and can be hazardous to you and your family’s health since sewage can get in the shower. If there is a backup in a secondary sewer line, like a toilet backup, it is possible for excess water to reroute to the shower.


There’s a Clog from Hair

Shampoos, soaps, and shaving creams aren’t usually the main culprits when it comes to shower drain back up. The problem is the residual soap scum from these products can cause loose hair to ball up and clog the drain. Even if you don’t have long hair, short hair and hair from shaving can stick to soap scums and to pipes.


There’s a Clog from a Bath Bomb

You may be surprised to learn that a bath bomb could back up your shower drain, but sometimes salts in these products will only partially dissolve. Again, like the soap scum, the chunks of the bath bomb can catch onto hair which can then clog the drain.


Furthermore, some bath bombs actually contain oils and particles like glitter that don’t dissolve. Oil will congeal when it’s cold and debris like glitter won’t break down, so it can build up in pipes.


How Can You Address the Problem?

If the source of the backup is because of a clog from hair, bath bombs, soap scum, etc., then you can try to remove the clog yourself. Some people use a mix of baking soda and vinegar to dissolve the clog. Once the baking soda and vinegar have set for about five minutes, then you can flush the debris down the drain with hot water. This DIY trick works for smaller clogs.


For bigger clogs, you may need to use a plumber’s snake. A plumber’s snake is a very long, flexible metal cable that has an auger on one end and a handle on the other. You can carefully snake the cable down the drain and once it hits the clog, you can rotate the handle and the snake will break up the clog.


If you don’t have a plumber’s snake on hand, an old wire hanger can work for clogs closer to the surface, especially for loose hair. Just make sure the wire hanger doesn’t scratch the tub.


If these DIY options don’t work, then you should call a plumber for more help. You don’t want to resort to caustic drain cleaners, as these can eat through PVC and metal pipes — even if you flush the pipes with water afterward.


Are you in need of plumbing help? Reach out to us at Quality Plumbing for more information.