Tips On Handling A Clogged Bathtub Drain
If you’re like most people, you probably don’t enjoy taking a shower with a clogged bathtub drain. Having dirty water rising up past your ankles doesn’t exactly scream refreshing. But if you live in an old apartment or house, or your plumbing hasn’t been updated in a long time (or if you’re just particularly hairy!), you may have to endure this somewhat gross phenomenon more often than you’d like. Here are some tips of the trade to ensure that your shower or bathtub drain stays clog-free between major plumbing operations.
Don’t assume that just because you can’t see it, the dirt and grime isn’t there! First, invest in a screen or mesh for your drain to collect any hair or chunks of soap (soap scum is a major factor in many clogs, so don’t overdo it on the suds and only use what you need to get clean). Second, once per week—maybe while scrubbing the tub—remember to remove the drain cover and get scrubbing underneath. If you’ve got a tub stopper that’s pre-installed, you’ll need a pair of pliers to get it up and to get cleaning. Third, you can then sprinkle a few tablespoons of baking soda down the pipe.
As a chaser, pour several cups of hot water down the drain, as this will push the soda through the pipe and get any grease moving along. Don’t use boiling water, though—this can potentially damage sealants, wax, and rubber parts. If the baking soda trick doesn’t work, try using white vinegar instead, but let it sit for about half an hour before you chase it with very hot water.
Beyond kitchen remedies, you should occasionally use a bacteriological drain cleaner and grease fighter. Look for something that’s 100-percent biodegradable, non-toxic, non-pathogenic, and non-corrosive. Here at HY-PRO Plumbing and Drain Cleaning, we use GES+® Grease Eliminator & Drain Treatment, which will keep your pipes and the environment safe and clean.
Kids and Pets
If you’ve got little children, sometimes a mysterious hole is just too tempting not to experiment with—tiny beads, pieces of LEGO, doll hair, jewelry, and other toys often wind up down the tub. Make sure you have a chat with your kids to let them know that drains aren’t fun to play with and that bath-time isn’t the place for anything smaller than the rubber ducky. Pets are also notorious for jamming your drains.
During the warm weather, and if you have the space, try to bathe Fido outside. If it’s not possible, make sure you use your sink’s mesh screen, or you lay a thin cloth over the drain when letting out the water—it’ll catch most of your best friend’s hair. Washtubs are another option.
If your long gorgeous hair is to blame for the majority of your clogs, invest in a shower cap when just washing your body. Also, before washing your hair, give your head a vigorous brushing—you’ll collect a lot of loose strands that would otherwise come out in the wash (and head down the drain). Use rubber gloves when dealing with bathtub cleaning and even a clogged bathtub drain—you don’t want to get a lot gnarly gunk on your hands. Finally, and it may seem like common sense, but make sure you have a top quality plunger and drain snake—it’s surprising the difference a well made and functional plunger can make.
If you practice good drain care and drain maintenance, you should avoid a large number of minor clogs and jams. However, it’s always good to have the number of an excellent local plumber at the ready should you encounter a clog beyond your ability to clear. Sooner or later, we need the help of a trained expert, so contact us at HY-PRO Plumbing and Drain Cleaning for all your residential plumbing requirements.