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HomeFactsHow To Fix Slow Draining Tub

How To Fix Slow Draining Tub

Clean Your Bathtub Strainer And Stopper

Best Way To Fix A Slow Draining Tub – Slow Draining Issues

Bathtub stoppers could be cleaned with or without using chemicals. On the other hand, some bathtub stoppers have screws whereas others dont. With our first method, you can see how to unclog your bathtub in three different ways by cleaning a push drain stopper, levered stopper or drop stopper.

The first thing you ought to do is to check the bathtub drain stopper. Most of the clogs are caused by accumulated hairs and other debris. It takes 5 minutes at most to clean the strainer and stopper and to assemble everything back, depending on the type of stopper you have. If you feel any uncertainty, to avoid any damages to your draining system.

You may need the following tools:

  • Heavy wire or coat hanger

Why Is My Bath Water Draining Slowly

A Slow draining bathtub can be annoying, especially if there are several other people waiting to use the same tub, or you need to clean it immediately. Luckily, fixing a slow draining bathtub is not that hard and most of the time you dont even need to call in a plumber.

A slow draining bathtub is caused by hair, mineral deposits, soap scum and other bathroom products accumulating in the drain and trap. This accumulation restricts the free flow of water and hence the bathtub drains slowly.

It could also be caused by a clogged vent stuck, which cause negative pressure to build up inside the drainpipe. A clogged main house drainpipe or a full septic tank could also cause a bathtub to drain slowly.

If a slow draining bathtub is not fixed, the drain will become completely blocked causing a clogged bathtub with standing water. Unclogging a bathtub with standing water is a lot harder than a slow draining bathtub.

To fix a slow draining bathtub, remove the bathtub stopper and fish out the hair and other gunk using a hooked wire. Pour equal parts of baking soda and vinegar and after 30 minutes run hot water down the drain. If that doesnt fix it, use a plunger or a drain snake to clear the drainpipe.

Why Is My Tub Draining Slowly Or Not At All

The most common cause of a slow draining bathtub is a clog restricting water flow. Clogs are often made up of knotted hair, dirt, grease and/or soap and are more common in homes with residents with longer hair. Pouring oil, grease or other congealing substances down the drain also causes clogs, as do other foreign material such as non-flushable wipes, toy dinosaurs, large quantities of narcotics or classified documents.

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How Do You Get Hair Out Of A Drain

Step 1:

To unclog a bathtub drain and get hair out of your drain, start by removing and cleaning the drain stopper and strainer.

Step 2:

Then, use a drain stick to pull out the clog. Use Liquid-Plumr® Clog Destroyer Plus+ Pipeguard or Liquid-Plumr® Hair Clog Eliminator to dissolve the remaining clog-causing gunk.

If anyone in your household has long hair, its a good idea to use Liquid-Plumr® products regularly to prevent the buildup of hair in your drains.Always clean your bathtub and shower drain regularly to avoid clogged drains.

For more information on hair clogs, check out our article How to Deal with Hair Clogs.

What Home Remedy Will Unblock Drains

How to Fix a Slow

Pour one cup of baking soda followed by one cup of table salt and then pour a cup of white vinegar. Wait for ten minutes and then flush it with boiling water. After that, the drain should be clear! Ecofriend does have a disclaimer that if the problem persists after this at-home method, you should call a plumber.

Also Check: Best Drain Hair Clog Remover

Can You Put Drano In A Tub With Standing Water

As a rule, never pour Drano into an area with standing water. Good bacteria will break down organic material gradually in the drain system. Youre hurting your water quality if you pour chemicals down the drain.

Drano can also be used to clean up spills, but its best to use it only as a last resort. Its also not a good idea to mix it with other chemicals because it can react with them and cause them to clog up your drain.

How To Unclog A Toilet Without Removing A Stopper

Although we have seen that removing a stopper is quite a simple task, some people will still prefer to unclog a bathtub without having to removing the stopper.

The best method for unclogging a bathtub when you dont want to remove the stopper is to use a plunger. While a plunger on its own maybe sufficient it is always good to complement it with other methods.

Here is how to effectively plunge a bathtub:

  • Pour half a cup baking soda down the bathtub drain.
  • Slowly add a cup of vinegar and wait for about 30 minutes.
  • Blast hot water down the bathtub drain after the 30 minutes.

Chances are that the above steps are enough to unclog a slow draining bathtub without having to remove the stopper. If it doesnt, that is where the plunger comes in.

  • Place a plunger over the bathtub drain and make sure that there is some water in the bathtub, enough to cover the bottom of the plunger.
  • Before you start plunging, cover the overflow drain. This will help you avoid pressure loss and as a result have a stronger siphon. If you have an extra plunger, have someone hold it tightly over the overflow drain. Stuff a rag inside it if you only have 1 plunger.
  • Start plunging the bathtub, starting off gently, and then aggressive plunging for 2 minutes.
  • Check if the water in the tub is draining quicker now. If not plunge some more.

