How to Prevent Hair From Clogging the Tub Drain

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Loose hair can collect in your drains and pipes, causing hair clogs that will prevent your tub from draining properly. If you or members of your household have long hair or lots of hair, it may be necessary for you to prevent hair from going down the drain in order to avoid costly plumbing problems in the future.

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Drain Covers and Traps

There are a number of specially designed drain traps and hair-catching covers that you can purchase for your tub to keep hair from going down the drain. These covers create a barrier over the drain that will allow water to drain but will catch hair and other debris before it can also go down the drain to clog your pipes. These covers fit over or in your drain, much like sink strainers for your kitchen sink, and can be removed and cleaned as necessary. Some of these are designed for tubs with pop-up drain plugs that can't be removed.

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Wire Mesh Strainer

An inexpensive kitchen sink strainer that fits larger drains may be able to be used on your tub, depending on your drain design. You want a strainer that is wire mesh with small, tight openings that are designed to keep hair and other debris from going down the drain. This will only work if you have a tub or shower with a drain that goes straight down and does not have a permanently installed plug.

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Prevention and Cures for Hair Clogs

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Some hair is going to fall out in the shower while you are washing and conditioning, but there are some things you can do to keep hair out of your drains to start with. Brush your hair thoroughly before entering the shower. When loose hair collects on your fingers while shampooing and conditioning, set it on a shelf or the edge of the tub instead of dropping it into the water. Put the wad of loose hair in the trash when you're done bathing.

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Once a sink, tub or shower begins draining slowly or completely stops, a drain-cleaner may be necessary to clear the drain and get that grey water flowing again. If you prefer homemade measures, you can try the classic baking soda and vinegar method. Pour a tea kettle of boiling water down the drain, add a squirt of dishwashing liquid plus 1 cup baking soda and 1 cup vinegar, cover for five to 10 minutes, then follow with a gallon of boiling water. However, this may not work with a badly clogged drain, as it doesn't dissolve the hair -- only the accumulated gunk in the pipe that's "holding onto" the clog.

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Liquid drain cleaners like Liquid-Plumr dissolve hair, built up gunk and other clogs. However, if water and sewage is backing up in other parts of the house when you shower or flush the toilet, you probably need a plumber to clean the drains and pipes, as the clog or tree roots may be in the main sewer pipe leading from the house to the municipal sewer lines. Still, if you prevent as much hair from entering the tub drain as possible, use a strainer to keep the rest out and then regularly use a drain cleaner or clog-preventing product on your drains, you should not have a clogging problem in your tub or shower.

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