Tuesday, December 5, 2023
HomeBathMy Bathtub Won't Drain

My Bathtub Won’t Drain

Why Is The Bathtub Clogged

Tub wont drain. Tub lever broken. Easy DIY Fix.

Your bathroom probably has more drains than any other room in your house, which means theres a higher likelihood youll end up with some sort of bathtub or shower clog. Luckily, its easy to unclog a bathtub.

Bathtub or shower drain clogs can result from a number of things. How to unclog the bathtub drain depends on how sever the drain clog is. Hair is the most likely culprit of drain clogs especially if someone in your household has long hair. But even if no one in your home has long locks, hair fallout from shampooing or shaving in the shower may lead to buildup and may clog bathtub drains.

Soap scum and the buildup of debris like dirt or sand may also lead to blockages that slow your drain and can eventually cause a full clog. To learn how to unclog a bathtub read our tips below.

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.

How Do You Unclog A Shower Drain

Step 1:

Unclogging a shower drain is similar to how you unclog bathtub drains. Start by removing and cleaning the stopper and strainer and remove as much drain-clogging gunk that you can using a drain stick or a snake.

Step 2:

Then, use Liquid-Plumr® Clog Destroyer Plus+ Pipeguard. When used as directed, this formula dissolves the toughest drain clogs, eliminates drain odors and helps prevent future clogs with regular use. This drain cleaner is safe to use to unclog bathtubs, show drains and other bathroom drains.

Step 3:

After you think the drain clog is gone, flush the drain with hot water to make sure its unclogged. Turn on the faucet to see if water drains quickly and easily. If there is still a drain clog, repeat the steps for removing it.

If the bathtub or shower clogs persists, it may be time to call in a professional plumber. For more information, check out our article How to Know When to Leave it to the Pros.

And, try pouring two cups of Liquid-Plumr® Clog Destroyer Plus+ Pipeguard down your drain monthly to prevent slow draining showers .

Read Also: Green Gobbler Drain Clog Dissolver Reviews

Diy Tips To Unclog Your Bathtub Drain

Interested in handling a clogged drain on your own? You may be able to handle a simple clog without professional help. If you want to involve a plumber from the get-go or get started and cant unclog the drain, JD Service Now is here to help.

Here are the ways you can try to unclog a bathtub or shower drain on your own:

  • Put on gloves and remove any visible blockage that you see on the outside of the drain.
  • Plunge the bathtub or shower drain with a plunger. Youll have to remove the overflow cover in your tub and stuff a towel into the hole to make sure no air can escape while youre plunging.
  • Use a plumbing snake to try to dislodge whatever is in your drain. You can purchase a plumbing snake at your local home improvement store, but this can be tricky if you dont know how to use this type of equipment. This may be a time to involve a professional.
  • Try dissolving clogs without hazardous chemicals. Baking soda, vinegar, and hot water can be used to unclog some drains.

Learn more about these methods by reading our blog on unclogging bathtub drains.

How To Unclog A Bathtub Drain With Chemical Unblocking Product

Bathtub Not Draining After Drano

If you still havent managed to unclog your bathtub drain with any of the methods above, you can try a chemical drain unblocking product.

There are many on the market, and theyre all different, so if you want to try, simply buy a bottle, read the instructions carefully and follow what it tells you.

These products are designed to dissolve blockages, so they usually do the job. However, if your drain is still blocked after using a chemical product, you should call in a professional plumber to take a look at your pipes.

Also Check: How Do You Get Rid Of Smelly Drains

Test The Water Flow And Assemble Everything Back

Run some water to see if you have successfully removed all the debris. Hopefully, the water will go down the pipe smoothly. If this is the case, then its time to proceed with putting your strainer back in place. This time you will have to screw back the strainer or if you have only a stopper, then you will just need to place it back in the drain.

This method didnt fix the issue? Well, then try unclogging your bathtub with a plunger.

How To Unclog A Bathtub Drain Using Baking Soda And Vinegar

  • Pour a half cup of baking soda down the drain opening.
  • Follow that with a cup of white vinegar.
  • Let the combined ingredients foam for five minutes.
  • Run the hot water for a minute or so.
  • Examine the bathtub drainage to determine if it still is slow.
  • Note: The main advantages of this method are that it is ecologically preferable and won’t cause damage to plastic pipes. It is not so effective on serious blockages, though, and you may still end up having to resort to chemicals. For other natural remedies, read about 5 Homemade Drain Cleaners for Clogged Drains.

    Try using a plunger to dislodge the clog and clear the blockage.

    Public domain image via Wikimedia Commons

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    Start Plunging And Test The Drain

    Begin pushing down the plunger and pulling it up in repeating motions. You will notice that the accumulated hair and dirt will start emerging from the drain. Quickly scoop them out of the tub and repeat the entire process several times until you remove all material that comes to the surface. When done, remove the tape and test the water flow.