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Preventing Clogs From Developing

Prevention is always best. Once a drainage problem has been resolved, dont forget to minimize the possibility of your drain becoming clogged again. There are a few simple steps that will help you avoid bathtub clogs:

1. Use a Drain Trap

If you dont have a drain trap in your bathtub, its a good idea to install one. Replacing a missing or broken drain trap helps prevent hair and other solids from flowing down the drain. Drain traps are inexpensive and easy to find in any hardware or home improvement store.

2. Minimize Soap Scum

The white soap scum that accumulates on your shower and tub walls also collects in drains over time and if enough builds up, can create a blockage. Avoid using too much soap or shampoo while bathing or showering. You should also avoid dropping small pieces of bar soap down the drain. Because its a solid, small pieces of bar soap can actually get caught in your bathtub or shower drain and combine with hair and other debris to create a tough clog.

3. Keep Dirt, Mud and Sand Out of Your Drain

Small amounts of mud, dirt, and sand can accumulate over time inside a bathtub drain and eventually lead to a clog. This is especially true if the water flow isnt strong enough to wash debris thoroughly down the drain pipe. You can prevent this problem by rinsing off outside to remove as much dirt, mud and sand as possible before bathing or showering.

4. Hard Water

5. Protect Your Drain

When to Call in a Professional Plumber

Do I Need To Call A Plumber For A Slow Draining Bathtub

How to Fix a Slow Draining Bathtub Drain

You dont necessarily need to call a plumber for a slow draining bathtub if you are comfortable taking a few DIY steps to try and clear the clog. If you dont have the time, dont feel confident working with tools or chemicals or simply dont want to get messy, calling a plumber can be a great solution.

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Is There A Good Drain Protector That You Can Recommend For A Bathtub

There are lots of great products out there that will do the job effectively. Bear in mind that there are different types of drain stoppers and the screen you buy will have to take this into account. Common types of bathtub drain stopper include:

If you want me to make a general suggestion for a protector that works with the majority of bathtub drains, I would recommend the OXO Good Grips. This product provides a excellent barrier for catching small debris without slowing down water drainage and works with both pop-up and regular drains.

The OXO Good Grip is better than most of its rivals as it has a bit of weight to it and so doesn’t have the tendency to float up and away like some of the cheaper protectors do. It’s also affordable and easy to clean.The other bathtub drain protector that I am a particular fan of is the Tubshroom. This protector fits inside the drain rather than sitting on top and is particularly good at catching hair.

If your tub is the type where you flip a switch for drainage, then you can just leave the Tubshroom in place. If it’s the type that has a removable stopper, then you put the Tubshroom in when the tub is draining. Some people complain that it is awkward to clean, but I’ve not had much trouble.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the authors knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

Unclog Your Bathtub Drain With Baking Soda And Vinegar

Although the method of mixing baking soda with vinegar and pouring boiling water into the drain seems a bit old-school, we highly recommend it! The products are less harmless to the drainage system than other chemical compounds, and they have proven to be effective in many situations, from unclogging drains to removing red wine stains.

The tools you may need are:

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Is Your Drainpipe Blocked

Your bathtub drainpipe terminates into the main house drainpipe. The main house drainpipe is connected to your citys sewer line.

If your main house drainpipe is clogged, your fixtures the bathtub included will be draining slowly. Check if that is the same thing happening with your washing machine or kitchen sink.

The drainpipe does not even have to be fully clogged. A partial clog in your drainpipe means that water is passing through slowly, and that could be one of the reasons your bathtub is draining slowly as well.

Unfortunately, a clog in the main house pipe is not something you can easily unclog on your own. You will most likely need the services of a professional plumber.

Plumbers have drain cameras that will accurately diagnose the cause of every plumbing problem in your house and you should therefore not hesitate from calling one.

What’s The Best Homemade Drain Cleaner

How to unclog a Shower Drain Without Chemicals

How to do it:

  • Step 1: Mix baking soda and table salt 2:1 and sprinkle it inside the drain.
  • Step 2: Measure out and warm up a cup of distilled white vinegar and slowly pour it down the drain. …
  • Step 3: Flush the drain with hot water for half a minute to clear out the baking soda and vinegar along with any clogs.

Also Check: How To Clean Bathroom Drain

Types Of Drain Stoppers: How To Remove Them

There are different types of drain stoppers that are often used to block water flow in your tub. Regardless of what bathtub drain stopper you have, it will need to be removed before you can pull out debris. Follow these steps to remove your specific type of stopper:

Drop Stopper

This is one of the most common types of bathtub stoppers. It has a small knob on top that allows you to open and close the drain. To remove this stopper, take off the stopper cap and remove the screw. This gives you access to debris that is caught in the drainage crossbars. Once you have access, you can easily remove any hair and debris that is clogging the drain.

