If your bathtub isn't draining well it can be a problem for taking baths and being able to use your bathroom properly. Getting the drain clear will make your bathtub, and bathroom in general, easier to use. This is a guide about clearing a clogged bathtub drain.
We recently paid a plumber $95 to clean a clogged bathtub drain. All our home remedy tips did not free the clog. In fact, we even had to have them get the "snake" that we had used out of the drain because it was lodged in and we couldn't get it to move. He shared a tip that will help keep drains clear. The problem we had was that hair had clogged it up. He said to pour a half gallon of Clorox in there once a month to keep it flushed. He also said never to use those liquid drain cleaners in a situation like this because they would just stop at the blocked up place and make the situation worse.
By Sandy from Elon, NC
For slow drains in old houses, pour a bottle of bleach down the tub drain once a month in the evening (every 5 weeks for the bathroom sink). In the morning, heat up a tea kettle and pour one gallon of water down the drain. Aim for the drain (or use a funnel), so as not to crack porcelain. This works only on slow drains.
Source: Frugal Village
By duckie-do from Cortez, CO
I was so happy to find these handy tools at Lowe's. No more using wire to unclog the bathroom sink, and the cute little bathtub plunger, was so colorful to pass up!
I saw a tip using baking soda to unclog a bathtub drain. I didn't bookmark and now can't find it. Can anyone recall the tip?
Okay. What I want to know is if the baking soda/vinegar will work on a clog that is not responding to Drano? (Not completely clogged, but very slow-moving.) Does anyone know? Thanks.
I have a clogged shower and my toilet drains into the shower. I ran a snake down into the shower and it felt like it was coming out the vent. I ran a hose into the vent and the water came into the shower. Can someone please help?
I had a similar problem, finally called the plumber. There were tree roots getting into the sewer line, he cleared them out.
I need to know if my problem is a pipe clog or a septic problem. The tub fills only to flow from under the toilet and therefore floods the bathroom.
Pipe clog (unless all your drains are stopped). The clog is below where the drain from the tub joins the drain from the toilet. The wax seal under the toilet is leaking, and water from the tub backs up to the toilet and leaks through the seal onto the floor.
If drain cleaners are not working in a shower or bathtub drain, the problem might be higher up.
The shower drain in my long-haired teenage daughter's bathroom was plugged so badly she ended up standing in water up to her ankles when she took a shower. I tried all kinds of drain cleaners, to no avail. Then one day, I took the grate off the top of the drain so that I could look down with a flashlight and possibly see something. What a surprise: I could only see a couple of inches down! The crossbars in the pipe, like a plus sign about two inches down, were completely covered with hair!
I used needle-nose pliers to pull out a wad of long hairs as thick as my thumb, that was draped over the crossbars, hanging down like a fringe, almost completely blocking the pipe where drain cleaners had no effect.
By Mary from Hummeltwown, PA
When we recently found that the water in my bathtub was not draining. I discovered that the lever from the overflow cover was broken. I replaced the bathtub overflow cover unit with a new one.
When I completed the replacement, I tested the water in the tub for drainage and the bathtub drained just fine. When I pressed the lever one direction, it drained and when pushed the other direction, it blocked. Two days later the tub will not drain. I removed the newly installed cap and pulled the whole unit that's connected to it out of the overflow pipe, which had a metal cylinder-like tube at the end. I then tried plunging the drain opening on the tub floor, but the water simply came up the overflow pipe out the cover opening back into the tub. It would seem to me that there is more than just dirt as an impediment, but I suspect some part of the system that may be lodged blocking the outflow. Any suggestions what it may be and what can be done to remedy this?
We had that problem too. We snaked the bathroom tub, sink, & stool so many times. The answer came to us when we had to replace the stool. We found a plumber in the yellow pages. Got some good recommendations. They came and snaked the stack! You have to go on the roof for that.
If you can access the stack, rent as big a plumber's snake as possible and to the job yourself. Be sure to ask the rental agency lots of questions, they want their equipment back in good shape too. Be sure to clean the snaket off too. That is just plain common courtesy. You will save lots of little tub snaking jobs in the future.
In my bathroom the face basin and toilet drains properly, but the bathtub does not, it drains outside of my house. I ran a snake in the pipe and that did not help, what can I do?
By Lovell from Houston, TX
Try putting 1 cup baking soda in drain. Follow with either 1 cup salt OR 1 cup vinegar. Finish with 1 cup boiling water. If you run out of liquid before all the soda and/or salt is down, you can push it along with a little extra vinegar or boiling water. Wait at least 1 hour before using drain.
What is the best way to clean a tub drain?
