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Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Even The Simple Things - Keeping Your Drains Hair Free

    Yuck, there is almost no job I hate more than cleaning hair out of shower drains. In RV's it is especially important, since you really don't want hair going into your grey water tanks. Bending over in my small bathroom area isn't the easiest thing either. Crawling around on my hands and knees to clean some yucky debris out of the shower drain can be really nasty. If you don't keep it clear, you could end up with a drain that won't drain and water all over your floor. Not good at all.

 Most drains come with a "strainer" cover. This is basically a metal plate with pencil sized holes in it. Unlike home drains, you can't use a metal mesh sink strainer in it. But I found a couple of ways to get around that. One VERY easy and one...not so much. You can use one or the other method. Or, better still combine them both!


Let's begin with the easy way. I found, at a big box store, a really nifty drain cover. It has much smaller holes in it, so it catches more hair and a great silicone edge that gets extremely thin so the entire thing rests flatly, snug with the bottom of the shower pan. Looks pretty slick too. To clean, you simply lift it up and out. Shake it over the trash or, better yet, give it good hose rinse outside. Clean. Done. No muss, and only a little fuss. Then just place it back over the existing drain. I usually do this after every shower. I've had NO problems with the water draining more slowly with it in use.

There is a more difficult way. The Shower drain cover is held on with a single screw and can be removed quite easily. I do this periodically to clean around it. Underneath is just an open pipe. If you remove the cover and cut a metal mesh screen to fit under it, you can then poke a hole for the screw and attach the metal screen to the underside of the drain cover. Put the cover back on. Now you have a metal screen. The main problem here? It works, but to clean it properly you will have to remove the screw and the cover. It's kind of a "belt & suspenders" approach.

Hey, wait a minute! What about both? You could pick up and clean the easy drain cover after every shower and unscrew the existing (modified) one every once in a while. I'll bet that would almost completely (or just completely) fix the problem once and for all!

Sometimes the best solutions happen when you re-think your first ideas. I'm going to install both and see how it works on my next trip.

Be Seeing You...Down The Road,

Rich "The Wanderman"
www.thewanderman.com