Rare is the home whose bathtubs don’t become clogged over time. All of the bathroom products we use, shampoos, soaps and skin products mix very well with hair and dirt and can create clogged bathtub drains. The water drains very slowly, or not at all. Fortunately unclogging this drain can often be done without calling in the services of a plumber.
If you have a clogged bathtub drain, you may be able to quickly solve the problem by removing the stopper and pulling the clog at that point. If you cannot see the blockage (not accessible) then a toilet plunger may be good enough to fix the problem. Makes sure you have a proper seal over the drain hole and push as vigorously as you can. This usually knocks out most clogs.
However, if it does not, the next step will be for either you or a plumber to use what is called a snake. In effect this is a long, flexible hose that can either break through the clog and push it out, or, the clog can get hooked on the snake and come out with the snake when you remove it. As you push the snake through the clog, there will be resistance, which disappears as you break through the clog.
If your bathtub drain is not completely blocked, but draining slowly, you may have an accumulation of gunk and grease coating the pipes which slow down the draining process. There are many liquid drain cleansers on the market, but most of them are very strong combinations of chemicals that can be rough on both your pipes and our eco system. Before you buy and use of one of these harsh solutions, try a natural approach first. Pour a cup and a half of baking soda down into the drain. Now pour, gradually, a cup and a half of white vinegar in behind it. These two things will mix and cause a strong bubbling or fizzing action which can break down the grease buildup in your pipes.
As always, prevention is the key to avoiding blocked bathtub drains. Put screens over the drain holes and you can clean them instead of clogging up the drains. You will be amazed at the hair and debris the screens will catch. Also, once every two months try the baking soda and vinegar combination to stay ahead of build ups in your pipes.
Call your local, licensed plumber with any concerns you have about clogged bathtub drains.