A slow-draining shower can be a frustrating inconvenience. It may not seem like a big deal unless you’re stuck waiting for it to drain before the next person can shower. In some cases, the drain may be so slow that the water appears to sit without moving, which may lead to mold, mildew, and bacteria growth in your tub. It may also indicate an underlying plumbing problem, which may not yet have become severe but could turn into a disaster quickly.

Causes of a Slow Shower Drain

If your shower drains slower than it should, you can bet there’s a reason for the situation somewhere within your plumbing system. It may be something minor that you can correct on your own. However, in most situations, a slow-draining shower is something that you’ll need help from a professional plumber to resolve. Read on to learn about a few of the most common possible reasons your shower may be draining slowly.

Clumps of Hair

The most common culprit for slow and clogged shower drains is hair. All forms of body hair go down the shower drain, whether we mean for them to or not. And honestly, sometimes household members just don’t think about how hair from shaving can be a big deal. However, when all the strands of hair go down the drain, they begin clumping together in the pipes, forming a ball of nasty hair. After a while, these clumps of hair can block the flow of draining water in your shower, causing a slow drain. Although hard to prevent, you can try your best to throw hair away and not let it go down the drain. You may also want to use your finger to scoop away any hair that sits in the drain after your shower to prevent it from entering the pipe.

Soap Scum and Residue

Soap scum and soap residue are impossible to prevent in the shower. You may find that certain cleaners produce less residue than others, but all soaps leave something behind. As soap scum and soap residue build up inside your drain, it may eventually cause a blockage that slows the drain time of your shower. The best way to prevent this blockage is to continue running water down the drain for a few minutes after you’ve rinsed all the soap off your body. Doing so will help keep the soap from hardening in your pipes and creating a buildup of soap residue.

Mineral Buildup

Hard water often contains high amounts of minerals, especially calcium and magnesium. Over time, these minerals build up inside your drain and pipes and may eventually lead to a blockage. The best way to combat mineral buildup in your shower drain is with a whole-home water softening system. If you have high amounts of minerals in your water but do not have a water softener, you should consider routine preventative drain cleaning by a plumber to lower your risk of mineral buildup in the shower drain and other plumbing issues.

Pipe Damage

Damaged or corroded pipes may cause blockages in your drainage system and lead to a slow-emptying shower. As pipes age, they are more susceptible to damage. If your pipes have corroded, this corrosion can block your drainage pipes, leaving you with water that lingers in your tub.

Septic and Sewer Blockages

A slow-draining shower could indicate a more widespread issue with your plumbing system. If your septic or sewer lines are blocked or damaged, it could cause symptoms in your drains. Possible causes of sewer line obstruction include corrosion, debris, and tree roots.

Improper Installation or Design

Though less common, faulty installation or design of your shower drainage can lead to a slow drain. This may be caused by improper slope, where the water doesn’t drain with gravity as it should. It may also be caused by using pipes that are too small or narrow, where the water isn’t able to move quickly through the system.

What Can Be Done About Slow Drains?

If your shower drains slowly, you should call a professional plumber. Your plumbing system is intricate and should only be handled by an expert. Attempting to clear a drain on your own could result in further damage to your pipes, in which case you’ll spend even more money on repairs. Skip the DIY drain cleaning remedies and call Bumble Bee Plumbing to get your shower draining as it should.

Plunging and Snaking

The first step your plumber will likely attempt to clear your drain involves plunging. If a plunger is unable to dislodge your blockage, the plumber may try to use a drain snake. A drain snake is a special tool that can reach down into the pipe to break up clogs.

Professional Drain Cleaning

A professional plumber has specialized training and tools to perform drain cleaning. This equipment may include an industrial drain snake, high-suction vacuum tools, or high-pressure water gear to blast away a clog.

Plumbing Inspections

If a plunger, snake, or pressurized water does not clear your drain, you may have a more extensive problem. Your plumber will inspect your pipes, searching for blockages in other areas further down the line. The plumber will inspect the main drain lines leading all the way to the sewer.


After solving your slow-draining shower issue, there are steps you can take to prevent the problem from recurring. Prevention is the key to saving time and money and avoiding an emergency call to the plumber.

Preventative Drain Cleaning

Annual preventative drain cleaning is a great option for all homeowners. With preventative cleaning, you can ensure your pipes are clean and clear before a blockage occurs, saving you the hassle of dealing with slow drains.

Drain Guards

Drain guards or strainers help keep hair and other debris from going down the drain and entering your pipes. Although not 100% foolproof, they do help lessen the amount of foreign matter that enters your system. You can also comb or brush your hair before getting into the shower. Discarding hair in the trash, rather than allowing it to go down the drain, can prevent clogs.

Install a Water Softener

Hard water can be prevented by purchasing a water-softening system. A whole-home water softener removes some of the minerals and chemicals from your tap water, reducing mineral buildup in your drain and pipes.

A slow-draining shower could indicate a clog or other problem within your plumbing system. You need professional assistance when this occurs. For the best plumber in Glendale, call on Bumble Bee Plumbing. We’ll send one of our experienced and trusted plumbers to investigate the cause of your slow drain and make any necessary repairs to have your water draining as freely as it should. In addition, our plumbers are the area’s top experts in leak detection, household plumbing, water heaters, and sewers. Count on us for all your plumbing needs, and we’ll leave you with peace of mind and comfort in knowing your plumbing system is working as it should.

For the best professional plumber to handle your slow-draining shower in Glendale, count on the experts from Bumble Bee Plumbing for bathroom plumbing.

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