How to Unclog a Slow Draining Tub

Slow bathtub drain can be really annoying, especially if you’re in a hurry and you need all the water to go down before you leave the bathroom. This sort of problem, however, doesn’t necessarily need the expertise of a plumber, which could be costly. Fixing a slow bathtub drain can be done in many ways, with or without the use of chemicals. Ready to get down and dirty?

Putting Your Thrust On The Trusty Plunger

Using a plunger to remove mild blockage in the drain is the easiest way to fix slow-draining bathtub, and you won’t need to use anything else. Put the plunger head over the bathtub drain and then, with all your might, plunge 4 to 5 times. Run hot water and see if drainage is still slow. Repeat the process as needed.

The Baking Soda Treatment

With a half cup baking soda in hand, pour it into the drain and then pour one cup of white vinegar afterward. Allow the ingredients to combine and foam for 5 minutes. Then, turn on the hot water and let it run for 30 seconds until everything goes down the drain. Turn on the tap again and see if water drainage is still slow.

What is great about a treatment of baking soda and vinegar is that it deodorizes the drain and loosens whatever mild blockage underneath.

When Mild Treatments Fail

Say you’ve used the plunger and baking soda solution but to no avail. Time to use some elbow grease.

1. Remove or unscrew the drain cover.

2. Using a pipe snake, push it down the drain until you hit a blockage or it gets stuck. You can also use a drain claw or a bent wire, depending on which easily fits down the drain.

3. Push and pull vigorously until the block buildup is removed or the pipe snake breaks through the blockage.

4. Rinse the drain with hot water, so residue of broken-up blockage will drain away.

5. Test and examine if the bathtub drain is still slow flowing.

6. Replace the drain cover if the problem is fixed.

Note: You can also remove the drain overflow panel and follow the same process. When using an electric pipe snake, allow it to agitate for about 10 seconds, then slowly pull it out. Most of the blockage is likely to be on the head of the pipe snake.

Drain Maintenance Tips

1. Always remove hair after taking a bath and right before the entire volume of water goes down the drain. Effectively keeping hair from going down the drain and building up into clumps of hair.

2. Once the blockage is clear, make it a point to use bleach once a month to keep the drain free of any blockage. You will need to flush half gallon of bleach into the drain. Never use liquid drain cleaners, as this can make matters worse. Rinse the bleach with hot water.

3. Clean strainers & stoppers regularly. Don’t wait for gunk or other blockage to build up before you start doing something about it. Prevention is still better than cure, after all.

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