DIY Tips for a Clogged Drain

A clogged drain can be simple fix

DIY Tips for a Clogged Drain

Calhoun Plumbing

November 5, 2019

Dealing with a clogged drain can be frustrating

Add clogged drains to the list of life’s inevitable headaches. The number one culprit of clogged bathtub and shower drains is a buildup of hair. When you wash your hair, strands fall out and travel down the drain where they combine with soap and shampoo build-up to create stubborn clogs. Clogged bathroom drains are frustrating, but the good news is that there are some simple DIY tricks to both prevent and unclog them.

  1. Add a hair guard to your bathtub drain. A hair guard is a small grate that you place over or inside your drain. The guards are available in a wide variety of materials and price points and can be purchased at hardware stores, home improvement stores, big box stores or online. The hair guard does exactly that — catches loose hair. You just periodically clean it out and prevent the build-up that clogs the drain.

  2. Pour boiling water down the drain. This will help flush away clogged hair and other debris. It can also help dissolve any greasy build-up from bath oils and hair products. After the boiling water is poured down the drain, run a hot shower for about five minutes to make certain everything is flushed away. You can take this last step further by letting some extra hot water — not a lot — run after every use to make certain that everything is thoroughly flushed down the drain.

  3. Before you reach for harsh chemicals, try some natural remedies. Two pantry staples, vinegar and baking soda, will do the trick. First, pour boiling water down the drain and follow with baking soda, then vinegar. While there is no exact formula, a 1:1 ratio is a fairly common mixture. Plug the drain and wait about 15 minutes. After, pour more boiling water down the drain and follow with a good rinse of hot water from the spigot.

  4. Try using a plunger. Fill the bathtub with a few inches of water and plunge the drain several times. The pressure should force the clog through the pipes.

  5. If all else fails, call a plumber. The plumber will use what is known as a “snake” to loosen the clog. The snake is a long thin piece of wire (augur) that is on a hand crank. The plumber can manually extend the snake as far as needed to dislodge the debris. This is one of the most common requests for in-home plumbing services.

Messing around with OTC chemical products can be a bad idea. They caustic acids can cause skin burns and potentially damage the pipes, which means they are best left in the hands of a professional. If your best DIY efforts have still left you with a stubborn clogged bathtub drain, call Calhoun Plumbing. In addition to our drain services, we offer 24/7 service and one of our licensed plumbers will get your bathtub and shower running free and clear in no time.