Plumbing Problems This Week

I ran into an issue with my plumbing this week that slowly got worse until I found a fix. I’m no plumber, but I was able to handle it on my own. Here’s what happened.

I’ve been noticing that slowly over the course of several weeks my shower has been filling up faster and faster. The water starts to creep up and by the time I’m done showering I’m sloshing around in there like I’m on a sinking ship!

I didn’t really address it right away, because it happened gradually. It didn’t just start at once, but it slowly started to get worse over time. I first noticed it when I would see the deep end start to have a slightly raised water line by the time I got done with my shower. Then, it got higher and higher. Kind of like this:

Now, the water is a couple of inches high in the tub by the time I’m done with the shower. I only take about 10 minutes to shower and I’m pretty consistent. So, I know that it’s just gradually getting more and more clogged as time goes on.

Other than being a little annoying, this doesn’t seem sanitary. I take a shower to get clean, but I end up kicking around in dirty water at the end of it. This is kind of frustrating.

So, the first thing I did is try to pull out any hair or stuff that was down there. The drain is an open hole when I remove the stopper so it was easy to pull stuff out. This is also likely why it got stopped up in the first place. There’s no net or sieve to keep stuff from going down the drain. But, at least it made it easier to clean.

There is a kind of cross-shaped barrier about an inch down the drain so really big stuff can’t get down there. It’s certainly not stopping any hair from going down there, but it does stop something far worse.

It stopped the razor blade cover from going down there! You know how on disposable razors, they have that clear plastic cap that covers over the blades? We’ll I shave in the shower and that cover is clear so it’s hard to see.

When I reached down into the drain to see what I could pull out, that was the first thing that came up. It was broken and had a bunch of hair wrapped around it. That was the thing that was stopping the drain the most. Those things are really hard to see and, especially if it’s broken, has an irregular shape and jagged edges to catch and collect hair and stuff that will cause that nasty clogged drain.

I pulled that out and it seemed to help quite a bit. But, it still seemed like there was some sort of obstruction.

I couldn’t reach any further past that plastic barrier, so I got some needle nose pliers. With the pliers I reach down past the barrier and closed the pliers to see if they would grab anything.

The first slot yielded no results. The second slot, however, had a bunch of hair in there that I did not realize was down there. I pulled out a long clump of wet hair and then repeated the same thing for slots three and four. After that, the tub drained quite nicely.

However, I did not want this to happen again. So, I looked around on Amazon to see what I could find. I ended up finding a bathtub drain protector.

bathtub drain protector for preventing clogsIt’s basically a little metal disc with holes in it and a rubber seal around the edges. The rubber seal holds the thing in place over your bathtub drain. The holes in the metal allow the water to pass freely through while catching anything that might clog the drain. In my case, the things that were causing the clog were hair and plastic razor blade covers.

This was an easy fix, but if you have something going on that’s bigger than this I suggest you contact a professional plumber. If you try some of the stuff I mentioned in this article and it’s still not working, then you likely have a bigger problem and should consult a professional. I recommend Forthright Plumbing – Temple Terrace if you live in Tampa, FL specifically the Temple Terrace area. They do a good job and are reasonably priced.

That’s the story of how I fixed my drain and kept it from happening again. I hope it was useful to you if you have the same issue.