How Do I Unclog a Bathtub?

Many Springdale residents would love to have a swimming pool at their house—but not in their bathtub! There’s nothing refreshing about a clogged bathtub, and nobody wants to spend much time in that water. 

When you do get a clogged tub, what can you do? 

The best, and most obvious, solution is to call a nearby service to have a professional plumber take care of the problem. 

But you still might wonder if there’s a more cost-effective solution, so you jump on the internet and search “how to unclog a bathtub.” Once you’ve found advice online, you get started trying to unclog your bathtub on your own with items already in your Springdale, AZ, home. 

It’s important to note that only a professional plumber can resolve the problem if your pipes are blocked. 

Common Reasons Your Bathtub Might Be Clogged 

When you think of bathing in your tub, you probably think of soap as an agent of clean. And it is, but once you remove all the dirt and oils from your body, they must go somewhereand that somewhere is down the drain. 

And that’s not all. Here are a few things you may find blocking your bathtub drain: 

  • Loose hair 
  • Dirt and grease 
  • Soap buildup 
  • Jewelry 
  • Septic tank overflow 

You’d be surprised (or horrified) to see what kind of gunk collects in your drain. From paper to plastic, plumbers have seen just about everything clogging bathroom pipes. 

Warnings You Have a Clogged Bathtub 

The only way to avoid a clogged drain is to not use the bathtub, but that’s not practical. You need to clean yourself daily, and eventually, your drain will become clogged as a result. 

The good news is that most bathtubs will give you a few warning signs when close to becoming clogged. Be on the lookout for any of the following warning signs.

Foul Odors 

If the pipes underneath the bathtub are emitting a strong odor, something is stuck. 

Strange Sounds 

Most days, your bathtub probably doesn’t make gurgling sounds. If it is today, something is off. Soft gurgles coming from the bathtub drain could indicate water has to move around something in its path.  

Slow Drainage 

A slow-draining bathtub is the most obvious sign your drain is clogged. Water remains in the basin even after taking the drain stopper out, or worse, it turns into standing water. 

If you notice any of these warning signs, call a nearby service professional to address the issue immediately. 

Removing the Bathtub Clog on Your Own 

Now to get to what you came here for, how to unclog a bathtub. You can try several methods, but using a cup plunger is one of the most effective. 

Here’s what you’ll need to remove a minor clog: 

  • A bucket or cup 
  • Screwdriver 
  • Towels 
  • Cup plunger
  • Rubber gloves 
  • Safety glasses 
  • Rubber boots 
  • Plastic apron

Prepare yourself, because when you unclog a bathtub it can get messy. Protect yourself by wearing safety glasses and a plastic apron. Remember that you’re dealing with water, so the surface of the floor and bathtub could get slippery. Wearing plastic boots will help prevent you from falling down. 

Steps to Unclog a Bathtub 

The best way to begin is by removing any standing water. Once the tub is clear, remove the drain stop. You might see hair and other debris sticking to it, but removing this first layer of junk could get the water moving again. If not, move on to the next step.

Add Hot Water Back into the Tub 

Before using the plunger, you may need to add water back into the bathtub. Add just enough to cover the plunger once it’s been placed inside the tub. This water is required to help create enough pressure and suction to pull the clog from the drain. 

Using the Cup Plunger 

A cup plunger is the most effective type when you unclog a bathtub. To use it, you’ll place the head of the cup plunger under the water, covering the drain to create a tight seal. 

The handle should remain at a 90-degree angle. Press and release the handle, allowing the plunger to regain its original shape every time. Repeat this step up to 15 times to knock the blockage away. 

Inspect the Drain for Debris 

After 15 pumps, pull the plunger away from the drain to break the seal. If the blockage has been cleared, you’ll see dirty water or other gunk appear once the plunger is removed. This is because the force you’ve created with the cup plunger will pull the clog out of the drain. 

Repeat the Process If Necessary 

Once the plunger is removed, allow the dirt to clear from the drain. The water should begin draining, but you may need to repeat the process if it doesn’t. Make up to three more attempts, but if it still has not cleared, it’s time to call a professional plumber who has special tools to get the job done. 

Call in a Professional Plumber from Springdale, AZ

Using a cup plunger should remove a minor blockage from your bathtub. Unfortunately, sometimes the clog is too severe, and you’ll need to call the experts at SPH. 

Plumbers have a unique tool called an auger, or plumber’s snake. An auger is a long, flexible cable with a coiled spring attached to one end, operated by a hand crank at the opposite end. 

The plumber will insert the cable into the drain and crank it until the clog is located. Then, the cord is pushed and pulled until it attaches itself to the clog. The cable is reversed and drags the clog out of the drain. 

Providing Nearby Service When You Need a Plumbing Expert 

We have faith that you’ll successfully remove the clog on your own. But if you don’t, there’s no need to worry. Stith Plumbing & HVAC is here to help. 

If you need more help with unclogging your bathtub, we’re only a phone call away. We’ll answer any of your questions or schedule an appointment to assess the problem and get your bathtub draining again.