Charlotte Plumber Teaches How to Clear Drains – Part III

How to Clear a Bathroom Tub Drain

In an earlier article, we outlined what tools will best help you unclog a stopped up kitchen sink, plugged up bathroom tub drain, or a floor drain. You can read details here.

In this article, we’ll describe how to tackle one of the most common household drain clearing problems: a stopped up bathroom tub drain.

How to Clean a Bathroom Tub Drain

Most tubs take a while to get clogged up. The clog usually starts as hair and other by-products from bathing or showering build up over time. You will notice the bathtub drain is draining slowly long before it is truly clogged. Try to get in there before the tub is completely clogged, if possible.

Follow these steps to safely unclog a bathroom tub drain:

  1. Get a plunger.
  2. Put on safety goggles.
  3. Unscrew the tub drain screen or dismantle the pop up drain. (Put the lever in the open position and then pull the drain out of the drain hole.)
  4. Use a Zip It disposable snake to remove any hair or gunk that has built up in the first foot of the drain.
  5. Stuff a wet rag into the holes in the overflow plate.
  6. Add a couple inches of water in the tub and use the plunger, working it several times before taking it off the drain.
  7. Repeat several times.

If plunging doesn’t fix the problem, try the cable auger. Follow these steps to use a cable auger to unclog a bathroom tub drain:

  1. Find the overflow plate and remove it, taking the stopper linkage along with it.
  2. Thread about 3 feet of cable into the hole where the overflow plate was.
  3. Crank the hand crank, pushing past the resistance – you are trying to run the cable through the P-trap under the tub.
  4. Retrieve the cable, cleaning it with an old rag as you wind it up.
  5. Run hot water down the drain.
  6. Replace the screen, pop up drain and overflow plate.

To keep bathtubs unclogged, you’ll want to install hair catchers or hair traps over the drains. You will also want to limit the usage of products that contain pieces of herbs or flowers in them. These bathing products may smell great and look pretty, but all that debris gets caught in the hair that naturally goes down the drain, causing a clog in the pipe. A clogged bathroom tub drain is never a pretty sight.

Buy a Zip It disposable snake (99 cents at any local hardware store) and try snaking your tub drain once a month to prevent hair clogging up the drain. Snake your bathroom sinks while you’re at it. You’ll save yourself time and energy later on!

When You Need to Call a Charlotte Plumber

If a stopped up sink, plugged up bathtub drain or clogged floor drain won’t clear in a few attempts, call a Charlotte plumber. If you exert too much force, you can inflict permanent damage to the pipes or to a fixture. The cost of replacing piping or fixtures will be more expensive than having a professional clear drains for you.

Need Charlotte Plumbing Services?

Are you interested in more information about a clogged sink drain? Feel like you didn't learn enough about how to clear a bathroom tub drain to do it yourself?

Looking to call a Charlotte emergency plumber?

Need assistance or advice regarding affordable drain cleaning?

E.R. Services is open 24/7, 365 days a year. You don’t need to take time off work or wait until the morning because we never charge extra for nights or weekends. Just give us a call at 704-269-1066 or use our online contact form.

Learn more about Charlotte drain cleaning here.

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Article Summary

Quick question & answer: How do I unclog a bathroom tub drain?

To unclog a bathroom tub drain, get a plunger and put on safety goggles. Unscrew the tub drain screen or dismantle the pop up drain. Use a Zip It disposable snake to remove any hair or gunk. Stuff a wet rag into the holes in the overflow plate. Add water to the tub and plunge. Repeat as needed.

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