Have you ever noticed that your once swift and refreshing bathtub drain has gradually become sluggish, causing frustration and impeding your bathing experience? If so, you’re not alone. Slow bathtub drains are a common nuisance that many homeowners in Metro Detroit encounter!
A recent survey found that more than 15% of homeowners have experienced at least one slow bathtub drain in their lifetime, while nearly 5% of homeowners have had multiple slow baths.
The research also revealed that nearly 70% of people have trouble clearing their own clogged drains, and many rely on professional plumbing for drain cleaning services.
A slow-draining bathtub can put a damper on your relaxation time, leaving you standing ankle-deep in water or watching it sluggishly recede while you anxiously wait for it to empty.
However, there are numerous factors that contribute to the gradual slow bathtub drain, and there are several effective methods for how to clear a slow bathtub drain, ranging from simple DIY remedies to more advanced techniques.
Whether you prefer natural home remedies or rely on store-bought drain cleaners, we will explore various options to help you restore your bathtub drain to its optimal function.
In this blog series, we will discuss the most common causes of slow bathtub drains, explore different unclogging techniques, and provide step-by-step instructions to tackle this issue. You’ll discover practical tips, tricks, and preventative measures to keep your drain flowing smoothly, allowing you to enjoy uninterrupted and relaxing baths.
So get ready to reclaim your bathing sanctuary!
How to Tell If Your Bathtub Drain Is Clogged?
If you’ve ever used your bathroom sink, you know that water can flow through it relatively easily. But when you try to drain the tub, the water might not go down as fast as you’d expect. In fact, it could take hours for your tub to drain completely. This is a sign that your bathtub drain is clogged and needs to be cleaned.
There are several other signs that you should look for, including:
If you’re experiencing slow drainage, there’s a good chance that your bathtub drain is clogged. This is especially true if you’ve recently used the bathroom and it took a while for the water to go down the drain. If your tub is taking longer than usual to drain, chances are that there’s something in the pipe that needs to be cleared out before it will drain properly again.
Standing water in the bottom of your tub is another indicator that there could be a problem with your pipes. This could mean debris is near your pipes or something has blocked them entirely.
A strong odor
If you notice any sort of odor coming from your bathtub drain, this may indicate that something has gone wrong with the pipes or even with the sewage system in your home.
When your bathtub drain is clogged, you may hear strange sounds as the water tries to make its way through the blockage. These noises are caused by air bubbles trapped in the pipe, indicating that there’s limited space for water to pass.
Water backup in other fixtures
In some cases, a clogged bathtub drain can cause water backup in other plumbing fixtures, such as sinks or toilets. If you notice water coming up through these fixtures when you use your bathtub, it indicates a blockage in the main drainage system.
Overflowing or leaking
A severe clog can result in water overflowing from the bathtub, potentially causing damage to the surrounding area. Additionally, you may notice leaks or water stains on the ceiling below the bathtub if the clog has led to pipe damage.
Why Bathtub Drains Slow Down?
Bathtubs are great for relaxing, but they’re not always so great when you’re trying to get ready, and your drain is still full of water. If your bathtub drain is taking longer than normal to drain, there’s a chance that something is blocking it.
Here are six of the most common causes of slow bathtub drains:
One of the primary culprits behind slow bathtub drains is the accumulation of hair. As we shower or bathe, loose strands of hair often find their way into the drain. Over time, these hairs can become entangled, forming a clump restricting water flow. Hair clogs are particularly common if individuals with long hair use the bathtub.
Soap scum and residue
Soap scum and residue are the most common causes of a slow bathtub drain. They form when you’re using shampoos, soaps, or other products with harsh chemicals in the water. These chemicals can build up on the drain’s surface and create a barrier preventing water from flowing freely. This causes your tub to take longer to drain, which can lead to an overflow if you leave this problem unchecked for too long.
This happens over time when water sits in the tub for too long and deposits minerals that build up in the pipes. This can be a big problem if you have hard water, which is known to cause mineral buildup.
Sometimes, objects like soap bars, small toys, or toiletry items accidentally find their way into the drain, causing blockages. These foreign objects can impede the flow of water and lead to slow drainage or complete clogs.
Pipe damage or misalignment
Over time, pipes can experience damage or misalignment due to factors like age, corrosion, or shifting foundations. Damaged or misaligned pipes can create irregular surfaces or partial blockages that impede water flow and cause slow drains.
