Plumbing Tips from an Avid DIY-er

Three Mistakes That Can Clog A Bathtub Drain

A clogged or slowly draining bathtub can be very frustrating, especially when you end up showering with soapy water swirling around your ankles. Most slow tub drains can be traced to a few common culprits. By avoiding the following three mistakes, you can make sure your drains flow smoothly.

#1: Removing the hair catcher

Nearly every tub drain has some form of hair catcher in it. This could be a screen or a drop in plug. These are sometimes removed for a myriad of reasons, from it malfunctioning to simply forgetting to replace it after cleaning. This is a recipe for a clog. Hair, soap scum, and even dead skin will all become lodged within the drain. For an open drain, use a simple drop-in screen to catch the bulk of the debris. Simply wipe it out after each bath or shower. If you have a drop-in or insert-style plug, remove it and make sure there is no hair or scum built up on it. If so, clean it and replace it. If the plug catcher is damaged, replace it with a new one so you won't have any issues going forward.

#2: Only using cold water

Some people prefer cold showers, while others simply prefer a final rinse in cold water. Both can actually lead to slow moving drains. The reason is simple: soap scum can solidify in the pipes when it's exposed to cold water. This also occurs if you only drain the bathtub after the water has cooled down. Even if you prefer cold water, run hot water down the drain for a minute or two after every shower or bath so the soap residue will dissolve and be carried out to the sewer line. You can also pour a kettle of boiling water down the drain once or twice weekly to prevent scum buildup.

#3: Using the wrong beauty products

Some products are bad for your drain. Anything that contains plastic microbeads or even natural exfoliators, like apricot seed pieces, can build up in the drain and cause a blockage. Use these products sparingly and make sure to run the water so the drains are completely flushed out after each use. Products that contain oils, such as coconut oil, can also cause a blockage. This is because coconut oil solidifies at room temperature. Hot water down the drain can usually solve the issue.

If your drain is still blocked, contact a plumber--like Knights Plumbing & Drain--in your area for more help.