How to Unclog a Bathtub
Most people take one, if not two showers a day, and they prefer to do it in a tub that is draining efficiently. When you’re trying to get clean, you do NOT want to stand in ankle-deep, dirty water. In fact, standing in filthy water can almost ruin the whole shower experience.
If you have a slow-draining bathtub drain, there are some things that you can try at home before putting a call into the plumber.
All you need is coat hanger with a little bend on the end or a Zip-It Bath and Sink Hair Snare (available at Home Depot and most hardware stores for around $2.50), a plunger, and a screwdriver.
1. Remove the strainer or stopper. First, you will want to remove the strainer, which is located over the drain. You should be able to do this manually, but some models have screws that need to be removed with a screwdriver.
If your tub has a stopper instead of a strainer, this should be easy to remove because they are not held in place by any screws. You simply remove the stopper by twisting it and lifting it up. Now that gives you better access to the drain so you can try to unclog it.
2. Use the “high tech” coat hanger or Zip-It. Use the coat hanger or Zip-It to pick the sludge and hair out of the drain. You can use the hook and straight end of a hanger to remove all of the accumulated hair and sludge from the drain. If you’re lucky, this may be the only tool that you need. If it still doesn’t drain, you may need to try a plunger.
3. Use the plunger. Before you plunge, you’ll need to fill the tub with water and plug the drain. If you don’t fill it with water, you’re just forcing air down the drain. Fill it with several inches of water, release the plug, and plunge the tub with the water in it. This may be enough to completely clear the clog.
If your bathtub is still clogged, you may need to use the homeowner’s version of a drain snake. If you’re up for the DIY challenge, all the power to you. If you are not comfortable using a snake, now is the time to call in a trusted plumber.
If You Use a Drain Snake
If the hanger and plunger tricks did not clear the clog, the next step is the snake the drain. We recommend using a homeowner version of a drain snake, which is available at your local hardware store.
After you snake the drain, run some water in the tub to see if you successfully dislodged the stoppage. If the drain works, congratulations on unclogging the tub!
If you are not a DIY-type person, or if you decide that the clog is beyond your capabilities, please don’t hesitate to contact A-1 Sewer & Septic Service Inc. to schedule a service call!