Levered Bathtub Stopper

This often can be found in older Sacramento homes. This type of stopper has a lever attached to an overflow plate that may need to be removed before you can remove the stopper. It is best to use a hot water flush when clearing this type of stopper to ensure that any residual debris is washed down the pipes.

Push Stopper

This often can be viewed as the most frustrating stopper to work with because there is no clear way to remove it. This stopper cannot be extracted or unscrewed like a drop stopper.

However, you may be able to hold the base while unscrewing the stopper to successfully remove it. Once the stopper is out, you will have access to any debris. If you need to go deeper, the base also can be unscrewed.

Once you have cleared your drain, use one of these five tools to keep your drain clear.

Six Ways To Fix A Slow

  • Use baking soda and vinegar .
  • Use a commercial clog remover.
  • Remove the drain stopper to inspect and gain access.
  • Use a plumbers snake.
  • I will go into each of the above methods in detail below. Generally speaking, the list starts with the easier, less-involved, and cheaper methods and progresses to more-involved and expensive methods. So if in doubt, start with #1 and work your way down the list.

    In my experience, clearing a clogged bathtub drain can often requires a combination of more than one of these methods.

    Before You Begin. . .

    Plumbing is messy work. Put on some old clothes before you start. You may want to lay down some old towels around the work area to soak up any water that spills. Stagnant water is unsanitary, so a pair of rubber gloves will protect your hands from germs.

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    Why Bathroom Sink Drains Slowly And Not Getting Air

    Often, the problem of a slow bathroom drain is caused by an air trap or airlock at the opening of the duct. The airlock is an air pocket trapped in the pipe. As a result, it obstructs the flow of the water, causing the water to backs up at the drain opening.

    There are two reasons why air traps in the bathroom drain occur.

    1. Sink drain hinderance

    First, the bathroom sink drain opening can hinder the water flow.

    It can happen when the strain has many small holes that are veryclose to the center of the water outlet, such as a grid filter.

    It can also occur where the pop-up plunger doesnt move up highenough.

    2. Aerated water from the faucet spout

    While it helps to keep your clothes and countertop neat by preventing water from splashing off your hand.

    It also reduces the weight of the water as it hits the bottom of the sink. The air bubbles make the water weighs less than usual and may cause it to pool more readily.

    Commercial Chemical Clog Removers

    Unclog a Slow Draining Tub Fast

    The next option you can try when unclogging a slow draining bathtub is using a chemical clog remover. These commercial removers are designed to unblock drains using caustic chemicals such as sodium hydroxide to burn through the clogs. Be very careful using commercial chemicals as they are all dangerous if ingested or if they make contact with sensitive skin or eyes. Keep these chemicals away from children and pets.

    WARNING: Do not combine multiple clog-removing chemicals, as some chemicals may create toxic reactions when combined. These chemicals are harmful to the environment and many may be harmful to your plumbing system when used often. We advise calling a plumber over use of chemical clog removers.

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    Can You Put Drano Down A Bathtub Drain

    There are a ton of different clog removers on the market. One of the most tried and true brands is Drano. Drano can be poured down a bathtub drain. The only place it really should not go is in a toilet drain. Make sure to follow the directions on the bottle to ensure that Drano safely and effectively does its job!

    How To Unclog A Shower Or Tub Drain

    If youre having issues with your bathtub or shower draining slower than youd prefer, you can try unclogging it yourself with these five DIY fixes.

  • Give the drain stop a thorough cleaning. In some cases, the drain stop itself might be to blame for water flowing slowly. To determine if this is the issue, inspect the drain stop for any visible signs of buildup such as limescale buildup, soap scum, or hair around the stop. If the drain stop is noticeably dirty, give it some TLC with a deep clean.
  • Combine baking soda and vinegar. Mix equal parts baking soda and vinegar and pour the blend down the bathtub drain after a pot full of hot water. Cover the drain after you pour the mixture for up to 10 minutes. Finish the job by pouring another pot full of hot water down the drain to flush the clog.
  • Use a plunger. Plungers arent only great for removing toilet clogs. Use a plunger on the bathtub drain to force the clog out. Check to make sure the process worked by running water from the tub faucet after plunging. If the flow is up to speed, your work here is done.
  • Try a drain snake. Drain snakes are relatively simple to use and readily available at most home improvement and hardware stores. Follow the instructions on the drain snake packaging to remove the clog. Be sure not to overdo it so as not to damage your pipes.
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    How To Unclog Your Bathtub Drain Using A Plumbers’ Snake

  • You can gain access to the drain via the overflow, once you’ve removed the stopper . An alternative route is via the drain opening, after you’ve removed the strainer. Feed the snake down until the clog is reached.
  • Turn the handle to bring the snake back up.
  • Run water to check the drain and make sure that the clog is completely gone.
  • You may need to repeat this process several times.
  • Note: If you need more help, read more about how to use a plumbing snake. Clogs caused by invasive roots will require more than a plumbers’ snake to fix.


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