    If that doesnt help, maybe its time for the well-known baking soda and vinegar method.

    How To Prevent Clogs In The Future

    New Bathtub Drain Won’t Screw In? How To Fix Threads [SOLVED]

    Using the strategies mentioned above to clear your drains can be tiring and time-consuming. In addition, you might have to dig into your pocket to get the necessary tools. So, why not avoid the hassle altogether?

    When it comes to your drainage, prevention is better than cure. Let us explore some of the things you can do to avoid a blockage in your bathtub drain:

    While there are numerous options to choose from, the best hair catcher on the market is TubShroom. This revolutionary drain protector fits snugly in any standard tub drain and catches every strand of hair. Retailing at only $16.99, its the best deal you can get.

    Also Check: How To Connect Sink Drain

    Some Risks Of Using Drano

    Even though Drano is a very popular product, there are certain hazards related to its use. Here are some of them:

    • Drano has the potential to damage your eyesight or hands if it comes in contact during use. If you inhale fumes, that can also have devastating consequences.
    • It has the potential to contaminate the plants and animals it comes in touch with.
    • If Drano is being used in combination with other substances, toxic fumes might be produced as a by-product. This can be quite detrimental to you or those around you.

    So, if you are to stop the usage of Drano, what necessary steps or methods can you follow to get similar solutions? Let us have a look at some.

    Final Words

    We know that prevention is better than cure. So if you are looking for a way to avoid this problem, make sure to always keep your drainage system in your tub clean.

    Get rid of any small particles that might accumulate and form a big cluster.

    Also, we recommend doing the proper market research before making any purchases of the products mentioned in this article.

    We hope we have been able to help!

    Test By Pouring Water Into The Drain

    Pour some water down the drain. If it drains off normally, youve finally solved the problem. If not, youre going to have to try something more extreme.

    Tip: Once youve finished the job, make sure you clean all the hair from your drain snake and pack it away for later. Bathtub clogs are common, and you may find you need to use the snake again.

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    Yes Its A Frozen Bathtub Drain

    If youve ruled out the other possibilities and youre confident that you simply have a frozen bathtub drain, then there are some DIY solutions that can save you the cost of a plumber.

    The caveat here is that these solutions will only work if the frozen mass isnt too far down the piping from the tub.

    Drain and Overflow

    Lets take a second and talk about the anatomy of your bathtub drain. At the bottom of the bathtub is the drain. Its covered by a drain cover. You might flip a switch to make it open and close, or you might step on it to create suction and then pull it up, in order to drain water.

    On the side of the tub, underneath the spout is whats called the overflow pipe. This is what sucks out water from the tub when the waterline gets too high. The overflow pipe protects the bathwater from overflowing onto the floor.


    The overflow pipe runs down the back of your bathtub and meets up with the drainpipe that is sucking water out from the bottom of your tub. The drainpipe runs about a foot before it loops around in the shape of a letter p.

    The loop of the pipe is called a P-Trap. This loop can prevent sewer gases from entering your home. Its also a place where a pipe is likely to freeze or get clogged, since the loop of the P always contains water.

    How Do You Get Hair Out Of A Drain

    Pin on Cohn

    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.

    Read Also: Kenmore Washer Won’t Drain

    Use A Plumbers Snake To Clear The Blockage

    This final method can be quite effective if your shower wont drain or youve got a bathtub flooding due to a blockage but its a bit messy and requires a few tools to get the job done. Youll need: a Phillips head screwdriver, a flat head screwdriver, needle nose pliers, and a plumbers snake.

    Use protective gloves and eyewear so as not to get any of the grime on your hands or eyes it can potentially harbor a large amount of bacteria. Carefully unscrew the shower with the Phillips head screwdriver, being sure not to drop any of the screws down the drain.

    Then, using the needle nose pliers and the flat head screwdriver, reach into the open drain to grab and remove all the stuck hair and soap buildup. Once youve cleared the initial opening, insert the plumbers snake into the drain as far as it will go.

    Use your foot to get the front end of the snake securely into the drain opening before extending it down as far as it will go. Then, turn the handle to bring the snake back up.

    Run Some Warm Water Down The Drain

    Run some warm water down the drain to see if the blockage has been cleared. If not, you can try it once or twice more and then move on to the next technique.

    Tip: Use cleaning-grade bicarbonate of soda and white vinegar because they are much cheaper than the food-grade versions. However, if you dont have white vinegar, food-grade vinegar will have much the same effect.

    Tip: You can also try pouring a bottle of Coke into the drain with the baking soda Coca-Cola is slightly acidic, and the carbonation and fizzing will also help to shift the blockage. If you dont want to use real Coke, generic cola brands usually work just as well.

