How to Unclog a Bathtub

How to Unclog a Bathtub

You roll out of bed and make your way into the bathroom. You’re ready for a refreshing shower to start your day off right. But as you lather up your hair, you realize the water is creeping up around your ankles. Before your next shower, you need to unclog that bathtub drain! (Not to mention those grimy bath toys the kids play with.)

Chemical drain cleaner may come to mind first, but this is a harmful way to unclog drains for a few reasons. First, repeated use of harsh chemicals can damage your pipes and lead to trouble later on. Second, pouring toxic substances down the drain pollutes the municipal water supply.

It’s much better to use natural methods and home remedies to unclog a bathtub drain. Here are the top suggestions from Mr. Rooter Plumbing, a Neighbourly company.

Tips on How to Unclog a Bathtub

You have a few options for unclogging a bathtub drain without chemicals.

Remove easy-to-reach gunk

Start by removing the stopper. If your tub has a pop-up drain plug, insert a screwdriver under the cover, loosen the screw, and remove the plug. As you lift it out, you may find that hair and other debris have accumulated here. If you’re too grossed out to remove this gunk by hand, bend a wire coat hanger into a hook using needle-nose pliers. Then, fish out any foreign material from the drain with this handy tool.

Sometimes, simply removing and cleaning these parts will get things moving. Send a blast of hot water down the drain to finish the job. If the tub still backs up, the blockage is located further down, and you’ll need to try other home remedies to unclog the bathtub drain.

Pour boiling water down the drain

Boil a large pot of water and pour it slowly down the tub drain. The goal is to dissolve the soap scum and dislodge the hair buildup. Pouring a cup of baking soda followed by one cup vinegar can also loosen things up.

Use a plunger

With the stopper removed, you can clear the drain with a plunger. First, you should plug the overflow drain to create a vacuum. To do this, remove the cover plate below the bathtub faucet and insert a washcloth or hand towel into the hole so air can’t escape.

Next, set the plunger over the drain and fill the tub with a few inches of hot water. Apply several thrusting motions to attempt to get things moving.

Use a plumber’s snake

If the clog remains despite your efforts with a plunger, it’s time to break out the heavy artillery. An auger, or plumber’s snake, features a long, flexible cable with a coiled spring at one end and a hand crank on the other. You can purchase or rent one for the job.

Insert the cable into the drain and turn the crank until you reach the blockage. Push and pull the cable to help it become embedded in the clog. Then, turn the crank in the opposite direction to pull the cable back out. If the coiled spring comes up empty, try inserting it into the overflow drain to clear blockages that lie beyond the drain trap.

Contact Mr. Rooter Plumbing for Help Clearing Clogged Drains

While you should be able to unclog the bathtub yourself, you may not have the time, patience, or capability to do the job yourself. Fortunately, Mr. Rooter Plumbing is here to help. We offer quick, affordable drain clearing to get your tub flowing smoothly again.

To schedule services with one of our courteous plumbers, please contact Mr. Rooter Plumbing today!

This blog is made available by Mr. Rooter LLC, for educational purposes only to give the reader general information and a general understanding on the specific subject above. The blog should not be used as a substitute for a licensed plumbing professional in your state or region. Check with city and state laws before performing any household project. 

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