Unclog a Tub Drain With a Plunger in 8 Easy Steps

You know the signs of a clogged bathtub drain. First, the water seems to flow down the drain just a little bit slower than usual. But it keeps getting slower and slower until eventually, it stops – and then you’re stuck with a tub of dirty water with nowhere to go.

Unclog a Tub Drain With a Plunger in 8 Easy Steps

A clogged tub can be a major nuisance in your home. The good news is that most clogs can be easily fixed. One simple method is by using a plunger.

Why a tub drain gets clogged

If your tub drain is clogged, don’t feel bad or think you did anything wrong. It’s a very common plumbing problem. When you think about everything that goes does the tub drain – soap, shampoo, dirt, hair, body oils – it’s easy to understand how contents can collect in the drain. This especially true in the trap, which is part of the pipe that bends in a U-shape to prevent sewer gases from coming up and entering your bathroom. Once you can push the blockage past the trap, that should fix the clog and your drain should flow like normal.

What you’ll need:

  • Plunger
  • Duct tape or clean rag

Steps for unclogging tub drain with a plunger:

  1. Block the overflow drain – Located on the front wall of the tub, the overflow drain prevents the tub for filling to the top and overflowing (which could cause significant water damage). The drain hole you see in the wall has a pipe that connects to the tub drain. Use duct tape to seal (or a rag to plug) the overflow drain hole so air can’t escape while you’re plunging the tub drain.
  2. Remove stopper from the tub drain.
  3. Pour hot water into the tub. The hot water will help loosen up the blockage.
  4. Place plunger over the drain. Make sure there’s a good seal around the hole.
  5. Pump the plunger up and down about 5 times in each direction to force water down the pipe and hopefully dislodging the blockage.
  6. Remove the plunger and check the drain.
  7. Repeat plunging, if needed.
  8. When the clog is cleared, replace drain stopper and duct tape/rag from the overflow drain.

With the right tool and some elbow grease, you should be able to unclog your tub. But if you have any trouble, it may be time to bring in a professional to make sure you don’t have a bigger plumbing issue on your hands. 

For fast, friendly service that you can trust, call the local experts at Pratt Plumbing. We have a team of licensed plumbers ready to help any way we can. To schedule an appointment. Call us at (806) 373-7866

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