How To Unclog A Bathtub With A Plumbers Snake
A plumberâs snake, also known as an auger is a long cable rolled in a drum with a hooked head and cranking handle that unclogs drain by either hooking and out the clogs or breaking them it into smaller pieces.
Unlike a toilet, snaking a bathtub is very easy. You just need to be careful that the augerâs head does not scratch the inside of the bathtub.
To snake a bathtub, you can either feed the auger through the bathtub drain or the overflow outlet. The overflow outlet is in my opinion the most effective.
- Pull out the cable and push it down the tub overflow until you come across a restriction. Tighten the cable in place using the drum screw.
- Pushing hard against the restriction, start turning the handle clockwise until you go through it.
- Release a few more inches of the cable from the drum, screw it in place and repeat the above process.
- You might need to do this a few more times with different cable sizes to make sure that you have removed everything.
- To avoid scratching the tub, bring the drum near the out flow and push the cable back into the drum slowly. Pulling the cable all out at once would have it swinging inside the tub leaving ugly marks everywhere its head comes into contact with.
Check if your bathtub is draining as it should. Most of the time this method will be enough to unclog even a badly clogged bathtub.
Schedule Professional Plumbing Services
Sometimes its easy to fix a clogged sink drain or shower blockage. However, If youve tried these methods but you cant seem to unclog a shower drain, then its time to call in a professional. A professional plumber will be able to come to your home and inspect your drain. They should be able to identify what is causing the blockage using camera inspection and fix it for you.
Its important to call a professional plumber especially if more work, like taking apart your plumbing system or inspecting your sink drain, is needed. Professionals can also advise you on the best ways of preventing clogged shower drains.
If youre in the Dallas, Fort Worth, and Arlington areas then go with a trusted plumber like us here at All Masters Plumbing. We also offer hydro jetting, which is an extremely powerful form of drain cleaning that you cant do DIY. Reach out today to learn more!
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Causes Of A Clogged Bathtub Drain
Once youve cleared the drain in your bathtub, its a good idea to know how it got that way in the first place. This allows you to avoid clogs down the road or address any underlying issues with the plumbing system in your home.
Do people in your home have long hair? That will stop a bathtub up quickly over time, even if you brush before you get into the bathtub. The same applies to homeowners that bathe their pets in a bathtub.
You can help stop hair from going down the drain by purchasing a hair catcher for the shower in your home. These sit on top of the drain, and while they might impede water to a degree, they certainly catch loose hair.
Another reason drains clog is from soap scum, shampoos, oils, and other debris that get rinsed away every time someone gets in a bathtub and takes a shower.
Soap scum and shaving cream can slow things down, along with substances leftover from bath bombs.
Anything on someones body when they take a shower will go down the drain. Thankfully, this type of muck is relatively easy to break up with the methods mentioned in our guide.
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Contact Deer Valley Plumbing For Drain Clearing Services
You may find a drain line clog too severe for your DIY solutions, requiring professional help and specialized equipment.
But dont fret! At Deer Valley Plumbing, we offer emergency services and same-day scheduling so that we can clear those clogs and get those pipes flowing freely again. In addition, we offer effective drain-clearing methods to ensure a powerful, long-lasting solution for handling any drain clogging you might face. So call us at 250-2680 and schedule your next drain cleaning service with us today!
Use A Chemical Drain Cleaner
Chemical cleaners for your drain should only be used as a last resort when nothing else is working. However, when the time comes to turn to Drano or a similar product, heres what you need to know.
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Still Seeing A Clogged Bathtub Drain
If none of the quick options above has unclogged your drain, we would recommend calling a professional plumber. This means that the clog is further down the line than any DIY options could reach and may require additional tools and knowledge. Contact your PLUMBER here to schedule an appointment!
Benjamin Franklin Plumbing Duncanville serves the Southwest Dallas cities of CedarHill, Dallas DeSoto, Duncanville, Glenn Heights, Grand Prairie, Maypearl, Midlothian, Oak Cliff, Oak Leaf, Ovilla, Red Oak and Waxahachie with a team of certified plumbers. In addition to emergency plumbing repair, some of the plumbing services provided by the company include: faucet repair, drain services, toilet repair, plumbing fixture installations, tub and shower installations, kitchen sink repair, faucet installation, water heater repair/replacement, and garbage disposal replacement. Call us today at 263-5010 to schedule an appointment!
How To Prevent Future Clogs In My Bathtubs And Showers
There are a few things that any household can do. Now if you have a ton of people living with you, getting clogs in drains is just going to happen. You can however help minimize issues including standing water with a couple easy to install fixes.
