Clogged Bathtub Drain: How to Fix It

bathroom bathtub

Are you waiting in the bathroom for more than ten minutes for the bathtub to drain? It mainly happens if you had casually brushed off a slowly draining bathtub for days together.  

If you don’t address a clogged bathtub promptly, it may take a turn for the worse and may leave you with a completely blocked and unusable bathtub. A clogged bathtub drain is not something you can take lightly as it can cause risks of drowning and other serious issues. 

So always be aware and know how to unclog a bathtub drain at first sight of the problem. Don’t wait until there is a full tub of water standing. You can try these steps to unclog the bathtub drain, and even then, if it still prevails, you can reach out to a local plumber to find a better solution.

Before You Start

There are several options available when it comes to unclogging a bathtub drain. You can try these methods on your own, and if it does not work, don’t hesitate to call a plumber to assist you. 

These steps discussed can be tried out in any bathtub like corner bathtubs, walk-in, and freestanding bathtubs. 

Clean the Stoppers

All drains have a cover that lets water pass through them and prevents other larger objects from entering the drain hole. As hair can’t pass through the cover, most of the time, it gets tangled and stops water from passing through freely.

So before you go to the main details of how to unclog a bathtub drain, you must first clear the issues on the surface. First, remove the stopper or the strainer on the drain and clean the tangled hair present in it. 

Once you clean it, replace the cover and turn on the water to test it. If the drain is still clogged, then that was not the only issue.

Use a Drain Claw

A drain claw is a handy tool that has a stick covered with small hooks designed for unclogging the drain.

Remove the cover and insert the drain claw inside. Push it deeper down the drain as far as it goes and slowly pulls it out. If there were any tangles of hair or other small gritty objects in the drain, the hooks would easily pull it out.

Continue the process repeatedly until the hook comes out clean. Again close the cover, run the water and check if the bathtub has unclogged.

Try Vinegar & Baking Soda

Take a kettle of water at boiling temperature and pour it into the drain. In many cases, boiling water alone can help clear the blockage in the drain. If it does not work, then take out the vinegar and baking soda.

You must pour one cup of white vinegar and half a cup of baking soda into the drain. Give it 20 to 25 minutes for them to act. Then pour another cup of boiling water and wait until the water drains away. Turn on the water to see if the drains have been unclogged. 

Repeat the same process more than two times and check for the results. If it is still negative, then wield out your plunger.

Work With a Plunger

By this time, the blockage may be substantial, and there may be many solid items in the drain. Fill the bathtub with a little hot water, a couple of inches, and hold the plunger over the drain. Push it down and pull it out harder several times. Give all your strength, as the force of suction, can shift the blockage in the drain.

Once the grime and tangles of hair and other blockages come out, you can clean it from the bathtub. Repeat this process until the plunger comes out clean and test it by checking if the water drains normally. 

Chemical Products

If none of these discussed methods work, then you can try using a chemical drain cleaner. It should be your last option as these strong chemicals can weaken the bathtub’s drainage system and are not environmentally friendly. 

Before you use the product, wear gloves, and take all safety precautions. Use it only after you read the instructions on the product. When you identify the issue early and deal with the problem then and there, you can solve it easily without resorting to chemical products or even plungers. The longer you procrastinate, the severe the damage will be. Even then, if you are not sure how to unclog a bathtub drain, you can reach out to a plumber to help you with it.

Consider opting for professional drain cleaning to keep your drains in tip-top shape. If your shower drain keeps clogging frequently, it may indicate a blockage in your main sewer line, which can result in severe damage to your home and sewer system if left neglected.

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