It’s increasingly common for people to have more than one shower in their home: an en suite, family bathroom, or guest bathroom. It’s also common for a shower to be used more than the others. In the case of a guest bathroom, it might be that the shower is only rarely used. If this is the case in your home, you might want to go run that shower now and then get into the habit of regularly turning it on rather than waiting until the next guest comes to stay!
The dangers of not regularly running your shower
Water can sometimes cause illness if it isn’t kept fresh. If you aren’t running your shower regularly, harmful bacteria can build up inside your shower head. This bacteria, called Legionella, can contaminate droplets of water and, if inhaled into the lungs, can cause Legionnaire’s Disease. This can become even worse through the summer months as the bacteria thrive in hotter temperatures, particularly stagnant water above 20C and below 45C.
Around 500 Brits a year contract Legionnaire’s Disease. The World Health Organisation believes that the rising numbers could be down to more people having showers than baths.
Legionnaire’s Disease (sometimes referred to as Legionellosis) is a type of pneumonia that can be very dangerous and result in organ failure or death. Some individuals are at higher risk of contracting it:
- Heavy drinkers.
- Those with lung or heart disease.
Symptoms include breathlessness, high temperature, feverishness and a cough, although many cases go undiagnosed. Fortunately, treatment is very simple and the infection can usually be cured with a short dose of antibiotics.
An unpleasant odour from your shower
It’s definitely not as serious as a potentially life-threatening bacteria yet it’s something unpleasant that you’d notice daily. When not regularly running water, you’re also not regularly rinsing your waste pipe so that foul odours can build up. This isn’t enjoyable when you’re going into the space that you use to clean yourself.
There can be other causes of drain odours, which we’ve mentioned before, so check those out if your shower drain does have a persistent odour.
Some simple tips to keep your water safe from bacteria
Luckily, very little is needed to help keep your water safe. All it takes is:
- Run your shower for a few minutes at least once a week to clear the pipes.
- Clean the outside of your shower head every couple of months or more often if possible (be careful to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for cleaning products).
- Ensure there aren’t any places where water can stay still and bacteria can grow.
Time to consider freshening up your shower? Get in touch so we can make that happen.