Having a clogged or blocked bathtub drain can be quite annoying. You are very likely to come across this problem as you use your bathroom. Thanks to items around the house and simple hacks, you may not need to call a plumber. With a few basic tools and tips, you can clear the clog yourself using various techniques.
Understanding Bath Drains
Drains are similar in structure. Usually, a bathroom drain has a curved pipe at the bottom of the drain pipe called a ‘P’ trap. For a kitchen sink, this pipe is shaped like a ‘U.’
The function of this curved pipe is to trap a little water in the drain line, to restrict sewer gases from coming up and smelling in the house. However, with time, the drain can get partially or entirely blocked because there may be a build up of hair and soap scum.
Unblocking a Bath Drain
Various techniques help with unblocking a bath drain. The bottom line is to try to find out what is causing the blockage. This will obviously help you decide on what to do about clearing it, as your bath could be blocked for a variety of reasons. If there is a build up of hair on the strainer that is causing the drain to run slowly, you can try to remove the offending articles using tweezers.
Going a step further to be more thorough, you can unscrew the strainer and look to see what is causing the blockage. Some can be removed manually, but if yours has screws that need to be removed, you need to use the right screwdriver, whose head and shape should fit into the screw, to get it done.
Unblocking a bath drain can be a dirty business, but if you can see hair at the bottom of the drain, your problem is half solved. You need to pull out the clog. Reaching in and pulling it out with your hands is not a lot of fun. You could try using a wire coat hanger or a pair of needle nose pliers.
How to Unblock a Bath Using a Plunger
If pulling out the clog that you can see does not help, or there is no clog in sight, your next line of action should be to use a plunger. To unblock a bath with a plunger, you need to ensure that there is enough water in the tub to cover the bottom of the plunger so that the cup is completely submerged. For better results, you should block the overflow outlets with a rag before plunging.
You should keep the handle of this tool straight, while pushing down and up for up to five or six times at a time, lifting each time to see the results, and repeating the process if the bath is still blocked. The water should drain away quickly if the drain has been cleared. If this does not happen, do not panic. There are other ways to unblock a bath.
Snaking a Bath Drain
A snake is a flexible steel cable wound on a handle. If you have one, you need to pass it through the overflow plate opening of your bath, turning it as you push forward. To unblock the bath, you want to work it through the drain to either break up any clog in the way or try to pull it out.
Unblocking a Bath Using Chemicals
Using chemicals such as caustic soda or sulphuric acid to unblock a bath can be dangerous because, although they are effective, they can be highly corrosive and damaging to the environment. They emit fumes that can be harmful and can cause severe irritation when in contact with the skin.
If you must use chemical drain cleaners bought off the shelf, you need to be extra careful and follow the stated instructions.
How to Unblock a Bath with Baking Soda and Vinegar
These ingredients from your kitchen can do the job, although you may have to consider another method for more troublesome blockages. To unblock a bath using this method, you should do the following:
- First pour some boiling water down the drain
- Pour about half a cup of baking soda and wait for a couple of minutes
- Add a cup of vinegar and some more hot water
- After about ten minutes, pour boiling water to flush away.
This method is eco-friendly and cheap. The combination helps in the breaking down of the clog in the drain, allowing it to wash down the drain. It is, however, important not to use this method if any commercial product for unblocking drains has just been used or is still present in the water.
Eliminating Odours After Unblocking a Bath
After attempting to unblock a bath, the resultant smell can be nasty. The smell can even be noticeable as the clog builds up. Frequent use of the < href="https://www.cleanipedia.com/gb/bathroom-kitchen/how-to-unblock-clogged-drains-and-eliminate-odours">baking soda and vinegar solution</a> is a sure way to fight bad odours.
Preventing a Blocked Bath
It is important to use a filter over your bath plug hole that can collect loose hair strands. In addition, avoid washing little pieces of soap down the drain and from time to time, pouring some boiling water down the drain can help to melt any grease that may be building up. This is not ideal for a toilet, however, as boiling water could crack the porcelain.
Important Tips to Know About Unblocking a Bath</a>
- Do not use any chemicals before using a plunger. This is because splatter is inevitable, which could result in having chemicals on your clothes and skin.
- Some stubborn debris in your drain might not be easily accessible using hooks. Using strong chemicals or acids could make matters worse if they get to hang around the waste.
- When trying to plunge the drain, you should be careful not to cause flooding in the bathroom as a result of joint-overflows in your bath, which could break if not properly handled.
It is important to call a professional if all these methods do not work, or when in doubt about trying any of them.