Fixing a Slow Tub Drain

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 Monica from Cortez, CO

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March 30, 20110 found this helpful

I don't see any reason for using the bleach, that would not unclog the drain. It is the hot water that is doing the work. Soda and vinegar would work and would be better for the environment than bleach.

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March 30, 20110 found this helpful

The only down side to this tip is for people who has septic tank instead of public sewage, the bleach can kill the good bacteria. :-(

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March 30, 20110 found this helpful

Do not put bleach down your drain or toilet even if it is only once a month. where I work we clean with bleach and would put bleach in toilet and the sanitation person came to do their inspection and told me that we should not do this.


It can hurt the septic tank. She said just do it once in a while not everyday or once a month.

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March 30, 20110 found this helpful

I agree with other posters. Bleach is a terrible idea, very toxic to the water system. And a whole bottle! A better way is 1 cup of baking soda followed by 1 cup vinegar or 1 cup boiling water. To get all the baking soda down the drain, push it along with a bit extra vinegar or water.

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March 31, 20110 found this helpful

So sorry but, besides what's already been mentioned about environmental issues, bleach is a highly corrosive chemical and sitting/standing in older plumbing pipes will greatly shorten the life of those pipes and the fumes emitting from it is horrible for the lungs and eyes. :-(

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April 1, 20110 found this helpful

Bleach and your septic system is a delicate balance. The good bacteria break down the "sludge" and make your system work properly. I don't know the science et, but do know what my septic cleaner guy told me.


Bleach used very sparingly, no garbage disposal use, no fats down the sink. Also have your system cleaned/pumped every few years. The baking soda and vinegar trick work well for me. Good luck.

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March 14, 20130 found this helpful

If you can, prevent rather than fix.

I had clogged tub drains until I realized the tub stopper does nothing to prevent hair from entering the drain. I removed the stopper (normally, a twist and lift is all you need), and inserted a mesh basket. I've never had a clogged or slow drain since. Now, I only use the stopper if I'm going to fill the tub for a sit down tub bath.

No chemicals, no plumber, no slow drain. Wait til you see what this basket catches. And best of all, you can get the baskets @ 2 for a dollar at most dollar stores.

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