You've probably dealt with kitchen drain clogs before, but a clog in the bathtub might be something new. Bathtub clogs don't usually happen all of a sudden since paper and food don't go down the drain. Instead, a clog of soap scum and hair builds up gradually until the tub stops draining. Here are some tips for dealing with a clogged bathtub drain.
Determine If The Problem Is Isolated To The Tub
Your tub can be slow to drain because of a clog in the bathtub or because of a clog in the main sewer line. If your sink is slow also, or if the toilet is slow to empty, the problem might be in the sewer line.
If all other drains empty fast except the tub, then the clog is probably in the drain line under the tub. If you're not sure what the problem is, call a plumber. The plumber might use a camera to look in the pipe and find the location and reason for the clog.
Attempt To Pull Out The Clog
Before you call a plumber, it's worth trying to clear the clog yourself. Unscrew the cover from the drain and then see if you can feel the clog just inside the drain. You might be able to fish it out with your fingers, but if it's too deep, look for something like a wire hanger you can poke in the drain to snag the hair and pull it out.
Have The Drain Snaked
If you can't grab the clog to pull it out, call a plumber to clean the drain. A plumber might use a drain snake to break up the clog. This might be done by removing the cover on the overflow drain so the end of the snake can be inserted in the pipe.
Then the snake is advanced into the pipe so the blades can chop through hair clogs. Running water then flushes the clog on through the drain. Once the clog is removed, the plumber will run water to test how fast the tub drains. If the only clog was hair in the tub drain, the problem should be fixed.
Have The Sewer Drain Cleaned
If your tub is still slow to drain after it has been snaked, the clog might be in the sewer line. The plumber may verify this with a camera. Plus, the camera inspection lets the plumber know if they should use a snake or hydro jet to clear the clog.
As long as the pipe is in good shape, hydro jetting is often the best choice since it cuts through clogs and cleans the sides of the drain so the inside of the pipe is as clean as possible and free of debris. Once a clog in the sewer is cleared, your bathtub should empty quickly again.
For more information, reach out to a drain cleaning service near you.