Why Is Dirt Coming Up Shower Drain? [Complete Guide]

Dirt coming up shower drain is a common problem that plagues homeowners all over the world. Though there are many possible reasons for this issue, there are some steps you can take to try and fix it.

Dirt coming up the shower drain also may be a sign of a larger problem that needs to be addressed. In order to fix the issue, you need to understand why it is occurring in your particular case.

Once you have determined what is going on, you will be better able to find the best solution for your situation. One of the most common reasons dirt is coming up the shower drain is because of broken pipes under the floor or behind the wall where they connect with the drain pipe.

Also, it’s possible that the drainpipe is blocked. Another potential cause is a crack in the wall where water can seep through and collect dirt as it rises to the shower drain.

It’s important to identify why dirt is coming up the shower drain before attempting any fixes, as they may make the situation worse or damage the home further if the wrong solution is applied.

In this article, you will learn about the most common reasons dirt is coming up the shower drain. You will also learn how to fix each problem so that it does not happen again in the future. Good luck finding the best solution for your particular situation.

Warning Signs Of A Clogged Drain

Dirt coming up shower drain is a common sight for many homeowners. There are several possible causes of this issue, and knowing the most likely cause is important in finding the best fix.

Water Drains Slowly

Slow water drain is one of the most common signs that there may be a problem with your pipes. If you have noticed this, it would be best to call a professional plumber who can inspect the system and see what’s going on under the floor or behind the walls. In some cases, water draining slowly could be caused by hair or soap scum buildup near the opening of the drainpipe in your wall.

Bubbling Toilet Water

Do you hear your toilet gurgling? This odd occurrence has a straightforward explanation. When you flush your toilet, the water in the bowl begins to drain out.

Sometimes, dirt and other debris can get caught near the opening of the pipe, which is what’s causing the bubbles. The best way to fix this problem is by plunging or snaking your drainpipe.

A gurgling toilet is another sign that you should get your drain inspected before the situation gets worse.

Sewage Smell From Drains

If your home starts to smell like sewage, it is likely that you have a blockage in the pipe somewhere. This blockage traps drain water and prevent it from being able to flow down into the treatment plant.

Sewer gas smell can be quite strong, so if you notice this smell in your home, contact a plumber immediately. A quick fix for this problem is flushing baking soda or vinegar down the drain.

The chemical reaction created when these two items are combined with hot water helps break up any blockages in the pipes caused by grease buildup over time.

Water Appearing In Tub Or Shower When Using

When your shower or tub starts to fill up when you are not using it, or when you flush the toilet and find water creeping into the tub, then there is most likely something wrong with the drainage system for this area.

This problem can be caused by a clogged drainpipe in your wall between your bathtub and the treatment plant. It may also mean that there’s some kind of blockage in the piping.

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What Causes A Clogged Shower Drain?

There are several possible causes for a clogged drain, many of which are common problems that can be fixed quickly.

Here are some of the most common reasons dirt is coming up the shower drain:


Can collect around the opening of your drainpipe, which blocks water from draining out. This blockage traps dirt and causes it to rise up to the shower drain as the water rises due to gravity. Hair can also catch on the lip of your drainpipe and cause the water to flow over it instead of through it.

Soap Scum

It can accumulate around drain openings and create a thick buildup of grime over time. This blockage also prevents water from draining out of the pipe. The soap scum can trap dirt inside and cause it to appear up through your drain as the water rises due to gravity and pressure.

Hard Water

When you have hard water, it can create a buildup of minerals inside your pipes. This buildup is clear and looks somewhat powdery. When the pipe gets clogged, dirt is able to pass through because there is space between all of the minerals in the way.

In most cases, this will only cause an issue with your tub drain because they are larger than shower drains. Calcium and iron are present in hard water.

Foreign Objects

Items like toys, jewelry, and even children’s toys can fall down your drain. This is especially true if the object gets stuck on your drainpipe. If it doesn’t fall down completely, it might still prevent water from draining properly through the pipe.

Objects lodged in the opening of your drainpipe will cause all kinds of blockages. Children’s objects will often have a toy-like appearance when they get stuck along with other debris inside a drain tube.

How To Clear A Clogged Shower Drain

Luckily, clearing a clogged drain isn’t too difficult to do. Here are some ways you can clear the blockage:

Video inspection

If you suspect that your shower or tub is clogged with dirt, the first thing you’ll need to do is inspect it. Remove as much water as possible from the shower by either draining it or siphoning the water out with a wet/dry vacuum.

Use a flashlight to peer into all of your drain openings and look for anything that may be stuck inside. You might also try videoing the drain using a camera on a stick to make sure there aren’t any foreign objects lodged inside.

Hydro Jetting

If you find that there are some objects stuck inside your drain, you’ll need to use a hydro jet to remove them. A hydro jet is a machine that attaches to the end of your garden hose.

Turn on the water and attach the hose attachment to the end of the nozzle. If you don’t have one already, you can rent one at most home improvement stores for around $75-100 per day.

