How Do I Fix a Slow Bathtub Drain?
Home plumbing issues, especially slow bathtub drains, can be extremely aggravating. Showering while standing ankle-deep in water is never pleasant! Luckily, there are various methods you can try to rectify the situation and get your drain flowing smoothly again before calling a professional plumbing service. Mr. Rooter Plumbing has various tips for bathtub stoppers, techniques for clearing clogs from your bathtub drain, and tips for dealing with slow drains throughout your home.
What Are My Options to Unclog Slow Bathtub Drains?
Before diving into solutions, let's briefly review some common bathtub stoppers that might contribute to your drain's slow closing rate. Understanding their mechanisms will give you a clearer idea of how to address this problem.
- Drop Stopper: This type of stopper is controlled using a lever or knob on the overflow plate of a bathtub. When this lever is raised, a plunger-like apparatus lowers and forms an airtight seal to stop water from draining away from your tub.
- Levered Bathtub Stopper: Like its counterpart, the levered stopper is operated using a lever to close and open its drains; however, instead of employing a plunger mechanism, its drop counterpart does so.
- Push Stopper: A push stopper can be adjusted by applying pressure directly on its cap, pushing down, or pulling up. Pushing down will seal off drain openings, while pulling up will allow water to pass freely through them.
How Can I Fix a Slow Bathtub Drain?
- Drop Stopper: To address the slow drain caused by a drop stopper, first, unscrew and remove the overflow plate by unscrewing. Gently pull apart and unlatch the linkage assembly associated with a lever. Clean any accumulated debris off the lever assembly before reassembling parts as soon as possible. If necessary, replace the damaged stopper.
- Levered Bathtub Stopper: When servicing a levered stopper, follow a similar process to drop stoppers. Unscrew and detach the overflow plate from its overflow plate assembly, clean all components thoroughly, reassemble them properly and replace any broken parts if applicable.
- Push Stopper: Resolving slow drain issues caused by push stoppers is often simple. Most push stoppers can be removed by unscrewing them counterclockwise and checking for debris blocking your drain before cleaning off and tightening them back securely afterward.
How Can You Clean Clogs Out of Your Bathtub Drain?
If the slow drain issue continues even after you've addressed the stopper mechanism, clogs could be to blame. Here are some effective methods for clearing them:
- Bent Wire: Straighten out a wire hanger and bend one end into a small hook, insert it into your drain, and fish out any hair or debris blocking your drain clogs - being careful not to scratch or damage its pipework!
- Heat or DIY Flush: Boil water carefully down the drain, as this hot water can help dissolve soap scum and grease build-up. Or you could mix equal parts baking soda and vinegar to make a homemade flush that you can pour down the drain for 30 minutes before flushing it with hot water.
- Toilet Plunger: Use a toilet plunger to create a strong suction over the drain opening, and use vigorous push and pull motions to dislodge any clogs in your drain openings. Do this several times until they dislodge, and then flush your drain with hot water after each time to ensure you flush properly.
- Drain Auger: Using a drain auger (commonly known as a plumber's snake) may be effective for stubborn clogs. Simply insert its flexible cable into the drain and rotate while applying gentle pressure; this should help break up and dislodge any remaining obstructions. After inserting and rotating for several cycles, slowly retract and flush with hot water afterward to clear away any remaining debris.
How Can You Tackle Slow Drains At Your Residence?
As part of your efforts to address slow bathtub drain issues, it's also essential to assess your overall drainage system in the home. Here are a few suggestions on how you can address slow drains throughout your residence:
- Implement Regular Maintenance: Prevention is key to maintaining a healthy drainage system, so create a regular maintenance routine by periodically cleaning your drains with baking soda, vinegar, and hot water solution - this can help avoid debris build-up in your pipes and keep everything flowing smoothly.
- Install Drain Strainers: For optimal water flow, installing drain strainers in your bathtub, shower, and sink is ideal for catching hair, soap residue, and debris before they enter your drains. Regularly check and clean them to maintain the proper water flow through them.
- Avoid Pouring Grease and Oil Down Your Drains: Never pour grease, oil, or fat down the drain, as these solid substances can solidify quickly and cause serious clogs. Instead, store these items in a container before disposing of them properly in your trash can.
- Flushing with Hot Water: To keep your drains clear and free of build-up, flushing with hot water can help unclog any accumulated grease, soap scum, or debris that has clung to its pipes. This process also removes any harmful smells which might linger there.
- Professional Assistance: If the above methods have yet to work and your drains remain slow, professional help could be in order. A licensed plumber has access to tools to identify and provide complex drain cleaning solutions efficiently and effectively.
Mr. Rooter Plumbing
At Mr. Rooter Plumbing, we understand the frustration of dealing with a slow bathtub drain. A professional plumber from Mr. Rooter Plumbing can offer expertise and assistance when addressing this problem effectively. With years of experience and our commitment to customer satisfaction, we possess the knowledge and tools to address any slow drain issue. No matter the scope or difficulty of the task - be it fixing broken bathtub stoppers, clearing stubborn clogs, or inspecting your plumbing system - our specialists are dedicated to offering efficient and effective solutions.