How to Fix a Slow Draining Bathtub

Do you have a bathtub that is draining slower and slower? You are not alone. In fact, this is a common problem for many homeowners. Fortunately, there are several ways to fix this problem and get your bathtub draining again. To learn how to fix a slow draining bathtub, keep reading.

3 Common Reasons for a Slow Draining Bathtub

Before we get into how to fix a slow draining bathtub, let’s go over some of the common reasons why a bathtub might be draining slowly. For any drain to work properly, it should have nothing impeding water flow in the drainpipe. 

However, as you use the bathtub, a few things can clog the drain and cause it to drain more slowly. One of the most common things that can cause a slow draining bathtub is hair clogging the drain. As we take a bath or shower, hair naturally falls out and washes down the drain. While a single hair will not cause any problems with draining, as hair accumulates it can clump together and block the drain. 

The next most common cause for a slow draining bathtub is a material called “scale.” If you have hard water in your local area with a high mineral concentration, calcium buildup will clog the drain. 

Lastly, the third reason you may have a slow draining bathtub is soap scum. When soap goes down the drain during a shower or bath, it can accumulate in the drainpipe and form a significant blockage. 

How to Fix a Slow Draining Bathtub

Now that you know the causes of a slow draining bathtub, it’s time to learn about some potential fixes. These methods will force the blockage in the drain to clear, allowing the water to drain properly. 

Use a Plunger

One of the best ways to clear a drain is to start with the simplest method. If the blockage in the drain is not too stubborn, a plunger can dislodge it and allow it to pass through the drain pipe. Remain patient with this method, pushing and pulling the plunger for at least 20-seconds. You may need to do this several times to clear the blockage. However, after 5 or 6 attempts, if this doesn’t work, it’s time to move on to the next method. 

Use a Pipe Snake

If the plunger doesn’t do the job, you should move on to more specialized pieces of equipment. A pipe snake or a plumber’s snake is a flexible auger used to dislodge clogs in plumbing systems. To use a pipe snake, you should push it down until you feel a blockage in the drainpipe. Once you hit the blockage, you should push and pull the tool until you feel the block clear from the pipe. 

A slow draining bathtub can be a frustrating experience that leaves you wondering its cause. If you are struggling with a clogged drainpipe and can’t resolve the problem, the best course of action is to call a plumber. Sometimes a slow draining bathtub is due to older plumbing, or issues that you can’t resolve with a plunger or snake. 

If you need help with your slow draining bathtub, call the professionals at Sunrise Heating and Plumbing at (616) 293-9326. Our professional staff can answer your questions and help you get your bathtub drain flowing again.