Slow Tub Drain - How to Fix It

A slow tub drain is a frustrating problem in any household. When a tub is draining slowly, it can be difficult to shower and difficult to clean the bath tub itself. There are a few effective remedies that can be tried by the homeowner in order to save the lofty fees that plumbers charge. The remedy that works will depend on what is causing the slow tub drain.

Minor Causes, Quick Remedies

Tubs often clog with hair or a combination of hair and bath products. If the problem is not too severe, pulling out the stopper and getting the hair out that has twisted around the stopper is a quick fix.

If the clog causing the slow tub drain is a little more severe, straightening out a coat hanger and using it to dig into the drain to remove the clog is helpful. Often times this remedy will fix the problem unless the clog has moved far into the drain pipes.

If the clog is too far in to be reached with fingers or a coat hanger, a toilet plunger can be effective to bring up the clog. Simply plunge the drain exactly as you would a toilet, and if a clog comes to the surface, you have eliminated the slow tub drain.

Chemical Solutions

If the manual methods for eliminating a slow tub drain problem are not effective, you may have to sort to chemical means. There is a vast array of chemical uncloggers on the market- from extremely toxic chemicals to the newer drain cleaners that are safe for pipes and drain systems.

Before using a harsh chemical drain cleaner, you might try a home remedy first. A combination of baking soda and vinegar is often effective for a stubborn blockage that is causing a slow tub drain. A half cup of baking soda is poured into the drain, then a half cup of white vinegar.

The drain should then be covered and the mixture allowed to stand for several minutes. Then, prepare a pot of boiling water and pour this down the drain. The baking soda and vinegar mixture will cause fatty acids of a clog to dissolve, and the water will wash it away, ending the slow tub drain.

If this remedy is still not enough, a stronger chemical may be applied. One of the newer drain cleaners on the market that can end slow tub drain is Drano Dual Force Foamer. It is safe for bathroom pipes and for septic systems. This is applied directly down the drain and allowed to foam to dissolve whatever is blocking the pipes. It is then washed down the drain with hot water.

When Home Remedies Aren't Enough

For a clog that is stubborn enough to resist all home remedies, a plumber should be called. Someone with a great deal of plumbing experience can rent a drain snake from a local hardware store to fix the drain themselves, but unless you possess that level of expertise, it is best to let a plumber tackle the slow tub drain problem.

Plumbing snakes in the hands of someone without experience can cause a great deal of damage to both the plumbing lines and the expensive bath fixtures in the tub. If any chemical drain cleaners have been used, you must tell the plumber this before he begins using the snake so that he can wear protective gear to avoid being splashed with the chemicals. After snaking the lines and removing the clog from the deep recesses of the pipes, your slow tub drain problem will be solved.

See Also:
Replacing a Tub Drain Gasket