Bathtub Drain Clog Removal

A bathtub.
  • 2-3 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 50-75
What You'll Need
Rubber gloves
Drain snake
Old rags or paper towels

Bathtubs can be just as vulnerable to a drain clog as any other drain. In particular, bathtubs can clog if exposed to hair, soap scum, and hard water, all of which are common problems. While a clogged bathtub is a problem, you can fix your own. The best way to do this is with a drain snake.

Step 1 - Get Ready

While working, your drain snake may get wet and become difficult to handle effectively. Because of this, you should put on rubber gloves before you begin. This will protect your hands and help you hold onto the drain snake while you work.

If your bathtub has a hair trap, remove it now. Next, fill your bathtub up partially with water. You do not need to add very much, just enough that it will drain visibly so you will be able to tell when the clog breaks. In fact, using too much can make it difficult to get the drain snake into the drain in the first place.

Step 2 - Insert the Drain Snake

Hold your drain snake carefully by the end with the crank. Insert the other end into your drain. Be careful when you do this, as it is easy to scratch the area around your bathtub drain with the metal drain snake if you are not careful. Once you have the drain snake in place, turn the crank several times to extend the drain snake down the drain of your bathtub and get it firmly into place.

Step 3 - Operate the Drain Snake

Now that your drain snake is inside your drain, it is time to extend it as far as it can go in order to find your clog. Hold it steady, and turn the crank slowly. It is important that you do not force the drain snake farther than it can go easily. If you feel resistance, it means one of two things. It is possible that you feel resistance because the drain snake is stuck. If this is the case, forcing it to continue will damage your drain. Alternatively, it is possible that you feel resistance because you have struck the clog in your drain. Either way, the solution is to turn the crank in the other direction until the drain snake is separated from your drain.

Step 4 - Get Rid of the Clog

If there is dirt, grime, or anything that could have caused a clog on the tip of your drain snake, clean it off with rags or paper towels. This is good news, as it means you are hitting the clog in your drain and removing it slowly. If there is not, you will need to try again.

Either way, repeat the process until the water in your bathtub drains on its own. It is a good idea to use your drain snake one more time after this, to make sure you remove all of the material making up the clog. This reduces the chance of the material left behind accumulating a clog again.