Having a bathtub that won’t drain is not only inconvenient, but it’s also unsanitary. This is a problem that many homeowners experience from time to time. Bathtub drains may stop working for numerous reasons, such as clogged drain pipes, hard water buildup, hair clogs, soap scum, and more. So, what do you do when a bathtub won’t drain? Thankfully, there are several DIY techniques you can employ to fix a bathtub that won’t drain. If you don’t want to get your hands dirty, you could call a nearby plumbing service that specializes in bathroom plumbing for assistance.
Mr. Rooter Plumbing is the trusted plumbing repair service you can count on for all of your bathroom plumbing needs. Today, we’ll talk about the steps you should take to fix a bathtub that won’t drain and what to do if you can’t resolve your drain problem on your own.
First things first. Use a cup or scoop to remove any standing water in the tub. This will give you more room to work and prevent spills. Gently pull out any visible hair or debris you see around the drain stopper or overflow plate.
If the clog is mainly soap scum or mild buildup, boiling water can come to your rescue. Boil a pot of water and carefully pour it down the drain. The hot water can help melt and loosen the clog, allowing it to flow away.
For tougher clogs, try a combination of baking soda and vinegar. Pour about half a cup of baking soda down the drain, followed by a cup of vinegar. The mixture will fizz and foam as it breaks down the clog. Let it sit for 15-30 minutes, then flush with hot water. Baking soda and vinegar are both affordable, readily available, and non-toxic, making them a great choice for eco-conscious drain cleaning.
If the clog is still stubborn, a wire coat hanger can come in handy. Straighten the hanger and fashion a small hook at the end. Carefully insert the hanger into the drain and fish around for the clog. Once you snag it, gently pull it out.
Fill the bathtub with enough water to cover the plunger cup, then plunge vigorously for a few minutes. The pressure can help dislodge the clog and send it on its way.
If all else fails, it’s time to bring in the plumbing snake. This is a long, flexible cable with an auger at the end that can reach deep into the drain and break up even the most persistent clogs. You can find plumbing snakes at hardware stores or online.
How to unclog a bathtub drain using a plumbing snake:
Feed the cable end of the snake into the drain opening slowly and carefully. You may feel resistance at the P-trap, the curved pipe beneath the drain.
If you have an auger snake, rotate the handle to advance the corkscrew tip and break up the clog. If you have a drum auger, turn on the motor and feed the cable further into the drain while rotating the handle.
Once you feel you’ve reached the clog and broken it up, slowly pull the snake back out of the drain. You may see hair, soap scum, or other debris on the cable.
Run hot water down the drain for several minutes to clear away any remaining debris. You can also try pouring a mixture of baking soda and vinegar down the drain to further dissolve any buildup.
If your bathtub is still not draining properly after you’ve tried the DIY fixes we’ve covered above, then you need to call a professional plumbing repair service to help you out. Here at Mr. Rooter Plumbing, we offer professional drain cleaning services at affordable prices. We are equipped with state-of-the-art tools to clear even the most stubborn bathtub drain clogs. Our plumbers have the expertise, experience, and equipment to clear drain clogs and restore your plumbing to good working order.