How to Unclog a Bathtub Drain?

Blog author image
Mark Jardine
May 08, 2024
Blog post image
In this comprehensive guide, we're diving headfirst into the world of plumbing problem-solving to show you how to conquer the dreaded clogged sink drain like a seasoned pro. From tried-and-true techniques to handy tips and tricks, get ready to bid farewell to blocked drains and say hello to hassle-free plumbing bliss. Let's roll up our sleeves and get unclogging!

Why is the bathtub clogged?

A clogged bathtub can be caused by a combination of factors. One common culprit is the accumulation of hair. As we shower or bathe, loose strands of hair easily find their way into the drain. Over time, these strands combine with soap scum and other debris, forming a dense obstruction that hinders water flow.
Another contributing factor is the buildup of soap residue and mineral deposits. Soap scum can line the walls of the pipes, attracting more debris and creating a stubborn blockage. In areas with hard water, minerals like calcium and magnesium can precipitate, forming hard deposits that constrict the drain.
Insufficient use of drain screens or catchers and inadequate maintenance practices can further worsen the situation, leading to a clogged bathtub drain. Regular maintenance and preventative measures are essential to prevent these issues and ensure a smoothly flowing drain.

Simple Ways to Unclog a Bathtub Drain

When faced with a clogged bathtub drain, it's essential to take prompt action to restore proper water flow. Here's a detailed step-by-step guide on how to effectively unclog a bathtub drain:
  1. Remove visible debris: To begin, clear out any hair, soap residue, or other visible particles from the drain opening. You may utilize your fingers or a pair of needle-nose pliers to extract any reachable debris. Put the debris in a trash bag for disposal.
  2. Boiling water: To clear minor blockages and dissolve grease, follow these steps: Boil 1 liter of water in a pot and pour it down the drain in 2-3 stages, allowing the water to work its way through the clog. Be careful when handling boiling water to prevent burns.
  3. Baking soda and vinegar: To clear a clogged drain, combine equal parts baking soda and vinegar in a bowl. Pour this mixture down the drain and cover it with a stopper or cloth to prevent fizzing. Leave the solution undisturbed for around 15 minutes. The chemical reaction caused by the mixture will help break down organic matter and unclog the drain.
  4. Flush with hot water: After the baking soda and vinegar mixture has had time to work, remove the drain cover or cloth and flush the drain with hot water. Run hot tap water for a few minutes to ensure the clog is fully cleared and the drain is flowing smoothly.
  5. Plunger: If the clog persists, you can use a plunger specifically designed for drains. Ensure there is enough water in the tub to cover the plunger's cup. Place the plunger over the drain opening, making sure it creates a tight seal. Push down firmly and then pull up quickly, creating a suction effect. Repeat this plunging motion vigorously for about a minute. The pressure generated can dislodge the clog.
  6. Drain snake: If the plunger doesn't work to clear the clog, try using a drain snake. Insert the snake into the drain, pushing it gently but firmly. As you push it forward, rotate the snake clockwise to help it catch onto the clog. If you feel resistance, twist and wiggle the snake to break up the blockage. Keep feeding the snake into the drain until you feel that the obstruction has been cleared. To finish, slowly pull the snake out, removing any debris that it has collected along the way.
  7. Chemical drain cleaners (optional): As a last resort, you can consider using a chemical drain cleaner. These products typically contain powerful chemicals that can dissolve stubborn clogs. However, exercise caution and follow the instructions carefully, as they can be corrosive and potentially damage your pipes if misused. It's important to note that chemical cleaners are not suitable for all types of pipes, so check the product label and ensure compatibility with your plumbing system.
Remember, if you're uncertain about using any of these methods or if the clog remains stubborn, it's best to consult a professional plumber. They have the expertise and specialized equipment to handle more complex clogs and ensure the integrity of your plumbing system.

Can bleach unclog a bathtub drain?

No, bleach is not an effective method for unclogging a bathtub drain. While bleach can help clean and disinfect surfaces, it is not designed to dissolve or break down clogs. The chemical composition of bleach is not suitable for clearing blockages. It's best to use methods such as boiling water, baking soda and vinegar, plunging, or using a drain snake to effectively unclog a bathtub drain.

Which acid is commonly used by plumbers for unclogging drains?

Plumbers often use hydrochloric acid, also known as muriatic acid, to unclog drains. Hydrochloric acid is a strong chemical that can dissolve organic matter, mineral deposits, and other substances, causing blockages in pipes. However, it is crucial to note that hydrochloric acid should only be used by trained professionals due to its hazardous nature.
Improper use can lead to safety hazards and damage to plumbing systems. It's always recommended to consult a licensed plumber for effective and safe unclogging solutions.

Who should I call for plumbing service near me?

Struggling with a clogged bathtub drain? Don't fret! Home Alliance is here to save the day. If you're unsure about fixing it yourself, leave it to our expert plumbers. We pride ourselves on our friendly and professional approach, ensuring a stress-free experience. No plumbing issue is too big or small for us, and our affordable rates make quality plumbing service accessible to all. Don't let a clog ruin your day - contact us now and let us unclog your drain with expertise and a smile.