The bathtub or shower is probably one of the most frequently used spaces in your home, and it’s noticeable whenever something isn’t working properly, especially when its a clogged bathtub drain. No one wants to get clean while murky water pools around their feet. There are many factors that can contribute to a clogged bathtub drain, but there are several quick solutions you can try before you might need to call a Phoenix plumber.
CHECK STRAINERS AND STOPPERS
Most bathtub or shower drains have some kind of drain stopper or strainer the help keeps large pieces of debris from entering the drain. These stoppers also catch hair and soap as it drains from the tub, and a lot of times this combination can tend to cause problems as hair tangles and soap creates large clogs.
In this case, you simply need to remove the stopper from the drain and dispose of the clog. Most strainers or stoppers twist out of the drain, in some instances they may need to be unscrewed. Check to see how quickly the tub drains after this has been done. If there’s still standing water, this could mean that there is a clog further down the line.
BAKING SODA & VINEGAR
If the simple stopper check mentioned above isn’t effective, you can also use baking soda and vinegar to try and further clean the clogged bathtub drain. Use the baking soda to scrub away any additional build up at the surface of the drain before pouring the mixture into the drain.
- Begin by pouring a pot of boil water down your drain
- Dump 1/2 cup of baking soda down the drain, wait a few minutes.
- Combine 1 cup of vinegar and 1 cup of hot water, then pour the mixture down the drain.
- Cover drain to keep reaction below the drain’s surface (you can use an old towel) and allow the mixture to sit for 5-10 minutes.
- Flush the drain one more time with another pot of boiling water.
This can help clear the line without having to use a heavy duty chemical drain cleaner. If you’re still experiencing standing water in the tub, it may be time to break out tools or drain cleaners.
Believe it or not, a toilet plunger can help with a clogged bathtub drain. For this approach, you will still need to remove the drain stopper or strainer.
- After the stopper has been removed place the cup of the plunger over the drain opening and fill the tub with water until the lip of the plunger is covered.
- Move the plunger handle up and down to force out the clog.
If the clog has been removed the water from the tub will drain normally and you know you’re in the clear.
USING A DRAIN CLAW OR SNAKE
A drain claw or snake can be purchased at your nearest hardware store, or you can straighten a wire hanger, leaving a hook at the end, for
a quick at-home solution. The stopper or strainer should still be removed for this approach.
- Insert the hardware into the drain. Don’t worry if your drain turns abruptly, the insert will follow the bend.
- Feed the snake or claw into the drain until you feel resistance, this means that you’ve located the clog.
- Rotate the insert until you feel no more resistance. This means that the snake or claw has been forced through the clog.
Retract the claw or snake and bring the clog out of the drain.
You should do a final flush of the drain with hot water to ensure that clog has been fully removed from the drain.
If the clog has persisted it may be beyond the reach of a claw or snake and it may be too large for baking soda and vinegar. It’s probably time for a chemical drain cleaner. There’s a large selection to chose from depending on the type of drain you’re needing to unclog.
Every cleaner has a different kind of safety instructions and each cleaner takes a different amount of time to work. Never combine chemicals in your drain. Ensure the area is well ventilated following the use of chemical drain cleaners.
STILL SEEING A CLOGGED BATHTUB DRAIN?
If none of the quick options above has unclogged your drain, we would recommend calling a professional plumber. This means that the clog is further down the line than any DIY options could reach and may require additional tools and knowledge. Contact your PLUMBER here to schedule an appointment!