Easy Steps to Unclog Tub Drain
If you want to try to unclog tub drain without calling a plumber, follow the simple steps below:
- You may start to unclog tub drain by examining the stopper in the tub. If it’s just covered in residue or grime take some cleaner and scrub it clean. This won’t open the drain, but it’s certainly better to work and clean items so they are clean and in order, ready to reinstall in the proper sequence later. Once the cleaning is complete, find out how to remove the stopper completely from the drain body.
- Next, take the look deeper into the drain itself and try to figure out what might be causing the slow draining problem. Often, it’s hair buildup that clogs the drains. As it builds up it will hold any particles, rinsed soap, etc. and can have a putrid smell. If it is hair, be very careful not to push the hair further down into the drain. This will only cause more problems. Sometimes you can reach the majority of the hair with some needle-nose pliers or take a bent coat hanger to try to remove the build-up.
- If it’s not a build up of hair then the clog is somewhere further down the drain. You might find that by mixing baking soda and vinegar together and slowly pouring it into the drain will help. Using a mixing bowl, measure ⅓ a cup of vinegar and ⅓ a cup of baking soda. The mixture creates a fixing action that might just do the trick and release dirt and grime that may be blocking the tub drain.
- Because tubs are sometimes glazed with a coating, using a pitcher of hot or boiling water to pour down the tub drain is not recommended. This may cause more problems than fixes, and often does not prove to work very well in the long term. If the hot water seems to work momentarily, then it may have only worked to move the clog further down the drain until it cools off again. However, you can partially fill the tub with room temperature water and leave it for around ten to fifteen minutes with the drain unstopped. If it’s still standing in the tub after that, use a plunger. The water sitting against the blockage may have softened the obstruction enough that it can now be plunged out of the drain line. It might be just the fix you need for that slow draining tub.
- If the 4 steps mentioned have not fully unclogged your tub drain, you might make a trip to the neighborhood hardware store and buy a “plumber’s snake.” This might work if you know how to use it, but to use it on a tub is more difficult than it sounds. It should only be used through the tub overflow drain.
If you are unsure about any part of the 5th step or recommendation, it is best to call a licensed plumber to discover the actual problem or blockage and deal with it more quickly than you can ever imagine. They are trained professionals that will have all the necessary equipment and probably any necessary replacement parts…and know exactly how to proceed to solve any plumbing issue or problem you may have.
Always remember too much force can permanently damage a pipe or fixture. If you must force anything on a plumbing fixture, it may break and can cause more damage than you ever imagined which will alway be more costly than having a licensed professional plumbing contractor deal with it in the first place.
If these home steps have not helped solve your drain problem, definitely turn the job over to a licensed plumber to ensure the job is done correctly.
Preventing Clogs from Happening in the First Place
To save you from a hassle unclogging your drains, it’s important to do a little maintenance each week. Besides keeping your bathroom and plumbing fixtures clean, use a screen in the drains for your sink, tub, lavatories and washer to prevent debris or unnecessary items from dropping into them. In addition, using a regular cleaning solution as described above will help keep the sludge from building up inside the sanitary sewer pipe under your home.
It may be wise to ask a licensed plumber whether they offer a maintenance program for good customers. The monthly cost is unbelievably low, provides regular inspection and maintenance. In addition such programs will also usually waive the trip charge that is normal in the industry for plumbing repair calls. Some plumbing companies offer Discounts to customers and waive “Emergency Fees” as well.