If you are an average person with an average head of hair, you lose at least fifty hairs a day! For a family of four, that means up to 200 hairs could make their way down your shower drain. Believe it or not – a plumber’s worse nightmare is hair in your drain. It causes clogs, backed up water, and endless headaches. We have a few pointers to help you prevent hair from causing plumbing problems.
What type of plumbing problems does hair cause?
The most common is clogs in the drain pipe associated with the shower itself. The drain will slow down before it stops draining completely and can leave you standing in a puddle of water as you shower. If you have hard water, the risk of such a clog is even greater. The minerals in hard water react with soap to form soap scum which then adheres to the hair making it stick together to form tougher clogs.
The hair also travels further down the pipes and then can cause clogs in larger drain lines. If it travels far enough, it may reach patches of grease that started in your kitchen sink. Grease and hair make for some really tough clogs. When this happens, they slow down or can block multiple drains in your home, including your toilet.
On occasion, hair contributes to issues with your main sewer line. If you happen to have roots growing into your line, hair will get caught on those and make the clogs even worse.
Before you reach for that bottle of drain cleaner or container of lye, consider this. Repeated use of any type of drain cleaner to clear a hair-based clog can damage your pipes, leading to leaks and corrosion. They are also a health hazard, as they can cause severe burns to the skin, and blindness if it comes in contact with your eyes.
How do you keep hair out of your pipes?
If your shower comes with only a standard metal drain guard with holes the size of a pencil eraser, that is not enough. Hairs flow right through those large holes. We recommend a guard made from flexible plastic with tiny holes, or a one made from wire mesh.
It’s simple to check to ensure that your guard is working properly. After a few showers if there’s no hair, then it’s not working properly. Try another until you find one that works right for you and your family.
How can you tell if your drains are full of hair?
Not every slow or clogged drain is caused by hair. That being said, if you suspect that’s the case, we can come out and conduct an inspection with the use of a video camera. The camera will inspect your drain, as well as your sewer lines to locate the blockage. We will then remove the clog. Depending on where it’s located, we may use a snake or perhaps hydro-jetting will be used to clear the drain lines.
Hydro-jetting involves shooting a pressurized stream of water into the drain. This method will also remove soap and grease buildup, so these sticky substances don’t keep grabbing onto hair and causing more clogs.
If you suspect or are uncertain if your sluggish drains are caused by hair, give us a call, and one of our technicians will come out and do a complete inspection on your drains and sewer lines.