Unclogging Your Tub 101

11 June 2018
 Categories: , Blog


Your bathtub is clogged. Dingy water is halfway up your tub's walls, and you were really hoping to get a shower today.  Having a clogged tub can be frustrating. When water is pooling in your bathtub, it's time to act. Knowing how to resolve a clog with pooling water will help to drain your tub and return your bathroom to normal in no time.

The Causes

One of the most common reasons for a clogged tub drain is hair has accumulated in the drain.  Thankfully, these clogs tend to happen higher up in the drain, so it makes them easier to reach.

Foreign objects are another type of clog. You'd be surprised what a person can lose down their drain. Jewelry, small toys, and shampoo caps are all common culprits. If you notice something goes down the drain, act on it immediately. The foreign object may not be an issue at first, but as debris attach themselves to the object, you could have a substantial clog on your hands.

Soap scum is another substance that can form a clog, and it forms a thick seal deep inside of your pipes. Soap scum clogs can sometimes be removed using hot water, but other times, you may need more advanced tools to remove the clog.  

The Tools For The Job

There are a few standard tools you can use to repair a clogged tub on your own. The type of tool you should use is dictated by how far down the clog is.

  • Pliers: You may have pliers already in your toolbox. Needle-nose pliers work great for clogs that are just a few inches beyond your normal reach.
  • Plunger: A plunger can be used over your tub drain if you apply pressure to the overflow plate to create a seal. A plunger can help move along clogs that are further down in your pipes.
  • Drain Sticks: Drain sticks are long pieces of plastic with barbs at one end and a plastic ring at the other. These are inexpensive tools that can pull out most clogs within the first foot of your drain.
  • Augur: Augurs or metal snakes are used to reach clogs that are deep inside of your pipes. Some augurs are electrical, while others you have to crank with your hands. All augurs feature a metal snake that goes into your drain to grip clogs.  

If you're having difficulty unclogging your tub on your own, you should reach out to a plumber. The plumber will be able to diagnose the reason for your clog and remove it. Your plumber can also make suggestions on how to prevent the same clog from happening in the future. If your pipes have been damaged by the clog at all, plumbers can also offer pipe repair services.