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Hey Dave, I have a bathtub drain that is constantly clogged. I have tried chemical un-cloggers and nothing has seemed to work. Are there any simple ways I can fix this without calling a plumber?

Thanks Sara. There are a couple methods you could try before making that phone call, and it sounds like you have already ready covered the first. There are three common methods to attack a slow or clogged bathtub before calling in the professionals.

  1. Chemical Drain Cleaner Since bathtub drains are usually covered with a screen or strainer, what is probably doing the damage is either hair, soap, or some other type of sediment. The chemical cleaners are designed break down and dissolve the clog. Chemicals are caustic, and can be harmful, so use eco-friendly versions when available.
  2. Plunger Just like your toilet, the tub can be plunged too. However, since the tub also has an overflow drain, (sometimes a few inches below the faucet), you will need to plug or seal the overflow drain to create a proper seal for the bottom drain when you begin to plunge.
  3. Snake A snake uses the same principle as a coat hanger, but it is a bit more heavy duty and designed specifically for this problem (Home Depot). Essentially, a drain snake is a long coil that is unwound down the drain, scrubbing and clearing the pathway as it moves.

If none of these methods work, you should call a plumber. It will be worth it in the end knowing you have not damaged anything that could make the problem worse, and you know it will be done right. To keep your drain clear, make sure you use a strainer over the drain that will catch any unwanted hair down the drain. You can also pour some boiling water down the drain once a month, or so, to help dissolve any oils or greases you may have washed off your body in the shower or tub. Hope this helps Sara—and thanks for the question. David

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