If you have a bathtub drain that has become clogged, there are a few things that you can do. If you want to avoid a bathtub repair, you may want to attempt fixing it yourself. Some drains have specialized mechanisms that make them more difficult to unclog, though. For instance, some drain pipes are made out of copper and other metals, and they tend to be much more resistant to grease and grime than other drain pipes.
In some cases, you may have to call a plumbing professional to unclog your bathtub drain. Many people choose to fix their own clogs because they often do not know where to start or what parts are needed. A professional will also be able to give you valuable information about how to avoid clogs in the future. He may also know exactly which parts need to be replaced, and this can save you time and money down the road.
Steps To Unclogging A Bathtub Drain
Step 1 – It’s no secret that plumbing work can be messy so make sure to wear some clothes that you don’t mind getting dirty. We also recommend to place old towels around your work area and of course, wear rubber gloves.
Step 2 – Some clogs can be easily dislodged with baking soda and vinegar. Many DIY homeowners (and plumbers) recommend the combination of baking soda and vinegar to help unclog drains or to be used as maintnance to keep drains from getting clogged. The recipe is simply 1/2 cup of baking soda and 1/2 cup of white vinegar. Pour the baking soda down the drain followed by the vinegar. Plug the drain and wait at least an hour. Unplug the drain and pour a large pot of hot water down the drain.
Step 3 – If the baking soda and vinegar recipe doesn’t work – your next step is to use a plunger. If the clog is not too deep in your plumbing system – the plunger may work. To properly use the plunger follow these instructions:
- If you don’t have any water in the bathtub, run enough water to cover the cup of the plunger. Then place the plunger over the drain.
- Now you can begin actually using the plunger by pumping it up and down. Make sure to not lift the plunger off the drain, you want to maintain that seal so that it can generate a good amount of suction to dislodge the clog.
- Pump the plunger about 6 to 8 times before you lift it. If the water in the bathtub drains easily, then you most likely loosened or completely removed the blockage in your drain. If not, repeat the process several more times.
- To finish the job, turn on your hot water faucet and let it run for about 3 minutes. This should help to clear out any remaining debris in the drain.
Step 4 – Use a plumber’s snake (aka Augers) but with caution. There are several different types of augers and each one has it’s own purpose.
We will warn you that pushing an auger through the pipes of any drain will not be easy and could damage your pipes if you are not a professional plumber. Generally, we do not recommend that you use this method for clogged drains.
The 3 types of augers are:
For General Drain Clogs – we recommend Cable or Drain Augers. These have a fairly long and flexible cable that a corkscrew object attached at the end. The cable is wrapped in a canister of sorts and to use this type of drain snake you manually turn the handle on the canister to release more and more of the cable.
For Clogs In Small Water Pipes – if your water pipes are 2 inches or less in diameter, then a Flat Tape Auger is the best one for you.
For Clogs That Need More Power – if you can’t manage a manual crank or you just need more “power” then a Power Auger is your best bet. These drain snakes either come with their own built in motor or you can attach them to a power drill.
Again – we strongly recommend that you hire a professional plumber for this since you could easily damage your pipes if you are not accustomed to using a plumber’s snake. You may end up paying a lot more to fix any damage you cause.
If these steps do not work and you still have a clog in your bathtub drain then you may have a more severe problem. In these cases, it is necessary for you to call a plumbing contractor and have him or her perform an extensive search of the pipes in your home.
If you have any questions about clogs in bathtub drains or are having some problems with it, call Atlantis Plumbing today at 770-505-8570. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.