Shower maintenance doesn’t have to be tricky. Many homeowners are hesitant to make their own repairs when it comes to their shower because they worry they don’t have enough plumbing knowledge. However, you don’t need a large amount of plumbing knowledge when it comes to general shower maintenance. Most common shower problems don’t even require you to shut the water off!
Ready to figure out what to do about common shower problems? Keep reading.
What to do with a clogged shower drain?
Whenever people shower, loose hair and dirt gets swept into the drain. Over time, soap scum, dirt, and hair create a blockage and make it harder for a shower to drain. First, pour boiling water down the drain. This won’t completely get rid of the clog, but it will help to start breaking it up. You can then try to use a plunger to completely break up the clog. If that doesn’t work, your next step is to remove the drain cover and try to dislodge the clog with your hand. This might not work if there is mineral build-up in your pipes as a result of the clog. For severe clogs, use a drain cleaning solution. If you don’t want to use chemicals, you can make your own solution out of baking soda and vinegar. Pour the solution down the drain, wait for the clog to dissolve, then pour hot water down the pipes.
Can poor water pressure be fixed?
Trying to get clean under a weak shower stream can be frustrating. However, you don’t necessarily need to replace your showerhead to get better water pressure. Most of the time, cleaning the sediment off the existing showerhead is enough to improve water pressure. Over time, sediment from water gathers in your showerhead and clogs it. This is completely normal—all water contains minerals that build-up over time. To get rid of this build-up, all you need to do is soak your existing showerhead in vinegar overnight. This should allow build-up to loosen up. It can then be rinsed away. If particles remain, use a toothpick to poke them out. It the sediment doesn’t rinse away, the next step is to replace the showerhead. If cleaning or replacing the showerhead doesn’t work, the next step is to check the water valves throughout your house. It’s possible one of them might not be fully opened, which could be lowering the water pressure.
Why is the temperature inconsistent?
Have you ever been taking a nice, steamy shower, only to have it rudely interrupted by the water temperatures suddenly dropping? Water temperature inconsistency is usually a sign of a faulty thermostatic shower valve. The thermostatic shower valve blends cold and hot water to create your ideal water temperature and it also gives you best shower controls. If it isn’t working correctly, your shower might randomly go from having scorching waters to frigid waters. It is possible to adjust your thermostatic shower valve. When you take off the cap, there is a spindle that can be rotated clockwise to reduce temperatures and counter-clockwise to increase temperatures. After adjusting it, take a shower to see if that provides a more consistent temperature. If adjusting the valve doesn’t seem to make a difference, you might need to install a new valve. Installing a new valve can be tricky if you don’t have plumbing knowledge—it could be worth contacting a specialist who works with thermostatic shower repairs. Installing a new valve should help create consistent water temperatures.
Does a cracked shower hose matter?
Minor leaks caused by a loose shower handle or a cracked shower hose might not seem important. However, minor leaks can turn into bigger leaks. Cracks in a shower hose can grow larger and reach the point where they’re spraying water instead of dripping water. Anytime you notice a minor leak in your shower, you should figure out where it is coming from and what needs to be done to fix it. In the case of a loose handle, it could be as easy as tightening up some screws. Other times, a fixture might need to be replaced completely. Cracked shower hoses should always be replaced before those cracks grow larger. Replacing a shower hose is easy, but you will want to completely shut off your water before removing the old one and connecting the new one. All homeowners should know where their water shut-off valve is. This valve will stop water completely, which can come in handy when trying to fix a minor or major leak.
Is bad caulk problematic?
Caulk acts as a sealant—it helps prevent water from dripping behind shower tiles so that mold and mildew won’t grow inside walls. However, it is really easy to botch a chalk job. A lack of a steady hand can result in caulk becoming smeared and cracked. Cracked caulk with gaps is problematic because water can get into the gaps. The first thing you’ll want to do is remove the botched caulk job. There are special solvents that dissolve caulk so that it can be easily scraped away. Once the old caulk is removed, new caulk should be applied using a caulk gun. A caulk gun gives you complete control over how much caulk comes out and has a narrow nozzle that fits nicely between tiles. Every so often, gently use your finger to smooth out the caulk and remove any excess caulk. This creates a smoother appearance. You should also use a damp rag to completely smooth out the caulk. The more you caulk, the better you’ll get!
As a homeowner, figuring out what you should (or shouldn’t) fix yourself can save you money. Sometimes it pays to make your own repairs, while other times it makes more sense to hire a professional. When it comes to your shower, there are quite a few repairs you can make yourself even if you don’t have plumbing knowledge. But if you ever have to replace a plumbing part and you’re clueless about where to start, contacting a professional can help prevent an unintentional flood in your bathroom.