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How to Fix Slow-Draining Showers & Other Summer Plumbing Problems

Jun 25, 2019

young girl at beach

Between poolside afternoons, weekend cookouts with friends, and family vacations, fun never seems to be in short supply during the summertime. However, this season can be particularly hard on your home’s plumbing system. If you’re not careful, you could end up with a messy situation on your hands — which is the last thing anyone wants to come home to after a day at the beach.

One of the most common plumbing issues homeowners run into during the summer is slow-draining showers and bathtubs. Let’s explore some of the causes of clogged shower drains and other summer plumbing problems homeowners frequently experience this time of year.

Why is my shower drain clogged?

A clogged shower drain is typically caused by hair, dirt, and soap build-up that has accumulated in your pipes over time. Clogged drains are even more common for people with long hair, since loose strands can easily wrap around parts within the drain and make it difficult for other debris to pass through.

Slow-draining showers occur much more often during the summer months. Warmer weather means more frequent showering, plus added debris like sand, dirt, and drain-clogging products like sunscreen.

If you notice that your shower isn’t draining properly, it’s important to take action quickly. The sooner you catch a clog, the easier it will be to break down. Over time, clogs can even become severe enough to cause damage to your pipes.

How to Fix a Slow-Draining Shower

In many cases, clogged shower drains can be fixed using simple and easily-accessible methods and tools. Here are some of the most effective ways to unclog a shower drain:

  • Pour boiling water down the drain. For smaller clogs, boiling water can break down the soap or residue that’s holding the clog together, allowing the blockage to clear.
  • Baking soda and vinegar. While this is a more natural solution than using cleaning chemicals, it isn’t typically strong enough to tackle serious clogs.
  • Snake the drain. Another quick and easy method for fixing drain clogs, using a plumber’s snake is a successful technique for clogs caused by hair build-up.
  • Store-bought chemical products. Most hardware stores sell chemical cleaners designed to unblock drains. It’s important to use these products carefully, as they can cause damage to your pipes with repeated use.
  • Contact a plumber. For severe clogs, your best bet is to call in a professional. A licensed plumber will ensure that the clog is effectively removed without causing any damage to your plumbing system.

Read more: Is a clogged sink drain the sign of a bigger problem?

3 More Common Summer Plumbing Problems

A slow-draining shower isn’t the only plumbing problem homeowners experience during the summertime. Other common summer plumbing problems include:

Clogged Garbage Disposal

While barbecues may be fun for you and your friends, they aren’t always gentle on your kitchen sink. Utensils, food, garbage, and other materials can cause serious damage if they end up making their way into your plumbing.

It can be difficult to identify if your garbage disposal is just being fidgety or if you’re dealing with a real problem. Be sure to contact a plumber immediately if you notice any of these warning signs:

  • Backed-up sink
  • Motor hums without rotation
  • Disposal doesn’t turn on when you flip the wall switch
  • You hear loud metal clanking sounds.

Read more: 5 Reasons Why You Need A Garbage Disposal Repair

Sprinkler Issues

Keeping your lawn looking fresh all summer long can come at a cost if you’re not careful. Common sprinkler problems include:

  • Broken sprinkler head. Lawn mowers, aerators, even heavy foot traffic in the yard – these can all lead to a broken sprinkler head. It’s important to repair any sprinkler head damage ASAP in order to avoid leaks that can spike utility bills.
  • Damaged sprinkler system piping. Stormy summer weather is common in the DMV region, which can cause potentially damaging soil run-off. Aerators can also damage to shallow irrigation pipes, so it’s important to use caution.

Sump Pump Malfunction

The top concern when it comes to heavy rainfall, especially in the summer during hurricane season, is flooding. Sump pumps help prevent flooding by removing water that has made its way to the basement or crawl space of your home.

Even with proper maintenance and cleaning, sump pumps don’t last forever and eventually need to be replaced. The following signs might indicate a sump pump failure:

  • Strange noises or vibration
  • Irregular cycling
  • Runs continuously

Read more: Do I need to replace my sump pump?

Wash away your worries with a little help from CroppMetcalfe. 

Don’t let summer plumbing problems get you down. CroppMetcalfe’s 5-Star Technicians can assess, repair, and instruct you how to prevent any and all plumbing issues with ease. Call 703-698-8855 to speak with one of our plumbing professionals or schedule a service appointment online today.


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"I've been a CroppMetcalfe customer for 9 years and you have always provided outstanding service. I just had my semi-annual maintenance done, and I wanted to thank George for the truly outstanding service, professionalism, and excellent advice. He is definitely one of the best 5-Star Technicians I've had! Thank you CroppMetcalfe!"

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