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Expert Answers to 4 Bathtub Drain Clog FAQs

Expert Answers to 4 Bathtub Drain Clog FAQs

When your bathtub drain becomes clogged, it’s hard to miss. As you shower, the water starts inching up around your ankles until you’re standing in a murky, several-inch-deep pool of water. It doesn’t take long before showering becomes unbearable.

There are many ways that your bathtub drain can become clogged. Before you can begin looking for solutions, you should understand what problem, or problems, are at play for your unique situation. Let’s take a look at some of the most common causes and what you can do to prevent bathroom drain clogs from developing.

Answers to Bathtub Drain Clog FAQs

Dealing with bathtub drain clogs tends to generate a few important questions. You can find the answers to these FAQs here:

1. Why is my bathtub drain clogged?

The most common reasons for a bathtub drain to clog include:

  • Hair: When you wash your hair, some strands detach and wash down the drain. Over time, great wads of hair can accumulate in the pipe and cause the tub to drain slowly.
  • Soap scum: It may seem like soap simply washes away down the drain, but after dozens or even hundreds of showers, soap scum starts to accumulate on the inside of the pipes. Chunks of soap cause blockages to build up even faster.
  • Septic system problems: If you have a septic tank, a clogged bathtub could indicate trouble in the waste disposal system, so don’t ignore this problem.

2. How do I clear my clogged bathtub drain?

Assuming the individual drain is to blame and not the overall septic system, you should be able to clear the clogged bathtub yourself. Skip the drain opening chemicals and opt instead for a plunger and a plumbing snake.

Start by plunging the drain:

  • Remove the pop-up stopper if the tub has one.
  • Rub petroleum jelly along the lip of the plunger.
  • Run water into the tub and plunge firmly up and down several times in a row.
  • Lift the plunger and see if the water drains freely.
  • Repeat as necessary.

If a plunger doesn’t do the trick, try a plumbing snake:

  • Remove the pop-up stopper if the tub has one.
  • Feed the cable down the drain until you reach the clog.
  • Rotate the crank to spin the cable and loosen the obstruction.
  • Continue feeding the cable as far as it will go.
  • Once you think the clog is clear, wind the cable back up and dispose of any debris it retrieved.

3. Do I need a professional to unclog my bathtub drain?

If you attempt to clear the clogged bathtub yourself without success, it’s time to call a plumber for help. This professional can diagnose the exact cause and perform the most effective, long-lasting fix.

4. How do I prevent the bathtub drain from clogging?

Once your tub is flowing freely again, you want to keep it that way. Here’s how:

  • Brush your hair before you shower or bathe.
  • Install a mesh drain cover to keep soap and hair out of the drain.
  • Empty dirty mop water outside, not in the tub.
  • Pour a gallon of boiling water down the bathtub drain once a month.

Closing Notes

Bathroom drain clogs can be caused by a number of things from debris, damage, and build-up. Taking steps to actively avoid creating blockages for your drains can help you save money on your water bill and on damage caused by water pooling and backing up. If your drains need servicing, don’t wait, contact your local experts as soon as you notice a problem.

The next time you need drain cleaning, septic tank pumping, or other waste disposal services, contact A-1 Septic Tank Service online or call us at (510) 886-4455 to schedule service for your home or business.

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