Bathtub Won’t Drain: Causes & Fixes

Sometimes toys, jewelry, and LEGO pieces may slip down your drain and block your tub’s drain, creating an obstruction. Thankfully, most obstructions can be easily cleared with gloves and proper tools.

Boiling water can help dissolve grease and soap scum build-up while plunging is often enough to clear obstructions near the drain. However, if sewage begins to back up through your bathtub drains, you may require professional assistance from a plumber.

After you’ve wrapped up today’s article, be sure to check this site out if you want to reach out to some of the top plumbing professionals in Manassa, VA.

Mineral Build-Up

Hard water contains minerals that deposit on the walls of your pipes, restricting their openings and decreasing water flow. Furthermore, these deposits trap hair, soap scum, and debris, causing drain clogs.

To avoid this situation, try using less soap and shampoo and rinsing your bathtub after each use with hot water. A home water softener may also help, removing many minerals that cause pipe corrosion.

If your tub remains clogged, try using a plumber’s snake, which is a long metal rod equipped with a coil or auger at one end and available at most hardware stores and home improvement centers. If this approach doesn’t work, professional plumbing services may need to be brought in as backup.

Hair Clogs

Hair is one of the main culprits behind drains that don’t function. Although hair fall may seem harmless enough, it can clog your tub if combined with soap scum or shaving gel residue to form an insurmountable blockage that hinders bathing or showering experiences. In addition, other objects such as shampoo bottle caps, children’s toys, or debris could wash down your drain while showering or taking a bath.

If your clog appears to be caused by hair accumulation, try pouring boiling water down the tub drain to dissolve some of the gunk and loosen some of the hair strands. An alternative method would be using a plumber’s snake (available at most hardware stores) to dislodge and clear away the obstruction.

If these at-home troubleshooting steps fail, professional help may be required. Make sure you get several quotes and an outline of costs before choosing an experienced plumber; choose a firm that uses non-toxic chemical drain cleaner rather than liquid products, which could potentially damage pipes when misapplied.

Chemical Drain Cleaners

The bathtub drain sees more use than any other drain in your home and can quickly become clogged up with gunk. Hair, soap scum, shaving gel residue, shampoo bottle caps, and other debris may accumulate and restrict water flow.

Liquid drain cleaners can be an effective DIY solution to many drain issues; however, their frequent or excessive use may harm your pipes and the septic system. 

Therefore, we advise trying natural clog removers before using chemical solutions.

You can make your own DIY clog remover quickly by pouring boiling water down your drain, followed by half a cup of baking soda and one cup of vinegar, to create a foaming action that loosens gunk and pushes it further down the pipe. 

When your clog has been removed, screw back on the overflow plate and reinsert your stopper; run hot water through the drain until everything works again.

Broken Seals

Your standard stopper inside your drain may experience issues that cause it to break down. Over time, its seal may wear down, creating gaps through which debris, such as hair can enter — ultimately leading to blockages.

An effective and simple method for clearing bathtub drains is using a plunger. After taking steps to open up the drain cover, place the head of the plunger over it and forcefully pump for 15-20 seconds until water appears to drain from your bathtub drain. This method may also help loosen any hair or gunk accumulation that has built up, as well as loosen clumps of hair or debris that have built up inside it.

If the above methods don’t work, professional plumbers may be necessary. Be sure to inform them what troubleshooting steps you have already undertaken so they can determine the most effective plan of action to clear your bathtub drain.