Clearing Blocked Bath and Shower Drains

Slow draining or blocked shower and bath drains are a common problem that our drainage engineers are called on to resolve throughout London.

Blockages are most commonly caused by clumps of long, tangled hair mixed with grease from soap plus other debris and dirt. The build-up of lime scale can also reduce the flow of water draining from a bath or shower. This can add to blockage problems.

Sometimes using a regular plunger can clear whatever’s causing the blockage. Used correctly a plunger will help to dislodge clumps of hair and grease. If the clump of hair has become fixed to the drain cover it may be possible to clear the blockage by hand, either by unscrewing the drain cover, or by trying to hook the hair out.

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Blockages caused in hard water areas

Properties in London are more susceptible to blocked bath and shower drains due to the hard water we have. When soap is used in hard water areas two insoluble compounds are formed. When these form inside a bath or shower drain they gradually build up and reduce the flow capacity of the pipe.

When you use soap in a bath it’s easy to see the insoluble calcium and magnesium compounds on the side of a bathtub once the water has drained away. Removing this “soap scum” with a detergent and some scrubbing is relatively easy. However, soap scum is not so easy to clean from the inside of a pipe where it can’t be seen!

It’s worth remembering that using a plunger won’t clear these insoluble compounds or lime scale from bath and shower drains.

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