How to Fix a Blocked Bathtub Drain

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A blocked bathtub drain can be a frustrating and messy problem to deal with. Not only does it prevent you from enjoying a relaxing bath, but it can also cause unpleasant smell, bacteria growth, and even damage to your pipes. Fortunately, there are some simple ways to unclog your bathtub drain without calling a plumber. Here are some of the common causes of a blocked bathtub drain and how to fix them.

Symptoms of a Blocked Bathtub Drain

The most obvious sign of a blocked bathtub drain is standing stromwater that does not drain or drains very slowly after you remove the stopper. You may also notice some of these symptoms:

– An odour coming from the drain

– Residue or soap scum pooling around the stopper

– Water backing up into the tub when you flush the toilet or run the sink

– Gurgling noises from the drain

Causes of a Blocked Bathtub Drain

There are many possible causes of a blocked bathtub drain, but some of the most common ones are:

– Hair: Hair is the number one culprit of clogged drains, especially if you or someone in your household has long hair. Hair can get tangled with other debris and form a ball of gunk that blocks the water flow.

– Soap scum: Soap scum is the white residue that forms on your shower walls and tub. It can also accumulate in your drain and harden over time, creating a solid barrier that prevents water from passing through.

– Hard water: Hard water is water that has high mineral content, such as calcium and magnesium. These minerals can build up on the sides of your pipes and reduce the diameter of your drain, making it easier for clogs to form.

– Sand, dirt, and debris: If you have been to the beach or have kids who play outside, you may bring sand, dirt, and other debris into your tub. These particles can settle in your drain and create a blockage, especially if your water pressure is low.

– All of the above: Sometimes, a clog is caused by a combination of different materials that stick together and form a mass. For example, hair can trap soap scum, hard water can make clogs harder to remove, and debris can add to the volume of the clog.

Ways to Fix a Blocked Bathtub Drain

Depending on the cause and severity of your clog, you may be able to fix it yourself using some household items or natural ingredients. Here are some of the ways to fix a blocked bathtub drain:

– Plunger: A plunger is a simple tool that can help loosen and dislodge clogs in your drain. To use it, remove the stopper and/or strainer from your tub and clean any visible hair or gunk from them. Then, fill your tub with enough water to cover the base of the plunger. Place the plunger over the drain and push it up and down several times to create suction. You may hear some popping sounds as the clog breaks up. Repeat this process until the water drains normally.

– Boiling water: Boiling water can help dissolve soap scum and other greasy materials that may be clogging your drain. To use it, boil a large pot of water on the stove and carefully pour it down the drain in small amounts. Wait for a few minutes between each pour to let the water work on the clog. Be careful not to burn yourself or splash hot water on your tub or tiles.

– Vinegar and baking soda: Vinegar and baking soda are natural ingredients that can create a fizzy reaction that can help break up clogs in your drain. To use them, pour half a cup of baking soda down the drain, followed by half a cup of white vinegar. Cover the drain with a wet cloth or a stopper to trap the bubbles inside. Wait for 15 minutes and then flush the drain with hot water.

– Hand eel: A hand eel is a flexible metal tool that can reach deep into your pipes and clear out stubborn clogs. To use it, remove the stopper and/or strainer from your tub and insert the end of the hand eel into the drain. Crank the handle to extend the cable until you feel some resistance. Then, twist and push the cable back and forth to break up or hook onto the clog. Pull out the cable slowly and dispose of any debris that comes out with it. Repeat this process until you clear the clog.

– Natural chemicals: Natural chemicals are products that contain enzymes or bacteria that can eat away at organic matter in your drain, such as hair or food particles. They are safer than harsh chemicals that can damage your pipes or harm your health. To use them, follow the instructions on the package and pour the product down the drain. Wait for several hours or overnight and then flush the drain with hot water.

When to Call a Professional Plumber

If none of the above methods work or if you have recurring clogs in your bathtub drain, you may need to call a professional plumber to fix the problem. A plumber can use more advanced tools and techniques to clear your drain, such as a power auger, a hydro jet, or a camera inspection. A plumber can also check for any underlying issues that may be causing your clogs, such as pipe damage, tree roots, or sewer line problems.

A blocked bathtub drain can be a hassle, but it doesn’t have to ruin your day. With some simple DIY solutions or the help of a professional plumber, you can get your tub draining smoothly again in no time. If you need a reliable and experienced plumber to fix your blocked bathtub drain, contact Get Unblocked at They are a licensed and insured emergency plumbing service that can handle any plumbing issue you may have.