The best method to prevent clogs in your bathtub and shower is by installing a hair catcher in all of the bathtub and shower drains in your home. These easy-to-install devices will literally catch all the hair that tries to go down your drains. You then just check them monthly or sooner depending on the amount of use and people in your home and just empty them into the trash.
Right now I have 2 of the hair catchers or drain hair traps. Whatever you want to call them, they work and have taken a lot of the work out of trying to remove hair and gunk from my drains. You can find these locally as well as online. There are odds are a million different options, sizes, and brands but I went with the cheap black ones and love them.
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How To Unclog A Bathtub Using A Shop Vac
If you have tried plunging, snaking and all the above methods without success, there is still one more thing you can do that works really well and fast. A shop vac!
It may sound a little crazy but it works like a charm. The best thing is that you donât even have to drain the bathtub. So head to your garage and bring the shop vac to the bathroom.
- Prior to starting the shop vac, remember to plug off the tub outflow. This will help you get an even stronger suction.
- Now place the shop vac pipe on top of the bathtub drain and press down tightly. If it is smaller use a rag to hold it in place.
- Start the shop vac and let it run for a few seconds. Lift off the pipe and check if the tub is drain. You might need to do this a few times to suck out everything.
- Once done donât forget to clean the shop vac.
How To Clean A Shower Drain With A Toilet Plunger#
Your first line of defense for a clogged shower drain is an old-fashioned toilet plunger. Fill the tub or shower stall with enough water to cover the rubber bell of the plunger. Place the bell over the drain opening and plunge away. The force of the pressurized water should dislodge the clog and allow the standing water to go down. If the shower doesnt drain or drains slowly, try again.
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How Do You Unclog A Bathtub Full Of Water
A bathtub drain is connected to the other house fixtures drains further down in the main house plumbing system.
Just like the other fixtures, a bathtub drain is fitted with a U-shaped trap that holds all the potential clogs, preventing them from forming clogs further down the drainpipe which is usually harder to unclog.
A clogged bathtub drain is mainly caused by hair, soap scum, mineral deposits or a drain stopper that is not properly adjusted. A single or combination of these factors will cause a slow draining bathtub or a fully clogged one.
To unclog a bathtub with standing water, you will first need to drain away the water. Attempting to plunge or snake a full bathtub will be very difficult and messy.
There are several methods of unclogging a slow draining or bathtub full of water. You should aim to start with the easiest one and upgrade steadily to the most technical one.
Here is how to unclog a bathtub with standing water:
- Drain the bathtub
- Pour a baking soda and vinegar solution
- Dump boiling water down the drain
- Snake the bathtub
Before unclogging a bathtub, it is important to ensure that only the bathtub is clogged and not any other fixture. If the clog is affecting more than just one fixture you will notice the bathtub drain gurgling or backing up when the toilet is flushed.
Use Chemicals Down The Drain
If staple household items dont do the trick, its time to bring in the big guns. Chemicals can be nasty, so this should be your last resort when it comes to DIY solutions. You can buy a clog buster at a hardware store. But first, make sure the product you want to buy is suitable for your bathtub pipe. You need a cleaner thats specifically made for bathtubs.
Check the label for instructions. Chances are, youll have to wait up to half an hour after pouring the chemical down the clogged drain. Unlike with other methods, youll have to flush the cleaner with cold water.
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What Are The Hazards Of Having A Blocked Drain
Beyond being inconvenient, a blocked drain can pose a health risk:
- If you have standing water in the tub for some hours or even days, this will attract all sorts of insects.These bugs include flies and mosquitoes, among others, which are known to carry many diseases that are dangerous to both you and your pets. These insects can also bring with them organisms such as tapeworms and heart-worms.
- The standing water can also encourage mildew or mold, which produces spores which are dangerous to the lungs if inhaled.
As you can see it is important not to leave a bathtub blockage unattended, but rather deal with the issue as soon as you notice it. It wont take long for pesky creatures and mold to create a bigger mess!
Can I Use A Plunger On A Bathtub Drain
With newer plumbing, using a plunger on a bathtub drain is no problem. If you are trying to unclog a travel trailer tub/shower/toilet and the plumbing is flimsy, you would be careful with how much force you use when using the plunger itself.
You can use a plunger on a bathtub drain as long as you use a medium amount of pressure when plunging the drain hole itself. Too much force could rupture a pipe or cause other issues further down the system itself. Start with light pressure and work up as needed.
