How To Maintain Your Shower, According To A Plumber

Your shower pipes are not like your computer — they're not supposed to be out of date and barely working within a few years. Completely replacing the plumbing system isn't something any homeowner wants to do and if you treat yours right, you shouldn't have to.

About two years ago, Imgur user NegativePositivePrimitive shared some very literal "shower thoughts" from their perspective as a real life plumber that are circulating again, perhaps as everyone realises they need them, because the drain is clogged.

They're actual thoughts on showers and how to keep those showers in tip-top shape. Here are some of the things our mystery poster and other actual plumbers recommend for treating your system so it lasts.

Don't Turn Immediately To Drano

When you've got a clog, the impulse to pour chemicals and melt it away is strong, but you must resist. According to a 2015 blog from Wisler Plumber, Drano is a very unpopular product amongst plumbers, because it often makes their job harder when you give up and call them anyway.

For one, people will often pour it into standing water, which means the sink or tub is then full of hazardous material that needs to be properly disposed of. It can also leave a film on the surface that damages and degrades over time.

And Drano doesn't just kill your hairball, it kills living stuff growing inside your actual pipes that you need:

In the drain system, certain kinds of bacteria can be beneficial — good bacteria will gradually break down organic material. If you pour chemicals that kill bacteria down the drain, you're ultimately hurting your drains.

Once these chemicals enter the public sewage treatment plant or the septic system, they will cause damage there as well. Aside from being caustic, chemical drain cleaners result in tangible environmental repercussions.

If you are going to DIY a plugged drain, try using a plunger or plumbing snake first. Chemicals should be a last resort.

Designing Your Shower

When you're installing a new shower, you may be tempted by something beautiful and unique, but our Imgur user says that you'll be better off with something with easily replaceable parts for when they break down. Which they will. Some brands offer lifetime warranties. That's something to think about when you take so many showers over a lifetime.

They also recommended, as does TodaysHomeOwner.com, a pressure valve with temperature balancing technology. This doesn't necessarily increase the life of your pipes, but it does automatically adjust the pressure in your shower if someone flushes the toilet or uses the sink.

That way you won't be horribly scalded while rinsing your hair. You can even learn how to fix your valve with this clip from This Old House:

See? The technology doesn't change much.

Learn To Change Your Shower Head

From experience, I can say that sometimes just getting a new shower head can be a total game changer. Over time, calcium can build up inside it, clogging and ruining your shower flow. If you have one of those easily replaceable set ups, you can just buy a new head at a hardware store. Or you can remove the head and clean it out with vinegar, as this tutorial shows:

Call A Plumber

Perhaps they're biased, but NegativePositivePrimitive's final tip is to admit when it's time to call a professional:

Too many times a simple problem becomes an expensive mess. A lot of plumbing issues can be solved easier and less expensively if inexperienced homeowners didn't try and save a buck. Plumbers are here to help. Don't be afraid to call one.

But if you are gonna do it yourself, do it right. Don't use Drano.


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