Sewer line issues
In some cases, the problem may not be with your bathtub drain itself but with the main sewer line. Clogs or blockages in the sewer line can affect multiple drains in your home, including the bathtub drain.
Supplies You’ll Need To Solve Bathtub Slow Drain Issue
When you have a slow-draining bathtub, it can be frustrating. You want to soak in the tub but can’t because the water takes forever to drain out. Sometimes you even have to get out of the tub and use a plunger or other tools to unclog your drain. But what if there was an easier way? What if you could fix the problem without buying any tools or doing any extra work?
If you want to know how to fix a slow bathtub drain or how to speed up a slow bathtub drain, then here are a few tools and supplies you will need:
- Gloves: Protect your hands from debris.
- Tweezers: Remove visible hair or debris near the drain.
- Boiling water: Break down clogs and remove soap scum.
- Baking soda: Natural cleaner for dissolving organic materials.
- White vinegar: Combine with baking soda for a chemical reaction.
- Plunger: Create suction to dislodge clogs.
- Wet cloth or duct tape: Cover the overflow drain while using a plunger.
- Drain snake or auger: Reach deeper into the drain to break up blockages.
- Chemical drain cleaner: Optional, but follow instructions carefully.
- Hot water: Flush the drain after unclogging attempts.
- Bathtub drain stopper: Help you solve bathtub drain slow but not clogged issue
Having these supplies on hand will assist you in addressing the slow bathtub drain issue effectively.
How To Unclog A Slow Bathtub Drain?
Bathtubs are a great place to relax and get clean, but they can also be a source of frustration when they don’t drain properly. If your bathtub drains slowly or doesn’t drain at all, read on to learn how to clear a slow bathtub drain issue.
Remove visible debris
Removing visible debris is the best way to clear a bathtub slow drain issue. If you have small particles in the drain, they can cause it to clog up, which will lead to your bathtub taking longer to drain. If you see small particles around the drain, use a pair of gloves or tweezers to carefully pull out any clumps of hair or other obstructions to remove them with a toothbrush or other small cleaning tool.
Another way to learn how to unclog a bathtub is by boiling water. Boiling water can help loosen up any hair or soap scum that has accumulated on your pipes, which could be causing the problem. The best way to do this is by pouring boiling water into your toilet tank and letting it sit overnight before flushing it out in the morning. This will allow time for any debris from these areas to loosen up and fall away from your pipes so they can function properly again!
Baking Soda and vinegar
If you have a slow-drain bathtub, try pouring some vinegar down the drain, followed by some baking soda. Create a natural cleaning solution by combining half a cup of baking soda and half a cup of white vinegar. Pour the mixture down the drain and let it sit for about 15-20 minutes. The baking soda and vinegar will create a chemical reaction that helps dissolve organic materials and break down residue. Afterward, flush the drain with hot water.
If you still have trouble after trying the baking soda and vinegar method, use a plunger to create suction and dislodge the clog. Ensure that the overflow drain (if your bathtub has one) is covered with a wet cloth or duct tape to create a seal. Fill the tub with enough water to cover the plunger’s cup, then place the plunger over the drain and vigorously pump it up and down for several seconds. Repeat this process a few times, then remove the plunger and check if the drain flows more freely.
Plunging usually only works when there’s something stuck in the drain—like food or soap scum—but it’s worth trying before you call a plumber or buy expensive chemicals for your pipes. If plunging doesn’t work, leave the bathtub stopper open so that water can drain out of the sink when you’re not using it, and try again in a day or two if necessary.
Next—if the plunger doesn’t work—you can always buy yourself one of those handy dandy drain snakes at any hardware store for about $5-$15. This will help remove any stubborn clogs from your bathtub pipes and make sure that nothing bad gets into your home ever again!
Chemical drain cleaners
If all else fails, you can try using a chemical drain cleaner specifically formulated for how to fix slow bathtub drain method. Follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer carefully. Chemical drain cleaners are designed to break down soap scum and hair that might be clogging your pipes. They work by creating an acid that destroys the gunk while also neutralizing any bacteria that might be present in the pipe. However, they can damage your pipes if used incorrectly because they’re acidic. It’s best to use these products with extreme caution or avoid them entirely if you’re not sure how to use them correctly. Avoid mixing different drain cleaners or using excessive amounts, as it can lead to chemical reactions or pipe damage.
DIY Vs. Professional Drain Cleaning
We’re going to be talking about DIY drain cleaning versus professional drain cleaning.
DIY drain cleaning can be done by anyone who has some basic tools and knowledge of how a plumbing system works.
