Western Springs Plumbing

Plumbing repair in Western Springs IL

Blocked Bathtub Drain

It is likely every home with teenagers has experienced this.  You have a blocked bathtub drain and water is pooling up and draining very little, if at all.  The normal culprit is a combination of hair and hair care products.  The conditioners and shampoos are all greasy by nature and can accumulate, along with hair, in the drain and create an impressive blockage.

Fortunately, no exceptional skills are required to fix this problem.  The first and best thing to try is the plunger.  Fill up the tub with hot water, which may help cut through the greasy part of the blockage and then use the plunger 15-20 times firmly.  Make sure it seals over the drain pipe and pump vigorously. If at first you do not succeed, try several times.  If the blockage does break up and the water drains, run additional hot water to break up any remaining grease products.

If this is not successful, then you need to go to the next step and try a plumber’s snake. The process is that you keep feeding the snake into the drain pipe.  While doing this you turn the handle on the snake which revolves the snake itself which should help breakdown or cut through the blockage.  As you push and crank the handle on the snake you will likely feel resistance, which should disappear if you break through the clot. Now there is also a hook and when you pull the snake out it could also pull out the blockage.  You need to make sure you break down the blockage entirely, so you may need to repeat this process.  When you think you are done, run hot water to break down any remaining grease associated with the blockage.

If you still have a blockage issue than you can try some chemical combinations.  The most benign, or least detrimental to pipes and environment, is a combination of vinegar and soda.  Mix together a half of a cup of baking soda and the same amount of vinegar.  Pour it down the drain and let it sit for 3-4 hours. Then pour hot water down into the drain, this combination should help break down the clog.

There are more powerful over the counter chemical products for unclogging bathtub drains.  These solutions need to be handled carefully; they contain powerful chemicals which, while they can be effective, can cause damage to your pipes and are not good for our environment.  You need to handle these products with gloves and caution.

If all of these methods are ineffective, then it likely means you have corroded pipes, which are the cause of the blockage and they will have to be replaced.  We suggest you call in a licensed plumbing or drain expert to do this work.