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How to Remedy a Slow-Draining or Clogged Bathtub

Hair, soap, shampoo, conditioner, and other “stuff” can slowly start to build up in the bathtub drainpipes and even lead to a slow-draining or clogged bathtub drain. While your immediate response might be to reach for an off-the-shelf chemical drain cleaner and clog remover, using these products is never the best solution.

For starters, the chemicals in these products could damage your drainpipes. Next, the off-the-shelf product cannot target every type of drain problem and clog. You could be creating a bigger problem. Additionally, the chemicals could have a chemical reaction with what is in the pipe and potentially eat through the pipe walls and create leaks.

Old bath tub with bubbles, water and hot and cold tap

The proper ways to remedy a slow-draining or clogged drain include:

1. Baking Soda and Vinegar

Remove the drain cover and pour a ½ cup of baking soda into the drain. Allow it to sit for about 10 minutes. Next, take one cup of vinegar and slowly pour it down the drain. Put the drain cover on and allow the natural foaming action to loosen the “gunk” in your pipes. Wait another 10 minutes. Remove the drain cover and run hot water down the drain.

2. Boiling Hot Water

Boil a kettle full of water on the stove. Once it starts to boil, carefully remove it from the stove and slowly pour it down the drain. Boiling water can help loosen up “gunk” and unblock a drain if it is soap, shampoo, or conditioner that is causing it to drain slowly or creating the clog.

3. Plunger

Old fashioned “elbow grease” also does well to fix a slow-draining or clogged drain. Remove the drain cover and place the plunger over the drain. Plunge about six times. Run hot water down the drain. Repeat the process about three to four times. Check to see if the drain is draining normal.

4. Call Your Plumber for Drain Cleaning and Clog Removal Service

If you still have a slow-draining or clogged bathtub after trying the other three remedies, you probably have a serious clog that will require help from a professional plumber. The clog could be farther down the drainpipe, which would require a drain auger to reach the clog. The drain “snake” is run down the pipes and helps remove hair and other “gunk” stuck to the insides of the pipes.

Plumber unclogging a tub drain with an electric auger.

Sometimes the problem may not even be a clog. If you have a damaged or broken sewer line, it can mimic slow-draining and clogged drain problems. Your plumber will be able to determine whether you need drain cleaning and clog removal service or if you need sewer line repair service.

How Often Should I Get a Professional Drain Cleaning Service?

It really depends on how much you use your drains. If you are home a lot and have a family, having your drains cleaned annually is a good idea to prevent slow-draining and clogged drains. If you live alone or are not home as much, then every two years is a good schedule for keeping drainpipes clean and clog-free.

To schedule a professional drain cleaning service, clog removal service, sewer line repair service, or another plumbing and air conditioning service for your San Antonio, Temple, New Braunfels, or Austin Metro home, please feel free to contact Christianson Air Conditioning & Plumbing at 512-246-5400 today!

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