I need information on how to unclog a bathtub drain.
By thekrem from Milwaukee, WI
One word - plunger. If that doesn't work you can try a snake.
Some tubs have an access area behind the wall where the spigot is, this gives you access to what is called a trap. The purpose of the trap is to catch things going down the drain and it can clog. Clean it and your drain may work again.
If all else fails call a plumber or your landlord if you rent. (01/08/2010)
I used a wire clothes hanger and got out gobs of hair from my son's bathtub. Then I used Drano. I do this ever few months and it works. I don't think anything works too good unless you dig out the hair. (01/13/2010)
I just dealt with this last weekend. Our entire sewer line was clogged so the toilet was backing up into the tub, yuck! I'm sure it was partially to do with my long hair.
I read several posts on ThriftyFun and also other sites I found. Pretty much no professional plumbers recommended Drano or other chemical drain cleaners. Hands down, everyone recommended boiling water, often with dish soap to help dissolve grease and break up the hair. Most sites recommend using this as preventative maintenance every month or so in all your drains.
For your current problem, the best thing would be to get a snake or auger to try to catch or break up the clog. We used a combination of this and boiling water. My husband did this from each drain in the house and also went into the crawl space and replaced a pipe that we discovered was leaking. Many pipes have "clean outs", a section that allows you to open it so you can get to the clog from different sides. We also have a clean out on our sewer pipe outside our house, right before it goes to the main street sewer pipe. We could tell that the clog was being pushed down, until finally it was gone!
If you do use drain cleaning products, be VERY careful if you then use a snake to clean the drain. The chemicals can stay in the pipes, which can then cause injuries to yourself or the plumber (last resort).
For the future, you may want to invest in a screen for your tub drain, to catch the hair before it goes down. Also, remember that all your drains are connected, so if you pour kitchen grease down the drain, it might mingle with your hair from the tub, causing a clog that is difficult to find.
Oh, one last word of advice on your toilet. Be cautious about pouring boiling water here or in any porcelain, as it might crack the fixture. And if you use a regular snake in a toilet, it will scratch up the bowl. I now have ugly black scratches that I will now need to research how to remove. Good luck! (01/13/2010)
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