Learn how to prevent bathtub clogs to lower your plumbing repair bills.
Reduce Plumbing Repairs by Preventing Clogged Drains
Home fixtures break down over time but a few simple steps can lower your repair bills and prevent some emergencies.
The bathtub—a fixture of daily use—is easy to maintain. Periodic caulking and cleaning are two ways to avoid costly repairs. In this article, we’ll explain another way to avoid repair work: preventing a clogged bathtub drain.
You can go a few weeks without repairing a chipped bathtub but a clogged drain requires immediate attention. Here are three simple ways to prevent bathtub clogs:
- Use a bathtub hair trap
- Remove existing debris
- Cleaning with plumbing-friendly and safe cleaning substances
The Bathtub Hair Trap
Hair and other debris are major culprits when it comes to a bathtub drain backing up. The bathtub hair trap is your first line of defense against these clogging agents. Hair, dirt, oil, dead skin, scum—these will all cause your bathtub to clog.
A hair trap, otherwise known as a drain protector, is inexpensive and easy to “install”. You can find silicone, plastic, or metal hair traps at home improvement stores or online for under $10.
Most hair traps are circular and feature numerous small holes that allow water to flow down the drain. The idea is this: While the water can pass through the small holes, hair and other debris will not.
Once you’ve purchased your hair trap, it’s time to install it. This is the easiest part! All you need to do is place the hair trap firmly over the drain. Over time, the hair trap will catch hair and other debris.
It’s important to note that you’ll have to clean the hair trap every few weeks. It’s surprising how much hair and debris gets caught in the hair trap. Once cleared, water will drain readily through the holes.
Removing Existing Hair and Debris
There’s something you should know as you read this: There’s currently debris in your bathtub. Some debris is microscopic and some you can see with your own eyes. Hair is one type of debris you can easily remove from just inside the entrance of your drain.
You’ll need a wire hanger or mini snake. A metal hanger is bendable and adjustable so that it fits down a drain. Simply scratch around and it will collect hair and other debris. Remove the debris and repeat the process until no more debris is caught by the hanger.
Wire hangers are best suited for hanging clothes; mini snakes are the perfect tool to clear drains of clogs. They’re more flexible and contain shaped ridges to catch debris.
Flushing Natural Cleaning Substances
Chemical drain liquids are able to unclog drains; however, they are harmful to the environment and damage pipes after excessive use. These alternatives are environmentally friendly and will not corrode your plumbing:
- Baking Soda
Are you connected to a public sewer system? If so, you can try pouring bleach down your drain to dissolve hair and other acidic fibers. The key is to let the bleach work its magic before flushing it down with hot water. Give it around 10 minutes of sitting in the drain pipes before running water.
Baking soda and vinegar work hand in hand. Once mixed, the compounds will produce fizz which will rise out of the drain opening. Baking soda and vinegar don’t dissolve hair; however, the rising fizz will left much of the hair up and out of the drain.
Soda can dissolve clogging agents because it contains phosphoric acid. As you would with bleach or baking soda and vinegar, wait a bit before flushing soda away with water.
Bathtub Unclogging Service
Even with proper maintenance, your bathtub may clog. Some problems such as root infiltration, bellied pipes, and deep blockages require professional plumbing services. Residents in Albemarle and surrounding Central Virginia counties have relied on Fitch Services since 1983. Our plumbers are trained to solve all drain-related problems, big or small. Contact us today to bring your bathtub drain pipes back to good health.