A slow draining bathtub isn’t just an annoyance, it’s a sign that even worse things may be on the way. Here’s some information about preventing slow drains, as well as various options for fixing them yourself before you go with an expert drain service.

The Problem with a Slow Draining Bathtub

Other than the fact that bathtubs that drain slowly will ruin your shower experience regularly, it’s also a sign that something even worse may be about to happen, namely, a blockage. Most slow drains occur because the following can get stuck in them-

  • Dirt
  • Hair
  • Grease
  • Soap
  • Small toys
  • Tree roots
  • Anything the right size

If it’s already slowing down, this means that you likely have the start of a clog. It may not take too much more for a full clog to happen. At that point, you won’t just have soapy water around your feet during your shower, you will eventually have water flowing past your knees and spilling over into the rest of the bathroom.

Hair is particularly an issue in drains because it gets wrapped around parts deep inside the drain.

The stopper itself can cause problems as well if it becomes broken or doesn’t fit right. Tree roots from outside of the house can also grow into the drain pipes and clog them up.

Feet of a man in a shower showing water build up near the drain

Preventing Slow Drains

In addition to doing what you need to do to remove the drain problem now, it’s also important to think about ways that you can prevent this from happening in the future. Here are a few options.

Drain Covers

One excellent way to prevent a drain from happening in the first place is to buy a drain cover so that nothing can get down into the drain except for water. These can go over the drain mid-way up the tub or at the one at the bottom. The one at the bottom is often just a plastic half-sphere with holes or slits in it to reduce how often hair or other detritus gets in there.

Pay Attention to Drain Stoppers

Here are a few different options for drain stoppers that might be giving you trouble or the cause of your slow draining bathtub or sink.

  • Toe Touch – These drains are the kind where you push them down with your toe to lock them in place and then push them again a little harder to make them pop up again. These can get a bit stuck sometimes since it relies on a spring inside to open again, so swapping it out for a different one may help your problem if this is what’s causing it.
  • Push/Pull – This drain stopper relies on a knob in the middle that you either push down to close or pull up to open again. It may be more reliable than the toe touch. There’s also a lift and turn variety as well.
  • Flip It and other Styles – Some stoppers will have a toggle on top that you just flip to one side or the other depending on whether you wish to open or close the drain.

In general, the important thing is to identify whether the stopper is causing the problem and consider either trying to fix it or switching to another style.

Securing Your Soap

If you get a dish that makes sure your soap stays put, this can also be a strong way of preventing problems. If you’re constantly dropping bars of soap, the extra soap that comes off can get into drains and make it impossible for water to get down properly.

Fixing the Slow Drain or Slow Draining Bathtub

There are a few DIY methods you can use to fix a slow drain yourself. Here are some examples.

Vinegar and Baking Soda

Get a half cup of baking soda and pour it down the drain that’s slowed down. Then pour a full cup of white vinegar down the same opening. In about five minutes, you’re going to see foam everywhere. Next, just turn on the hot water and let it go through the drain for around a minute.

After that, look at the drain and see if it helped. If it did, great, but if it didn’t you can either try again or shift to other methods. This will work best for light blockages. It does have the advantage of being eco-friendly and safe on your pipes.

Draino and Other Removers

Of course, you can always try to get a chemical drain remover like Draino, but there are actually many different options. When it comes to doing it this way, it’s important to check the product to see what kind of dangers it poses. Some can cause skin damage on contact, while others are merely toxic to drink.

Plumber’s Snakes

There’s a product called a ‘snake’ that’s designed for fitting down drains and helping to remove blockages. You’ll want to remove the drain stopper if it’s in the way, and then feed the snake down the hole. Then, you just turn the handle on the snake to bring it back up again. This often helps to remove the clog where you can get rid of it.

Make sure to run the water afterward to completely clear the drain.

Plungers

Believe it or not, you can also use a regular plunger for this purpose. It will work like this-

  1. Clean the plunger thoroughly.
  2. Dry it off and then add petroleum jelly to the bottom edges for a strong seal.
  3. Fill the tub with water enough to cover up the plunger rubber.
  4. Use the plunger normally on the drain.

This should help pull up things stuck in the drain.

Getting Help for Clogged or Slow Drains

Some clogs are going to be tough to handle on your own due to their nature. If you would like more information on how you can get a professional to come in and aid you with your problem, please don’t hesitate to go ahead and contact us today.

The faster you contact us, the faster we can get started making sure you have full use of your tub again before things get worse.