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    How To Unclog Your Bathtub Drain Some Quick And Easy Methods

    Poor maintenance of your drain can lead to either a slow draining bathtub or a complete blockage in the pipes. What causes such obstructions is usually hairs, heavy dirt or other debris that cant dissolve easily. The question here is whether you need to call a plumber to unblock your drain or you can try to fix it on your own. In this article, we are going to share 5 effective methods on how to unclog your bathtub drain in no time.

    What To Do If Nothing Works

    Bathtub Won’t Drain & How to Fix

    If youre at your wits end and nothing you try works, youll have to call a plumber and have them unclog your drain for you. A clogged bathtub drain with standing water isnt just inconvenient. Its also potentially dangerous. The longer that water is present, the more likely mold, mildew, and other nasty problems will set in.

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    Remove The Stopper And Strainer If You Have One

    The first step is to remove the strainer as you will need to remove the blockage of hair or soap under the strainer. However, in order to do that you will first need to remove the stoppers cap and unscrew the strainers screws with the right head of a screwdriver. Put the screws somewhere away from the clogged drain to avoid losing them.

    How To Fix When Your Bathtub Wont Drain

    If you are experiencing problems with your bathtub not draining properly, dont pour any more water down the drain until it has been cleared out completely.

    It will help prevent the clog from worsening and possibly causing a more significant problem later.

    If the clog is located near the drain, you can use a plunger to loosen it up and break through. If all else fails, you may need to remove the drain cover or grate to access the clog directly.

    Be careful when doing this, as sharp objects or bacteria could be present. You can try using a plumbing snake to dislodge the clog or use a plunger if it is accessible.

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    How To Fix A Slow Draining Tub

    A slow-draining tub is a common problem, and an irritating one, too. Nobody wants to stand in a deepening pool of murky water while taking a shower. Read our guide to fixing a clogged tub.

    There are several possible causes for a slow-draining shower. Lets address the most common cause first: a clog at the shower drain, or in the P-trap just below it.

    You dont have to call in a plumber to investigate and fix this issue, and the only special tool you need is some sort of plumbers snake, which you can buy at any hardware store or home center.

    Professional-grade plumbing snakes can cost hundreds of dollars, but you can buy one powered by a drill or by hand for $25 or less. A hand-powered snake may also be called a drum auger if you are doing a product search. A plumbers snakeeven an inexpensive oneis a good tool to have. It can enable you to clear clogs in toilets, sinks, and shower units.

    Symptoms Of A Slow Draining Tub

    How to Fix a Slow

    You may not immediately notice a slow draining tub, but if water begins to take longer to drain after youve pulled the plug, a clog may be forming. Unfortunately, the longer you wait to deal with a slow draining tub, the more difficult it will take to remove the clog as it will accumulate more debris and become more firmly stuck. Like with many things in life, the sooner you deal with the problem, the better.

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    S For Fixing A Tub That Wont Hold Water:

  • Bathtub drains consist of a visible trip lever, a plunger that seats in the drain to stop water, and two pieces of threaded rod which connect the lever and plunger. The assemblies are adjustable to fit a wide range of tubs.
  • The first step is to unscrew the plate that holds the trip lever. Have a drop cloth in the tub to prevent scratching it or losing the screws down the drain.
  • Pull out the stopper assembly. Check that the two eyes where the threaded rod articulates are properly aligned. If they arent, that alone might be the problem.
  • To lower the stopper, thread the bottom lock nut down. Next, spin the adaptor that the plunger hangs from down until it reaches the bottom lock nut, and then tighten the upper locknut to the adaptor.
  • Place the plunger, threaded rod, and trip lever back into the hole in the tub and screw the plate back into place.
  • Close the stopper, run some water into the tub, and see if it stays. If the water drains out, repeat the process above and lower the plunger a little bit more until you get the bathwater to stay in.
  • Implement A Drain Snake

    A plumbing snake is an excellent option when liquid concoctions arent doing the trick and you dont want to proceed to harsh chemicals. Drain snakes work by reaching into the drain itself and physically pulling out hair and other things causing clogs. Its equipped with a crooked head or drain claw that slips around an object and pulls it out when you tug on its attached line.

    I recommend this drain snake from Amazon because you can use it with a drill or without.

  • Start by removing the drain cover thats keeping things from entering your drain.
  • Next, take your plumbers snake and stick it into the drain.
  • You can also insert the snake through the overflow tube above the drain if desired. Entering through the overflow drain might be better if youre inexperienced with a plumbers snake because you could potentially break your drain pipe trying to push the snake through.
  • Either way, youll push the snake manually or use the attached handle to propel the auger forward.
  • Anytime you feel the snake meet opposition and start to bend or kink, gently pull it back a few inches and try moving forward again.
  • Push the snake inward until youre satisfied that youve gone far enough.
  • Most clogs will be within the first 10 feet from the start of the drain, so dont bother going much further than that.
  • Slowly retrieve the snake by pulling or reeling it out.
  • Also Check: Cost To Unclog Washing Machine Drain


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