Insert it into your drain opening and turn on the water. This will force high-pressure pressurized water into your pipes which loosens dirt buildup in places where it’s hard for it to reach by hand or with detergent.

Drain Line Replacement

If you’re unable to clear the blockage using other methods, it may be wise for you to replace your drain line. Some plumbing companies offer free inspections that will tell them if there are any signs of wear and tear on your pipes.

If so, they might recommend drain line replacement for your home’s protection. This is especially true if you have older pipes or live in an area with hard water or very cold winter weather.

Drain line replacement usually costs around $500-700 per household, depending on where you live and how much piping needs to be replaced throughout your house.

Cleaning The Drain With A Snake

To clean your drain with a snake, you might need to remove the cap that covers your pipes in the ceiling. Insert the end of an auger into one of your openings and turn it clockwise or counterclockwise according to how it needs to move in order to clear the blockage.

Sometimes you’ll be able to hear when objects start moving through your pipes, but other times you won’t be able to, so this method might take some time.

Boiling Water

Another way you can try to clear your drain is by pouring boiling water into it. You’ll need a pot or bucket large enough to hold all of the water that will be poured into the tub.

Bring the water in the pot/bucket to a boil and hold it above your shower head while slowly pouring it down the drain. Repeat this method if necessary.

Use A Plunger

To use a plunger, fill the bottom of your tub with enough water to cover the plunger’s head. Push and pull it up and down very rapidly in order to create pressure that forces air into the pipes, which creates suction and loosens clogs.

It might take a few tries, but this method should work for most blockages.

Try Chemical cleaners

If you don’t want to spend money on renting a hydro jet or buying an auger, try using chemical drain cleaners instead. These can often be found in stores like Wal-Mart and Lowe’s for around $4-$10 per bottle. In most cases, they’ll work pretty quickly, but it’s possible that you might have to use several bottles if the problem is severe enough.

Natural Alternatives To Chemicals

If you don’t like the idea of using chemicals to clean your drains, try using natural alternatives instead. Soaking a rag in vinegar and pushing it down the drain with hot water for 30 minutes can help dissolve clogs caused by hair or soap scum buildup. Using baking soda followed by vinegar is also another popular method that works well on most types of clog.

Pull Out The Clog By Hand

If clogs in your shower drain don’t seem to be caused by hair, soap scum, or other objects that can be dissolved with vinegar and baking soda, you might have to pull it out with your hands.

Stick your hand into the drain and feel for things that shouldn’t be there. If you’re lucky, you’ll be able to just pull it out without having to remove any plumbing or other fixtures in your home.

How To Prevent The Dirt From Coming Up The Shower Drain?

Here are some tips to help you avoid clogged drains in your home. Always try to put hair and other objects into the garbage instead of the drain, so they don’t accumulate on top of one another.

Make sure that you remove all excess water from showers after each use, so it doesn’t become a breeding ground for mold, mildew, or bacteria. Use drain covers if you want to protect your pipes even more.

And finally, pour about an inch of water into tubs after bathing before draining them to prevent dirt buildup around the edges where clogs seem most common.

Only Flush Human Waste And Toilet Paper

Toilet paper and human waste are the only things that should be flushed down your home’s toilets. Even small amounts of other material can cause major problems with your plumbing system if they’re not handled correctly.

This is especially true for women who use a lot of products in their bathrooms, such as facial scrubs, makeup, soaps, and shampoos. These types of items can cause clogs by locking together with hair and shower grime to form solid objects that aren’t easy to break apart or dissolve with chemicals.

Limit The Quantity Of Hair That Reaches The Shower Drain

Most people who shower use a lot of hair products, such as shampoo and conditioner. Try to limit how much hair gets into your drain by first rinsing it thoroughly before getting in the shower. You should also try to wash your hair every day so that it doesn’t build up on top of itself and cause clogs.

Use Natural Remedies Regularly

For those who want to avoid using chemicals as much as possible, all you really need is a little vinegar and baking soda. Try soaking a rag in one or the other and shoving it down your shower drain at least once a month. This should be enough to keep things going smoothly most of the time.

Take Care Of Your Main Drain Line Regularly

Regularly cleaning your shower drain isn’t the only thing you should be doing to help it last longer. You also need to take care of the mainline that connects it to your sewage system outside.

If you live in an area with heavy rains, for example, this can cause regular backups and overflows. You might want to hire a professional plumber or septic tank company to snake out the pipes once every few years, so this doesn’t start happening more often than usual.

Final Words

Dirt coming up the shower drain can be a sign that your home’s plumbing system needs some attention. While you might be able to fix the problem yourself by using natural remedies or removing the clog manually, it’s always best to consult with a professional if you’re not sure what’s going on.

They’ll be able to take a look at your pipes and drains and suggest the best way to get them back to working order in no time. I hope you learned a lot from this article. Thank you for reading!