By Barbara from FL
A tub drain often has hair stuck in it. Pry off the cover and reach in with something like an old toothbrush to snag out the hair and accumulated soap gunk. Hopefully, this glob of hair and whatnot is all that is causing your drain to be sluggish.
I have found that Drano crystals are very effective for dissolving accumulated hair and soap scum.
I don't put any faith in the baking soda and vinegar treatment, as all that does is create air bubbles in the drain. Pouring coke down the drain would also put bubbles in the drain. Why would that work? I know people swear by it, but I just don't believe it! I suspect that baking soda and hot water would help in a kitchen drain, as it would react chemically with grease build up. Drain cleaners are strong bases; baking soda is a mild base -- the chemical reaction would be the same, only not as strong.
I need to unclog a tub drain that has sheet rock pieces in it. The tub is stopped up.
I need to unstop bath tub drain. It is loaded with hair.
By Beffy from Dayton, OH
I've used tweezers to get most of mine out. After that I use the white vinegar and baking soda remedy. I also bought those screen plug drain things for all my drains. I found mine at my local flea market. (10/11/2010)
"Nair" will do it very fast if the problem is hair. It is made to dissolve hair on your body and it will do the same thing in your sink. (10/12/2010)
On the Mr. Fix-It show on WGN radio, Saturday morning, Lou Manfordeni suggested using a 'Drain Claw' to remove hair from drains. It costs about $5.00, and is sold at most ACE or True Value Hardware stores. He also suggests some drain cleaner with the word CAT in the name. (Can't remember complete name, maybe something like Black Cat.) Give the drain claw a try. (10/12/2010)
I think the ladies who have thought to use Nair (or any other product such as that) are brilliant. I would try just fishing out the hair with a wire or pliers or part of a coat hanger bent into a loop. I also use an old toothbrush. If that doesn't do the trick, use Nair.
I don't see how vinegar and baking soda will do anything, but bubble. Do they dissolve your hair if your put the solution on your head? Of course not! What they do is react together to make salt water and carbon dioxide, hence, the bubbles. (10/12/2010)
Do you have an afghan crochet hook, can you borrow one? It is a crochet hook that is long and straight like a knitting needle. Hopefully you can reach into the drain with it and pull out the hair. (10/12/2010)
Use Clorox (about 2 cups) and boiling water. Alternate between the two. Give the Clorox time to "eat" up the hair. Trust me this works every time. You may have to use a whole bottle of Clorox and keep redoing it, but it will clear out any drain. (10/13/2010)
Use a wet/dry vac, just don't turn it on till you have the nozzle firmly over the drain opening. Works like a charm and no chemicals. (10/21/2010)
By work smart
My tub drains slowly (the only one in the house that does). I am sure there isn't a clog. I have an enamel tub, so I removed the plate, and when I gently pulled it out there wasn't a chain. I don't know if it a plunger type or a ball. Do I have to remove the tub, or is there a way to take out the drain plate from the tub so I can see into the drain?
By George from Berlin, MD
By <a href="/profile/index.lasso?profile=thr760385">rygobus 10/29/2010
Sometimes when a bath tub drain is slow, there is an accumulation of hair and crud in the drain between the tub and the trap. Trap cleaners rarely clear these obstructions. There is a tool available at most home stores that is just right for this job and it only costs a couple of dollars. Find a Zip It, they work great!
Good luck. Rygobus
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What is a good way to open a slow drain without taking everything apart?
By Charlie from Las Vegas, NV
I use vinegar and baking soda every week to keep my drains running smoothly and odor free. Dump baking soda down the drain, then pour vinegar in after. The acidity of the vinegar and the bubbling action will help keep drains clear. (07/01/2010)
Also, have you tried the salt and boiling water? There was a post this past week, too, by a man that puts coffee grounds down his drain and never has slow drains, search that out on this site for more details. Good luck! (07/02/2010)
Try using boiling water, I mean water boiled in a pot or teakettle, not just very hot from the faucet. This should help dissolve whatever is clogging the drain. As you may have to do it several times, while waiting for the next container of water to boil you could use the vinegar/baking soda combination. (07/11/2010)
I need information on how to unclog a bathtub drain.
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These ideas may or may not work for a really badly clogged drain, depending on what's clogging it, but it's worth a try.
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How can I unclog a tub drain without the use of harmful chemicals?
What do you do for a clogged tub drain?
I need some help in cleaning out my bathtub drain. I have used "Plumbers Helper" like it was going out of style but still no results. How about a few ideas?
What helps unclog a bathtub?
I've had good results with this drain cleaner: Pour 1 cup of baking soda into drain.