Bathtub Drain Clogged and Nobody Around to Help?

Posted on: September 15, 2018

bathtub drain clogged

Loaded with hair, excess soap and hair care products, miscellaneous gunk and that occasional razor, our bathtub drain gets as much attention as garbage disposals, sinks, and toilets. Because they sustain so much abuse, it is common to have a bathtub drain clogged. All of a sudden, you are taking a shower with five inches of water gathering around your ankles.

When nobody is around to assist you and your bathtub drain is clogged, several quick fixes listed below may be a temporary solution until a plumber can get there to perform their work.

Seal your overflow (upper) drain

Yes, you should have two

Normally, one takes a plunger to the bathtub drain clogged and jars any debris loose. The problem with most bathtubs is that there are actually two drains: the one below and the one that lines up with the faucet spout above, called the overflow drain. While it does not look like a drain because it does not have a perforated cover, look closely at the bottom of the disc and you will see a small opening.

Since plungers rely on the power of suction, you will need to address the overflow opening before plunging. An excellent way to accomplish this is by covering the entire disk with duct tape, which will prevent air or water flow from coming out of the upper drain area.

Once sealed off, the process of plunging may commence.

Proper plunging techniques

Work smart, not hard

You want to make sure the stopper is removed, which may require unscrewing or wiggling it back and forth while pulling it up. Once removed, put one to two inches of hot water into your tub. Hot water helps dissolve built-up soap and other unwelcomed nastiness.

Making sure the entire lip of the plunger cup is affixed to your tub, quickly but forcibly push the plunger up and down 10 to 12 times. After the last downward push, pull the plunger up and off so you hear a sucking sound.

You may need to repeat this process several times depending on the amount of debris preventing water from freely flowing.

Still not working?

Help is on the way

After plunging for several minutes consecutively, perhaps water still is not freely flowing. This may signal a much deeper clog further down your drainpipe, requiring plumber intervention. You are strongly urged to call a plumber before dumping liquids down the drain, even those that are frequently advertised on television. While they may seem like they work on every type of clogged drain, they can actually make some clogs worse.

If you really need to use your tub and your local plumber is still an hour away, a DIY remedy can be made using three cups of boiling water, one cup of vinegar, one-half cup of baking soda and a method of keeping time.

You will dump one boiling cup of water down the drain, followed by the baking soda, and a mixture of another cup of hot water and the vinegar. After everything gets dumped down the drain, you will hear a fizzing sound if everything is working. Cover the drain and let the concoction stand for 10 minutes, finally dumping the last cup of hot water down the drain to remove the gunk.

The remedy may work for a bathtub drain clogged with soapy buildup, but remember that not all clogs have quick fixes.

Has a bathtub drain clogged your ability to take peaceful showers? An expert plumbing service in Lubbock can provide the suctioning to keep your drain functioning. Emergency drain service is available at (806) 783-8318 or visit online at