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Unblocking a Bath Drain - Usefil Tips

Dealing with a blocked drain can be extremely frustrating. However, most people do not realise that this is a problem that can be easily solved without the need to call a plumber. A few handy tools around the house will be sufficient in clearing out the drain.

Clearing out the blockage

You should first try and observe what is actually causing the blockage. In bathtubs the substance normally blocking the drain will be some hair, or particles of soap. Obviously it will not be appealing to pull these out, however the problem could be easily solved if you do so. If you cannot pull it out easily, you should try using a bended wire coat hanger or even a pair of tweezers.

Try using a plunger

If you cannot pull out the substance causing the clog easily yourself, you should try using a plunger.  A plunger is cost-effective and very easy to use.  There should be enough water covering the bottom part of the plunger. Then place the plunger over the central part of the drain and push down and up several times exerting pressure,
This method is usually quite successful and the plunger usually clears up the clog.  Once you remove the plunger, the water should disappear down the drain. If it has not worked you may need to repeat this method several times.

Try using a snake

If the plunger method fails; your next bet is to feed the 'snake' (a long flexible steel cable) down through the overflow plate opening. You should start by feeding  the snake into the drain while turning the handle in a dextral manner. If the clog is within easy reach, then this should be easy to unclog. If not, then you will have to feed the snake through the opening of the overflow. This should hopefully solve your problem. Even if you have found the clog, you should continue to feed the snake through to find any other obstructions and to remove them.

In most case scenarios, the plunger and the snake method does work in clearing out clogs.  However, you may be dealing with a clog that is of particular nuisance and nothing seems to be working. If this is the case then the next best solution would be to call a professional plumber.  Only do this if all else has failed, as you will be aware that the repair work will be expensive.
Strategies to avoid clogging up your bathtub.

Most bathtub clogs occur because of substances such as bits of soap or hair that block up the drain. Try to avoid this by not dropping bits of soap into the drain.

Most experts have claimed that if you pour boiling water into the drain of your bathtub once every four weeks, it will help in stopping any clogs from occurring. The hot water has the effect of melting any particles that build up

If you look around your house you will find useful household items such as baking soda or vinegar. These chemicals can also dissolve any other particle build up that causes the clogs.


This page has been written with contributions from plumbers from Buckinghamshire and Gas Safe engineers from Tunbridge Wells. Several of the company's heating engineers from Hertfordshire have worked on similar issues as well as some of our experienced plumbers from Orpington and our Epsom qualified plumbers.

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