Another thing to keep in mind is where has that plunger been and more importantly who else has used it. I actually have two plungers in our house. One is for the toilets and the other is for other odd jobs like unclogging hair clogs in showers and tubs.
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Flush The Tub Drain With Boiling Water
If you removed the gunk to no avail, this is another easy trick you could try. Grab a pot of boiling water and flush the drain. Theres no guarantee this step will unclog grease or physical blockages. But, if the clog is caused by a small or right blockage, its worth a shot.
If your tub is connected to metal pipes, its safe to try it. Dont do this if you have PVC Pipes. You may melt or soften the joints in the pipes. If youre not sure what kind of pipes you have, try with hot water instead of boiling water.
Use Hot Water To Unclog Your Bath Drain
You will be surprised how often this works. Of course, most people will skip to the next one, but this is surprisingly effective and removing bathtub clogs.
This method can dissolve any of the soap scum and build-up that might be in your pipes. Before doing anything else, its always a good idea to give this a try, as it works fairly often.
If that doesnt fix your bathtub clog, move on to the next step.
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Using Baking Soda White Vinegar And Boiling Water
If boiling water doesnt work, you may require a chemical solution to dissolve a build-up of hair and other bathroom debris. Baking soda and vinegar are a great addition to your boiling water, creating an even more practical solution for drain clearing.
Before using any chemical solution, remove any visible debris and standing water that will otherwise dilute it before it reaches your clog. Use a bucket or cup for water removal.
Now to create your solution! First, prepare 1 cup baking soda and 1 cup vinegar .
With both your cups of baking soda and vinegar ready, pour half a cup of baking soda down your drain. Next, take a long stick, coat the interior of your drain as much as possible, and push it down as far as your stick will allow.
Next, slowly pour half of your cup of vinegar into the drain. You should start to hear fizzing the chemical reaction between your baking soda and vinegar. Once you hear it, cover your drain with a rag to trap the fumes.
Repeat the process with the remaining baking soda and vinegar combination youve prepared when you hear the fizzing stop.
After youve used all your solution, prepare boiling water. After 30 minutes, slowly pour your hot water down the drain. This will remove any remaining solution and debris softened by your chemical treatment.
Use Baking Soda And Salt
This is another simple drain unclogging method using household items. Begin by pouring a cup of baking soda down the drain. Follow that up by pouring half a cup of salt mixed with baking soda down the drain.
Allow this to rest for a few hours, preferably overnight. Your drain should be unclogged by then. Rinse the drain pipe with hot water to finish the process.
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How To Unclog A Bathtub With Baking Soda And Vinegar
Although you can use both baking soda and vinegar independently, using them together works even better. Baking soda is an alkaline while white vinegar is a mild acidic.
These 2 substances produce a fizzing reaction that is very effective in eating away the grime, dissolving soap scup and mineral deposits. To make sure that the solution is working directly on the clog, you will again need to remove all the water from the bathtub.
- Pour 1 cup of baking soda down the bathtub drain.
- Add 1 cup of white vinegar slowly. Remember when vinegar and baking soda are mixed, foam and bubbles are formed which can rise up sharply and hence the need to pour the vinegar slowly.
- Give the solution 5 minutes to work out its magic.
- While that is happening, boil 1 big pot of water and pour it down the bathtub drain. Hot water is every effective in melting soap and will surely work with the baking soda and vinegar solution in unclogging the bathtub.
If this method still doesnât work, you will need to upgrade to a more effective tool. The plumberâs snake/auger.
Why Is My Shower Drain Clogged
Now you know the signs of a clogged shower drain, but how did it become blocked in the first place? All the drains in your home can become clogged over time. For your shower, the typical culprits are:
Soap: Traditional soaps contain fats , talc, and wax. These sticky ingredients are prone to accumulating in your drains, especially when combined with hair and the hard minerals found in water.
Hair: You might notice a few strands of hair around your shower drain and think nothing of it. But every time you shower, your hair sheds a little. Although this is completely normal, the stray strands of hair build-up in your drains. Long hair is especially problematic, as it wraps around other grime, like dirt and soap, to form clogs.
Minerals: Hard waterwhich is typically used for your showercontains minerals. Although you cant see these minerals, as the water in your drain evaporates it leaves behind these insoluble minerals. The minerals build-up in your drain and can block your pipes.
Dirt: On its own, dirt wont necessarily clog your drains. But combined with hair and soap, it will start amassing within your pipes and contribute to a clog.
Tree roots: Although it sounds unlikely, roots grow in even the smallest cracks in underground pipes and can obstruct water flow to your shower.
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