You might be able to repair a slow-draining bathtub on your own if you follow these handy suggestions. Soap scum and hair can build up over time, causing water to drain slowly and leave a film behind. Get your bathtub pipes back in working order with these tips.
Remove Drain Cover
Remove the drain cover and clear out the hair. Dig even deeper — you might find clumps of debris lodged in the metal crooks. Don a pair of rubber gloves and clear out the drain space underneath.
Use Baking Soda and Vinegar
These two common household items combine to form an acid-based reaction. While some resources suggest combining the baking soda and vinegar before pouring them down the drain, this is not the best option. Instead, pour one cup of baking soda down the drain and let it sit for five minutes. Then pour in one cup of vinegar. The chemical reaction taking place in the stopped-up drain will substitute for the much-needed deep scrubbing where you can’t reach. Let hot water run and clear the pipes afterward.
Purchase a Drain Snake
Drain snakes are available for purchase at home-improvement stores. They are long, flexible tools that can be inserted into your bathtub drain. Push the drain snake in as far as it can go and turn it clockwise until it hits the blockage. Reinserting, pushing and turning on the blockage can eventually cause it to loosen. Follow the process by pouring hot water into the pipes to flush out the debris.
Grab a Plunger or Use a Shop Vacuum
Fill the bathtub with enough hot water to cover the drain and begin plunging repeatedly. If a plunger’s air pressure won’t dislodge the clog, you could attempt suctioning out the blockage with a wet/dry shop vacuum. Purchase a suctioning attachment for your shop vacuum, or cover the vacuum’s hose mouth with a washcloth, tightening the towel around the hose with a rubber band. In addition to clearing out blockages in your bathtub, this method is also ideal if a valuable piece of jewelry goes down the drain.
Tips to Keep Your Bathtub Drain Working Properly
Make sure you do not pour chemicals down any drain in your home, including the bathtub. Grease, paint and wax-based substances should all be disposed of in an environmentally friendly way, not by way of your plumbing system.
Hot water is an acceptable drain-cleaning agent, but do not pour boiling water down a drain if the pipes are made of PVC. These plumbing systems are connected with rubber seals which can melt if exposed to boiling water. If you encounter a drain blockage that exceeds your repair ability, contact a professional plumber for repairs.
If none of these solutions succeeds at repairing your slow-draining bathtub, contact Captain Plumbing for assistance.