Easy Fixes for Shower Problems

From hard water deposits to jamming doors to cracks in the tub repeated use can be hard on your shower. Follow these tip and tricks to prolong the life of your shower.

Easy Fixes for Shower Problems

The shower door won’t close

Repair sagging hinges and tighten up door catches

The hinges of a glass shower door can work loose over time, making the door sag. Water may leak from uneven gaps between the glass panels or — in the worst case — the door may crack when someone tries to force it closed.

Get a helper to hold the door and support its weight. Use a screwdriver to loosen the screws that secure the hinges to the frame, lift the door slightly to realign it, then tighten the screws again.

Many shower doors are held shut by spring-loaded nylon roller catches on the door frame. If the catch no longer holds the door, you can extend its length using a flat-head screwdriver. Insert this into the slot on the face of the roller; push down and turn counterclockwise for a longer catch (or clockwise for a shorter one).

When to toss it

Cracks

A cheap acrylic or fibreglass shower tray or a bathtub with a serious crack in the bottom is seldom worth repairing. Many have chipboard panels that reinforce the base — if a crack has allowed water onto the wood, the structure of the bath will be seriously weakened and is likely to fail.

My shower is no more than a dribble

Clear the lime to get it flowing

Lime builds up quickly in a shower head, especially in hard-water areas, and it will soon block the small jets in the head, reducing your once-powerful shower to a dribble. Shower heads affected by lime buildup can be hard to remove for cleaning without damaging their supports.

Half-fill a watertight freezer bag with white vinegar. Use electrical tape to secure the bag around the shower head, ensuring the head is completely immersed in the liquid. Leave to soak overnight, then rinse with warm water.

The bottom of the shower fills up with water

Purge the waste trap

If you find that you're splashing around in the bottom of your shower, it is likely that the plughole, trap or waste pipe has become blocked. The usual culprit is hair, which catches soap and dirt to form a solid lump.

  1. Use a plastic cup to bail out any water in the bottom of the shower into a bowl or bucket.
  2. Lift off the cover of the plughole — it usually pulls straight up — and, wearing a pair of rubber gloves, scoop out any debris that you can reach from the trap. Pour a pan of boiling water down the hole.
  3. If the water still doesn't flow away, try squirting hair-removing (depilatory) cream or gel into the opening; leave for a few hours and wash through with boiling water. The cream breaks down the structure of hair and will eat through the blockage.
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