There are so many different reasons as to why your bathtub drains slowly. Luckily, there are a few simple methods to fix it that could save you from having to call a plumber. A slow bathtub drain can result from any of the following combinations (or all of them):
- a lack of regular drain cleaning
- a buildup of hair
- a buildup of soap, body oil, and other bathing beauty aids
If this sounds like it could be your issue, don’t reach for the caustic store-bought chemical drain cleaner just yet — there are more effective (and safer) ways to manually clear your bathtub drain. To manually clear your drain, you will need to begin by removing your drain stopper to gain access.
Types of Drain Stoppers
There are different types of drain stoppers that are often used to block water flow in your tub. Regardless of what you have, it will need to be removed before you can pull out debris. Follow these steps to remove your specific type of stopper:
This is one of the most common types of bathtub stoppers. It has a small knob on top that allows you to open and close the drain. To remove this stopper, take off the stopper cap and remove the screw. This gives you access to debris that is caught in the drainage crossbars. Once you have access, you can easily remove any hair and debris that is clogging the drain.
Levered Bathtub Stopper
This often can be found in older Sacramento homes. This type of stopper has a lever attached to an overflow plate that may need to be removed before you can remove the stopper. It is best to use a hot water flush when clearing this type of stopper to ensure that any residual debris is washed down the pipes.
This often can be viewed as the most frustrating stopper to work with because there is no clear way to remove it. This stopper cannot be extracted or unscrewed like a drop stopper. However, you may be able to hold the base while unscrewing the stopper to successfully remove it. Once the stopper is out, you will have access to any debris. If you need to go deeper, the base also can be unscrewed.
Once you have cleared your drain, use one of these five tools to keep your drain clear.
Once you have removed your drain stopper you may need to get further into the pipe to clear slow drains. The following techniques can help you finish the job.
A stiff wire, such as a clothes hanger, with a hook bent into its end can be used to reach into pipes and pull out clogs. However, be careful not to push the debris into the pipe because it can make the clog worse.
Hot Water or Homemade Flush
After you have removed hair and other matter from the drain, flush them with hot water or a vinegar and baking soda mixture. Both methods are safer than many standard store-bought chemical cleaners and can be as effective.
This is a simple tool that every homeowner should have. Many slow drains will respond to the suction of a plunger and this simple solution may provide a cure to your slow drain ails.
Snaking a tub can be an effective way to reach far into your pipes and effectively remove many clogs. However, although you may own one, you need to know how to properly use it to ensure that you do not create or increase damage to your pipes while trying to fix your slow drains.
Do You Still Have Slow Drains?
If your home is still experiencing slow drains after you try some of these steps — or if you have a toilet and sink that also are draining slowly — it may be an indication of a more serious situation than a simple clogged pipe. It could be a sign of a broken sewer line, which will require the help of a professional plumber in Sacramento, like Express Drain & Sewer. We specialize in trenchless sewer line repair and replacement, a less invasive method than traditional digging methods.
Many of the homes in Sacramento are more than 100 years old, and although their sewer lines may not be that old, shifting earth, wear, and poor maintenance can take their toll. Constructed of clay, cast-iron, Orangeburg, or PVC, these pipes were made to last for many years, but nothing lasts forever. If your best effort of clearing slow drains in your home has been unsuccessful, contact Express Sewer & Drain and we can help your pipes to again flow freely.
META: Is your bathtub draining slowly? A clog is probably the culprit. Here are a few DIY ways to fix a slow bathtub drain and how to recognize a bigger problem.