Nothing negatively impacts your shower or bath time quite like a clogged drain. Fortunately, there are many things you can do to fix this problem without calling a plumber. These easy to follow techniques can help you clear your drain with tools that many homeowners keep around the house.
Most often, bathtub clogs are located near the top of the drain, where the bathtub and the drain meet. These surface-level clogs are usually made up of hair that falls down the drain during baths and showers. To remove a clog like this, you’ll need a hook that can grab the hair and pull it out.
There are a variety of products on the market that can help you with this problem, or you can make your own. To make your own, use needle-nose pliers to bend a wire coat hanger into a long hook.
To unclog the drain, remove the stopper. Next, slip the hook into the drain and push it down until it reaches the clog. Pull up on the hook to extract the clog. The hair may become wrapped around the crossbars at the top of the drain. If this happens, use scissors to cut the hair until it can be removed.
If the hook doesn’t work or if the hook catches nothing, the problem could be lower in the drain than you’re able to reach. If this is the case, you can make homemade chemical drain cleaner to remove the clog.
A variation of this method involves pouring baking soda and vinegar down the drain at the same time, then flushing them out with hot water after. Both methods work for slow drains, but are not effective against completely stopped drains.
A plumber’s auger is like a manually-powered drain snake. Augers are available at home improvement centers and hardware stores, so you should be able to find one pretty easily.
To use the plumber’s auger, start by removing the plate from the bathtub overflow tube. Insert the auger cable into the pipe until it meets with resistance. When the auger becomes difficult to insert into the pipe, twist the cable several times with the hand-powered crank, then push the cable deeper into the pipe. When the cable pierces the clog, remove the cable and flush hot water down the drain.
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