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How To Clear a Clogged Tub Drain

By Edited Jun 19, 2015 1 4

Clogged bathtub drains are a common problem for many homeowners. Tub drains are usually clogged by hair and bits and pieces of soap. These clogs result in slow draining or no draining at all. The frustration of stanging in ankle deep water while showering is maddening. Cleaning up hair, pet fur and bits of soap after you step out of the bathtub or shower is necessary to limit the amount of debris collecting in it. You really do not need to hire a plumber to clear a bathtub drain. The process is pretty simple and straight forward since the plumbing for a bathtub is not all that complicated. With the use of a few common household products and a couple of tools, you can have your drain draining smoothly and quickly in a matter of minutes.

If it is draining slowly or isn't draining at all try this first.

Bail out as much water as you possibly can from the bathtub. Use towels to soak up the excess water.

Pour 3/4 of a cup of table salt, 1 cup of baking soda and 1 cup of white vinegar directly into it.

Allow the white vinegar and baking soda to bubble and fizz.

Wait 5 to 10 minutes.

Pour about 1/2 of a gallon of boiling water directly into it.

Run plain water to test it and see if it is draining properly. If the water is draining smoothly, nothing further needs to be done.

Repeat this process monthly even if it is draining well. It will keep your tub drain operating as it should.

Removing a Drain Stopper

If it still isn't draining, soak up the excess water with a towel when it has cooled to a point that you will not burn yourself.

Use needle nose pliers. Place the tips of the needle nose pliers into the two holes in the strainer (the part covering it hole).

Turn the pliers counter clockwise to remove the piece.

To Remove a pop up drain stopper, grasp the pop up part and turn it in counter clockwise direction and pull it up and out out.

Remove any bits and pieces of soap and wads of hair.

 Run hot water to test it. If it is accepting water and removing it steadily from the tub, replace the stopper.

Plunging a Tub Drain

If it is still blocked, use a screw driver and take out the metal overflow cover which is the piece located under the faucet and directly up from it hole.

Smear a ring of petroleum jelly around the rim of a plunger to get good suction.

Place the plunger over it hole and press down once to create a seal.

Fill the bathtub with water so it is about half-way up the plunger bulb.

Vigorously and forcefully pump the plunger 12 to 15 times. This should clear the blockage, if not, pump the plunger several more times until the water drains.

Replace the metal overflow cover and screw in back in.

Pour 1 cup of baking soda, 1/2 of a cup of salt and 1 cup of white vinegar into it, allow it to sit for 5 to 10 minutes and follow with a 1/2 of a gallon of boiling water to clean out any remaining soap and hair.

Replace it stopper.



Jun 27, 2010 12:32pm
This sure beats using a commercial solution for clogged drains. I have a septic tank and worry about the effects of those products. Next time I need to clear a drain I'll try your method.
Jun 27, 2010 2:56pm
The baking soda/salt/vinegar combination should dissolve the mess that's clogging it. Good article.
Jun 27, 2010 2:57pm
I do this for a sink drain too, works great! Great article!
Jun 27, 2010 10:04pm
Thanks for the info. I'll have to try that!
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