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Do's and Don'ts of Shower Maintenance

A shower
Most people probably don’t spend much time thinking about the details of how a shower works. The process seems simple enough — turn on the water, shower, and then turn off the water. Unfortunately, many homeowners don’t know what to do when the shower stops working.

Take a look at the do's and don'ts of shower use so you can prevent plumbing problems.

Do Cover the Drain

The strainer that covers the shower's drain pipe may not catch everything. If it has large holes, gaps, slots, or an area that allows debris to get through, you need an additional cover. Hair, hair and body care products, razor covers, toothpaste caps, and other bathroom debris can easily fall into the drain if you don't cover it properly.

While one piece of debris isn't likely to cause a serious plumbing problem, over time these items can cause clogs that require professional assistance.

Don't Unclog the Shower Yourself

Failure to install a cover can result in sluggish draining or backup. Instead of a DIY approach, save time and effort and call a professional immediately.

Even though a clogged drain may seem like a simple fix, the shower and its drain are part of your home's complicated plumbing system. This system requires that professional plumbers train for years to master their job.

Do-it-yourself methods that include chemicals (such as commercially available drain cleaners) can be dangerous if not done properly; they can also cause corrosion, and they may not get the job done anyway. Physical clog removal methods (such as plungers and snakes) don't always remove the entire clog.

Along with the possibility of incomplete clog removal, power tools (such as snakes) are dangerous in the hands of an inexperienced DIYer. These types of powerful tools can put your safety at risk or cause damage to your shower.

Do Clean Often

Stray debris isn't the only clog-causer in your shower. Soap, shampoo, and other product film can coat the interior of the plumbing, making your drain slow to a near stop. Cleaning your shower regularly with a nonabrasive solution or product can reduce the risks from soapy buildup.

Carefully select your shower cleaner; avoid anything that leaves behind a film or residue. This film can add to the clog, causing more problems for your pipes.

Don't Ignore Hard Water

Hard water is mineral-heavy. Too much calcium and magnesium in your home's water can leave behind residue — in your shower and in your pipes. Over time this residue can cause clogs, slowing your shower's drain significantly.

If you suspect that hard water is the problem, contact a plumber. The plumbing professional can evaluate the water, look at the pipes (to determine whether the mineral buildup is causing the clog), and recommend a repair. A whole-house water softener system can reduce the mineral concentration and prevent future drain issues.

Do Evaluate Low Water Pressure

Drain issues are common plumbing problems. But they're not the only issue that you'll find in your shower. Low water pressure may indicate a simple problem, such as a clogged or dirty shower head. While this won't require a professional to repair, a major issue (such as a leaking or burst pipe) will.

Don't Ignore a Leak

A leaking shower costs you money with every lost drip. Like with low water pressure, a drip may have a minor cause. The shower head may be loose or require a replacement. But you won't know whether this is the problem, or something more serious is going on, without the help of a professional. When in doubt, have a plumber assess a leaking shower.

Do you need professional assistance maintaining or repairing your shower? Contact Ritz Plumbing for more information.
The Kitchen Sink graphic

Signs It Is Time to Replace Your Water Heater

One of the most unpleasant things to happen in your home is hopping into the shower and having nothing but cold water come out. Like many appliances, water heaters deteriorate over time. Years of usage and constant wear and tear will eventually take its toll even if you schedule regular maintenance. Since no one wants to deal with a lack of hot water, making sure to get water heater replacement before your unit fails is crucial. Here are some of the signs that your unit is having problems: []

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