A blocked bathtub drain is a problem that many households face, especially when there are people with long hair. Understandably, plumbers can be expensive and take time. You should learn how to unclog your bathtub drain.
The worst thing about bathtub drains is hair. This is in addition to soap buildup and residue from shampoo oils and conditioner. If your bath has been draining slowly since its installation, the problem is likely due to the gradient of the pipes below or a more severe issue with the sewerage. In this case, you will need to contact a professional.
This guide will show you how to unclog your bathtub drain using simple, expert steps. You can also follow similar steps to unclog your shower drain.
How to Unclog a Bathtub Drain
Preventive measures are often more effective than curative. “If your bathtub keeps getting clogged up, make some changes to prevent it from happening again,” says David Cruz, a plumbing expert at MyJobQuote (opens in new window). A filter can prevent hair from clogging your drain. Regular drain cleaning with hot water or a ready-made cleaner can keep soap residue from blocking the drain.
Experts recommend that you use simple bathroom cleaning techniques to clear your blocked bathtub. This is how to unclog your bathtub in five easy steps.
Sink plunger (we like this one by Amazon (opens in new tab).
White vinegar and bicarbonate of soda.
Plumbing snake (we love this one by Amazon (opens in new window).
Eliminate Obvious Obstructions
Accessing your bathtub’s drain opening will be easy if you have a traditional drain blocker on a chain. Modern baths can be fitted with an integrated drain stopper. toe-touch), or trip-lever. To gain access to the drain, you will need it removed. Most drain stoppers can be removed by a wrench, but some might require a drill to remove them.
After you have removed the drain stopper, you can take a look at the drain with a torch. To remove any obstructions you see, use your fingers or small tongs to grab them.
Boil the Blockage
If there is no standing water in the bath, then the boiling water trick is the best way to unclog the tub. Boiling water in a pan will allow you to reach areas that are difficult to reach. Boiling water works well to remove grease and soap stuck together. The heat activates it and helps get things moving, Chris Wootton (opens in new tab).
A liter of boiling water should be sufficient. After it has cleared, run the faucet to check if things are moving faster. It’s worth adding one more kettle to the pot before you move on to step 3.
Use A Plunger
To create the vacuum, you must plug the overflow of the bath before using the plunger. The majority of overflow covers are screw-off, so you can plug the hole using a damp cloth or a large slab (like Blu Tack) of putty.
To properly perform the plunger technique, you need to remove the drain stopper. Use a sink plunger (not a toilet plunger) to place directly over the drain. Next, pump the water up and down several times before stopping to check if it is draining. Keep going until the blockage disappears.
Add Baking Soda And Vinegar
Clearing a blocked bathtub drain with vinegar or baking soda can be done in a few simple steps.
Baking soda and vinegar can be used to unclog a bathtub drain. Trinity Owhe, Design Expert at Victorian Plumbing, says that you should pour some bicarbonate soda down the drain. Let it sit for 15 mins before adding white vinegar.
“The chemical reaction creates a foam-like substance which might help to dislodge blockages. It can also neutralize unpleasant odors. After the mixture stops bubbling, rinse it off with water.
Invest in a Plumber’s Snake
If the blockage persists, you should get a tool kit to learn how a drain snake works. For clearing out blockages further below your bath, you can use a variety of pipe cleaners, including hair snakes, plumber’s snakes, and flexible pipe-cleaners.
A metal plumber’s snake measuring 9ft in length is the best to reach any obstructions that are not easily removed by hand. They are very easy to use and extremely effective, says Ben Chalk (chartered construction manager, GIR Services)(opens in new window).
How can I unclog my bathtub drain?
Boiling water should always be your first choice. Baking soda and vinegar can also be used as natural solutions to chemical ones. After pouring a cup of baking soda down the sink, let it set for a while, and then pour a cup of white vinegar down the sink,’ says Chris Wootton (Managing Director) of cleaning service Poppies.
The mildly acidic solution should be able to break down the more serious clogs. Following up with boiling water a few hours later, any remaining debris should be removed. If this fails, you might need to use chemicals or an unblocker. There are many reasonably priced, effective drain unblockers available on the market.