Professional drain cleaners are professionals who have been trained, licensed, and insured by their state and local governments. They usually carry liability insurance in case something goes wrong during the cleaning process.
So what’s the difference between DIY drain cleaning and professional drain cleaning?
Below is a comparison table highlighting the differences between DIY drain cleaning and hiring a professional for the task:
|Aspect||DIY Drain Cleaning||Professional Drain Cleaning|
|Cost||Generally lower cost, as it involves minimal expenses for tools and cleaning products.||It can be more expensive, depending on the complexity of the problem and the plumber’s rates.|
|Expertise||Requires basic knowledge and skills.||Professionals have specialized training and experience in dealing with various drain issues.|
|Time||It may take longer, especially if multiple attempts are required to unclog the drain.||Professionals can work efficiently and quickly due to their expertise and specialized equipment.|
|Effectiveness||Effective for minor clogs or regularmaintenance, but may not handle severe or complex clogs.||Professional drain cleaning often provides more thorough and long-lasting results, particularly for stubborn or deep clogs.|
|Tools and Equipment||Basic tools like plungers and drain cleaners are commonly used.||Professionals have access to specialized tools, such as drain snakes, augers, and hydro-jetting equipment, which can tackle challenging clogs.|
|Safety||Generally safe, but caution is needed when using chemical drain cleaners or handling sharp tools.||Professionals are well-versed in safety measures and can handle potentially hazardous situations.|
|Convenience||You have control over the timing and can attempt DIY methods at your convenience.||Professionals can be scheduled at your convenience, providing prompt service.|
|Guarantee of Results||Results may vary, and recurring clogs are possible if the underlying issue is notaddressed.||Professionals often provide guarantees orwarranties for their work, ensuring customer satisfaction and peace of mind.|
|The Complexity of the Issue||DIY methods are suitable for minor clogs or regular maintenance. Severe or persistentissues may require professional expertise.||Professionals are equipped to handle complex clogs, extensive pipe damage, or sewer line problems.|
How do you minimize mess when unclogging a shower drain?
It’s easy! Just grab the drain snake and start to plunge. The water will get sucked out of the drain, but it will also be sucked up into the snake, so you might want to make sure you have a bucket ready to catch it.
How do you unblock a shower drain with standing water?
You can use a liquid drain cleaner or baking soda and vinegar solution. If there are any clogs in your pipes leading up to the shower, this may help clear them out as well.
What can dissolve hair in a drain?
Hair is one of the most common substances that clog drains and plumbing. Hair is made up of keratin, a protein that breaks down into tiny scales when it’s exposed to water and soap. These scales are what cause clogs, and here are some things that can dissolve hair: vinegar, baking soda, citrus fruits, etc.
How much for a really nice hotel in Metro Detroit with a soak bathtub?
Hotels in Metro Detroit can be found at a variety of price points. The average cost of a hotel room in Metro Detroit is $82.00 per night. The most expensive hotels are in downtown Detroit, while the least expensive are outside the city center.
It’s Time to Call Professional Drain Cleaning Plumber in Metro Detroit!
If your bathtub is still clogged, then it’s time to call Motor City Plumbing and Drain. We have been providing quality drain cleaning services to residents of Metro Detroit for over many years now.
We’ve seen it all—including sink clogs, drain clogs, backed-up toilets, bathtub slow draining, and more! We’ll get your drains flowing again fast so you can get back to life without worrying about what’s going in or out of them.
Our team of experienced professionals is dedicated to providing top-notch service and quality workmanship, so you can rest easy knowing that your plumbing problem has been fixed correctly. We’re experts in a range of plumbing services, including:
- Drain cleaning
- Toilet clog removal
- Hydro jetting
- Trenchless pipe repair and replacement
- Sewer line repair and replacement
- Video inspection
- Bathtub remodel Metro Detroit
- And many more…
We are licensed by the state of Michigan, and our plumbers will arrive on-site within 30 minutes of receiving your call. As soon as they arrive, they will begin working to diagnose the cause of your drain problems and fix them for good.
Our goal is to provide quality service at an affordable price—and we don’t want any surprises! That’s why we offer upfront pricing and fixed rates for all our services, so there’s no guesswork involved when it comes time for payment.
We serve both residential and commercial clients throughout Metro Detroit, including:
- Macomb County
- Oakland County
- Wayne County
So, if you are looking for a professional plumber for Bathtub Services in Metro Detroit, call us at (586) 585-1862!