Drain clogs, made of debris, hair, and soap, form slowly as scum builds up in your drain pipe and eventually blocks it. Before you pour dangerous chemicals down your clogged bathtub drain or hire a costly professional, give these quick solutions a try. You may find you save both time and money.
First, check if your drain is completely clogged. If the water still drains down, albeit slowly, you can often rid yourself of the problem simply by running hot water for five minutes. Often, water alone is enough to dislodge the hairballs and dirt. Pour a cup of salt, followed by boiling water. This method usually unplugs anything except metal or plastic, as the water takes the clog/ build-up with it.
Another method to try, perhaps the most well known, is the handy plunger. First stuff the overflow plate with cloth. If you think the overflow plate might be clogged too, remove it and its parts, and clean it first. With the plunger, push water down the drain hole to dislodge the clog. Then replace the cover plate. Another option is to plunge the drain, again stuffing the overflow hole with a rag to prevent the suction from escaping. Pull out the clog if it get close to the surface.
Another option is using a flexible wire, such as an unwound coat hanger, to push the clog and clear up the drain pipe. Push it as deep as it will go and move it around. Try going in through the overflow hole if you can not through the drain hole.
A plumbers stake, also known as a cable auger, works in the same way but can reach further than a coat hanger. It is an inexpensive tool that is inserted down the drain pipe. They can make turns and reach up to two feet. When you have reached the clog, you tighten the binding screw on the snake and twist, pulling out the clog when the tip grabs a hold of it.
After you have exhausted these options, your next best bet would be a chemical drain cleaner, which can reach deeper than the other methods mentioned. They are widely available and come in many types and brands. The chemicals used are dangerous when they come in contact with water or other chemicals, and are also caustic. So remember to use gloves and wear protective glasses and do not forget to read the instructions. Do not use them if your tub is backed up. After half an hour, run hot water.
Sometimes the clog will be too far down for these methods to reach. Call a plumber but be prepared that hiring a professional will cost you time and money. For that reason, if the clog is less than three feet in or you are unsure, you would be wise to try these quick fixes out first.
If you are really determined not to deal with clogged bathtub drains, practice prevention. Ensure the grate is in place and keep the it clean. Take the grate off once in a while and clean the underside, as well as any hair or soap particles you see in the drain pipe. If, however, you find your it gets plugged anyways, turn to these quick solutions before you reach for the phone book and throw your hard-earned money down the drain. We can clear a clogged bathtub drain if you need a plumber in San Francisco visit http://magicplumbing.com/