How to Fix a Clogged Bathtub Drain in 5 Easy Steps

If boiling water and baking soda don’t do the trick, you might require professional assistance from a plumber to use a snake or auger on your drain. These tools are gettable at hardware stores and can reach deeper into pipes to dislodge any blockages and remove them altogether.

First, open and remove any stoppers on your overflow. Next, unscrew your tub drain. Read for more manageable steps.

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1. Remove the stopper and strainer

If your bathtub drain doesn’t respond to these steps, professional help might be the only option. A plumber’s snake is a long metal tool plumbing technicians use to dislodge and remove blockages in pipes and drains.

If your tub features a trip lever that controls its pop-up or plunger drain, open its toggle to disconnect it from the drain. You may need to unscrew its cover plate and handle to access its stopper/strainer.

If your tub features a lift-and-turn or push-and-pull drain, shine a flashlight down into its opening to identify whether there’s an unscrewed knob connected to a thin base that might need unbolting; unscrew and loosen it to release pressure on its mechanism.

2. Clean the drain mouth

Once the stopper and strainer have been removed, test whether your drain has enough space to flow freely. If not, ensure the lever is fully open so no obstruction exists within the pipe.

Homemade drain cleaners can treat light clogs as effectively as chemical products. Blend one cup of baking soda and one cup of vinegar and pour into your bathtub drain. This combination produces a reaction that breaks up blockages while dissolving soap scum, taking 15 minutes before flushing with boiling water to finish up.

If your plunger can’t clear stubborn clogs, consider purchasing a plumber’s snake or another tool to reach deeper into your tub and pipes. They are readily available at local hardware stores and will prove much less costly than calling in professional plumbers; just be sure to wear rubber gloves when handling these tools!

3. Plunge the drain

A sink plunger is often the first tool to use when dealing with a clogged sink. First, fill the bathtub halfway with water, just enough to cover the plunger’s rubber portion. Place the sink plunger over the drain, creating an air-tight seal.

Next, push the plunger down and pull it up quickly; doing this creates suction. Repeat this motion several times. After a few plunging attempts, remove the plunger and check if the water drains freely. If not, repeat the process until the clog is cleared.

If your drain remains blocked, use needle-nose pliers or a wire coat hanger straightened into a long single piece with an attachment hook at one end to fish out any debris and hair blocking your tub drain.

4. Flush with hot water

After 15 minutes, rinse your drain using boiling water to verify that the clog has been removed; this method is cheap and environmentally friendly but won’t work on solid objects such as tree roots.

5. Call a plumber

If your bathtub drain remains blocked, calling in professional help from a plumber will ensure that any plumbing issues can be dealt with swiftly and professionally.

Professional plumbers can utilize a pipe camera to inspect drain lines for blockages, make necessary repairs, and install new pipes if required.