How To Clean Clogged Bathtub Drain Lines In Your Home

clogged bathtub drain

Knowing how to clean clogged bathtub drain lines in your home can be helpful in more ways than one. Few plumbing fixtures are more expensive and larger than your bathtub. With many different models, sizes, and materials available today, a bathtub means much more than just a place to wash your body. In today’s stressful world, you may even treat it as a meditative reprieve. Your bathtub can act as a place where submerging your body into the tub is an experience of unimaginable luxury.

A bathtub is typically large enough to occupy most of the space in a small bathroom. The aesthetically pleasant fixture and all the comfort it offers can go away, however, with a simple clog. So be aware of the issue and take good care of your bathtub to prevent slow draining or even standing water. In the event clogging happens, there are some things you can do before calling a professional.

A clogged bathtub drain with a plunger.
The longer you wait, the more damage occurs to your bathtub

Three steps to clean a clogged bathtub drain

A clogged bathtub drain doesn’t happen in an instant. The problem starts small with a noticeable symptom: slow draining. Many things can cause such issues, including but not limited to the accumulation of hair, soap scum, and dissolved metals in hard water. The good thing is that you can almost always fix the problem yourself in just several minutes without harsh chemicals or calling a plumber. Follow these steps:

1. Remove the Stopper

As easy as it may sound, certain bathtub models offer vague instructions on how to access the crossbar (the pipe that connects to your drain system). Depending on the model you have, you may need to unscrew or push and release the drain stopper. Some older models are fitted with lever stoppers located inside the drain.

2. Remove the Drain Screen

If the bathtub has a drain screen, remove it with a pair of pliers. You may want to wrap the tip of the pliers with plastic tape to prevent scratches. There is a special tool designed for this task, but a pair of pliers will do, as long as you are careful.

3. Plunge the Drain

The safest method to deal with a clogged bathtub is to plunge it. Push down and pull up vigorously for about 30 seconds and see if the problem persists. Remember that a plunger will not work unless there is standing water in the tub.

If a plunger does not clear the clogged bathtub drain, try pouring commercial cleaner into the drain. Always make time to read the instructions attached to the packaging. The alternative solution is a homemade cleaner made of baking soda and vinegar in a 1:1 ratio. Always use goggles and latex gloves to prevent direct contact between the harsh solution and your skin. 

clogged bathtub drain
Routine maintenance can ensure full flow for your tub drain

When your clogged bathtub drain needs further action

In case the clogging persists, you may be tempted to use an electronic snake. This is not recommended as the equipment can and will damage the bathtub surface. Furthermore, in inexperienced hands, an electronic snake can pierce and damage your drain line itself. Because bathtub drain lines are frequently inaccessible, repairs can be quite costly.

So, although you may be effective using an electronic drain machine, chances are you end up spending more money to repair the damage you cause. Assuming the plunger, homemade solution, and commercial drain cleaner fail to get rid of the issue, rush to the phone and call a professional drain service.

Balkan Drain Team is the most reputable sewer and drain service company all across New York City. Their service area includes Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, and the Bronx. With over 70 years of experience in the plumbing industry, the company has the knowledge and resources to solve your clogged bathtub issue in no time. Balkan Drain Cleaning has operators standing by 24/7 for all sorts of plumbing emergency cases, contact Balkan today.