How to Clean Out Your Bathtub Drain

Your bathtub drain is slow. Slow as “molasses”. Well maybe not that slow, but when you take a shower in the tub the water ends up being halfway up your calves, and when you take a bath, it takes an hour for it to drain. Not only is that irritating, but can also be unsanitary.

What is the Culprit?

Most of the time the cause of the clog in your drain in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area is a buildup of hair, soap scum, cleansers and bath salt residue. The build-up of these things will slow down the drain. You think that they drain away but some do not, and over time will clog the drain.

What Can You Do?

There are several home remedies that can be tried. Some will work quickly, but most take some time.

  • Baking Soda, Salt, and Vinegar – Use a combination of 1 cup of baking soda, 1 cup of Vinegar, and some salt. Pour each one down the drain separately, ending with the vinegar. The mixture will start to froth up in the drain. Close the drain and let it sit for about a half hour. After that open the drain and flood the drain with boiling water. Then test to see if it is flowing again.
  • Bio Clean – This is an enzyme-based cleaner that will not harm metal or PVC pipes. It can be found at plumbing supply stores. Commercial drain cleaners that can be purchased at grocery stores are not recommended. Even though they say it will not harm pipes, they often will. Also, the fumes can be dangerous.
  • Plunger – A flat bottom plunger should be used. Seal the overflow with duct tape. Take off the drain cap, if there is one. Then place the plunger over the open drain, and plunge for about 60 seconds, keeping the seal of the plunger. This should move the clog farther down the pipes, allowing it to continue out, and make your drain flow again.
  • Zip It – This is a small, flat plastic tool with jagged spikes on the side. Simply insert it into the drain as far as it will go, and pull back up. You may need to do this several times. It is surprising how much hair and other “gunk” will come up. Then test to see if the drain is clear. This YouTube video will show how simple it is.

What Not to Do

  • Use a plumber snake or auger – These are for use by a plumber. If it is used wrong, it could damage the drain pipe, causing you to have a bigger problem.
  • No commercial chemical drain cleaners – It is not worth the lung damage and damage to the pipes that could be caused by using these products.

When To Call A Plumber

  • If more than one drain is clogged or you smell sewer gas. If this condition exists, there may be a back up with your sewer. This is a definite need for a plumber. You will need an emergency response. The problem will be solved quickly and it will not be allowed to become worse.
  • The clog will not clear out. Sometimes even though you have tried, the clog will not clear. It could be a deeper problem that only a plumber can clear up.
  • Time crunch. You may have company coming and need to get this cleared up quickly. A quick response is available to help you out.

Maintenance Plan

Sometimes no matter what you do, the drain continues to become clogged over and over. This could be because of the plumbing codes or lack of them when your tub was installed. Contact us if you are in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area for a maintenance plan we can specialize for your plumbing needs. Whether you need service now or want a maintenance plan, with our commitment to your satisfaction and state of the art equipment, we guarantee you will be satisfied. We are family owned and have been providing award-winning service for over 75 years, and have an excellent rating with the Better Business Bureau.