Over time, your bathtub drain can become clogged. You could be left standing in inches of water at the end of a shower or bath. If you notice a foul smell coming from the drain, or that the water is going down very slowly, it is important to clean the drain. A backed up bathtub drain is inconvenient and stressful, and may be caused by the buildup of soap scum, hair, and other debris.
How to Clean Your Bathtub Drain
- Remove the Stopper
Depending on the situation, your bathtub may have a drop stopper, levered bathtub stopper, or a push stopper. To remove a drop stopper, you simply need to take off the stopper cap and remove the screw. This will give you access to the drainage crossbars. To remove a levered bathtub stopper, you need to remove the overflow plate and the stopper, and clean the stopper with hot water to flush out any debris. Push stoppers can be more difficult to remove. You may be able to hold the base and unscrew the stopper to remove it.
- Clean Out the Debris
Once the stopper is removed, you should be able to reach into the drain to remove the hair, soap scum, and other debris. You may use your hands (with gloves on), a drain stick, or a small bent coat hanger to pull out the debris. When removing the clogged material, it is important to avoid pushing the blockage even further into the pipe, as this will make the slow drain problem worse. Once the debris is removed, you may rinse off the stopper and put it back on. The drain should then let water flow cleanly down.
- Go Deeper If Necessary
In some cases, the blockage could be further down the pipes than you are able to reach. Using a drain auger (also called a snake), bent coat hanger, or drain stick can allow you to remove the material from deeper in the pipes. However, improperly using a plumbing auger could actually damage your pipes. That is why you may need to hire a professional plumber to handle the situation.
- Use Baking Soda & Vinegar to Clean the Pipes
Once all the debris has been removed, you should rinse the drain with hot water, and then pour a mixture of ¼ cup of baking soda and 1 cup of white vinegar down the drain. Wait about 15-20 minutes, then rinse the drain with hot water again to flush your pipes. This will help naturally clean the drain and prevent foul odors as well.
- Call a Plumber If the Problem Persists
If you have tried to clean the drain to no avail, it may be that there is a clog somewhere further down the pipes or in the sewer line. Instead of trying to handle the problem yourself, it is important to call a professional plumber to clear the bathtub drain. Multiple slow drains in your home also indicate a more serious issue. A plumber will be able to diagnose the problems and provide a solution without harming to your plumbing system.
Slow Draining Bathtub? Trust Our Los Angeles Plumbers for a Solution!
Moe Plumbing Services provides efficient drain cleaning services to homeowners in Los Angeles. If your bathtub drain is slow, or multiple drains in your home are clogged, don’t try to handle the problem yourself. Our professionals will inspect the system, use state-of-the-art technology to identify the source of the blockage, and provide a remedy in a timely manner so you can get your life back on track. With our Los Angeles plumbers, you can receive reliable and friendly assistance for all your plumbing issues.
Ready to schedule a service? Contact us today to get started.