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Blog Home Maintenance How To Unclog a Bathtub Drain
How To Unclog a Bathtub Drain
Home Maintenance
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Clogged drains do not develop overnight, but are a result of buildup that occurs over time. When you notice that your bathtub drain is not draining well, your first thought may be to run to the nearest store and purchase a bottle of drain cleaner, or even call a plumber. With hair and soap scum being two of the most common causes of drain problems, it may be possible to remedy the problem without the use of products or a call to the plumber.
Should the drain not be completely clogged, the problem may be solved by running hot water for a period of five minutes. This may be enough to dislodge hair and grime. Salt and boiling water can also be poured down the drain in order to aid in the clearing process. Use a cup of salt, followed by water that has been heated to the boiling point. This do it yourself method works well in not only breaking down the cause of the clog, but also helps remove build-up.
If salt and water do not solve the problem, you may need to physically try to break the clog up. This can be done by unwinding and straightening a coat hanger, after which you can use it as a tool to unclog the drain. Insert the hanger into the drain, sending it as far down the drain as possible. Move the hanger back and forth in order to dislodge the clog. This can also be done with wire that is strong, yet flexible. 
A cable auger, or plumbers stake, can also be used. This inexpensive tool sends cable down the drain. This cable twists and turns in order to break up the clog at which point it can be washed down the drain, or pulled out when the cable is removed from the drain.
Chemical based drain cleaners will reach further than manual tools. However, it is important to note that these products can be hazardous when they are mixed with other chemicals. Should you decide to use them, it is highly advisable that you wear a pair of gloves, and have protection for your eyes. Never use one of these products without reading all of the instructions. Note that if the drain is completely clogged, these products will be less effective than they are on partially clogged drains.
By ensuring that the grate is in good condition, in place, and clean, you may be able to avoid clogged bathtub drains. Consider removing the grate from time to time and cleaning it. This may not prevent all clogs, but may certainly help. Should a clog occur, consider one of these do it yourself methods prior to spending money on drain cleaning products, or calling your local plumber. 

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Darin Redding
Written on Wednesday, 26 January 2011 03:31 by Darin Redding

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