Shower and tub maintenance consists of cleaning and preventing clogs. These surfaces are notoriously difficult to clean when neglected for long periods of time. The buildup is a result of minerals within hard water. Calcium is the worst culprit.
A water softener can reduce the burden by chemically treating incoming water, but can be an expensive fix. The best short term solution is to regularly clean the surfaces to avoid heavy build up.
Although this build up is not harmful to your health, it can create problems with flow in shower heads and faucet aerators. Irregular flow from the shower head often indicates partial blockage. Luckily there is an easy fix through regular maintenance that is discussed below.
Drains are also susceptible to buildup from calcium, soap scum, hair and other debris. Every homeowner has had to deal with a slow or fully stopped drain. A strainer that catches debris before it can make it into the drain is a great cheap solution. Make sure you empty and clean the strainer after every use of the shower so the strainer itself does not become the problem.
How to Check for Hard Water:
Professional water testers use titration to check levels of calcium and magnesium. Homeowners can check for themselves using the following steps.
1) Fill a 12 oz plastic bottle half full with water from the faucet.
2) Add 10 drops of dish soap and shake vigorously
If foam and bubbles form easily, the water is soft and in good shape. The water is most likely hard if no bubbles appear and the foam is a thin layer at the top of the water
Maintenance and Fixes for the Shower, Tub and Drain:
1) Consider installing a water softener if your water is “very hard”.
2) Don’t let water sit in the shower or tub. As water evaporates it leaves behind mineral deposits. Purchase a small squeegee to clean water off surfaces after every time you use the shower.
3) Periodically clean shower heads and faucet aerators with vinegar. Tie a plastic bag of vinegar over the shower head or faucet and let it soak overnight. Remove and clean with water.
4) To clean buildup off surfaces, use a mixture of 1/2 cup vinegar(heated for 1-2 minutes), and 1/2 cup of dish soap. Mix the 2 together in a spray bottle, gently. Spray on surfaces and wait 1-2 hours. Rinse the surfaces off with water and scrub off remaining buildup.
Drain Clog Prevention:
1) Use a strainer to prevent hair, soap scum and other debris from entering the drain
2) Dump 2 cups of vinegar down the drain every month to help clean the pipes
3) Remove the drain cover or strainer and use needle nose pliers to pull out any hair that has accumulated.
If a drain in your home does become clogged, follow these steps (in order);
1) Check the P-trap and push clog through with coat hanger
2) Use a plumbing snake to clear the clog. Dump 2 cups of vinegar down after clearing to clear up remaining debris.
3) Try homemade drain cleaner. Dump 1/2 cup of baking soda into drain and follow up with 2 cups uof vinegar. It works best if you cover opening while mixture fizzles. Flush mixture through with a half gallon of boiling water.
4) Buy a commercial drain cleaner
5) Call a plumber.
If you need any assist with the above tips, or have any other home project needs, click the contact button to the right and let Screw Loose? LLC take care of the rest.
Thanks for your time, I hope this helps.