How To Unclog A Tub Drain

unclog a tub drain

Here is my simple guide to unclog a tub drain.

To all my Southern Dads out there, one of our worst nightmares is a clogged tub drain. There are several ways to unclog a tub drain but there is one that does the job 99% of the time.

Tools Needed

To unclog a tub drain you’ll need a couple of helpful tools. First you will need a drill. I recommend the BLACK+DECKER LDX120C 20-Volt MAX Lithium-Ion Cordless Drill/Driver for this job. Second, you will need an auger. I recommend the RIDGID 41408 Power Spin with AUTO-FEED (which has a lifetime warranty) for this job.

Steps to Follow

When you are going to unclog a drain you need to make sure the area is safe. That means no electrical wires around the water so you don’t get electrocuted. Once the area is safe to work around here is the steps to follow.

  1. You need to start by taking off the overflow plate cover. The overflow plate cover is usually held on by two screws and is easy to take off. Now if you have a stand up shower just look for the screws in the drain and unscrew them. Now with the screws make sure you put them in a safe place like on the floor outside the tub or shower. That means DO NOT SET THE SCREWS IN THE TUB/SHOWER. THEY WILL MORE THAN LIKELY FALL DOWN THE DRAIN. Remove the overflow plate. It will be connected to the stopper for the tub; pull that out through the hole behind the overflow plate as well.
  2. Put on rubber or latex gloves. Clean off any gunk caught in the underside of the stopper using a rag. If there was a large amount of gunk on the bottom of the stopper, that might have been the source of the clog, and you may not have to snake the drain.
  3. Turn on the water for a few seconds and check whether the drain’s still clogged or not. If the drain flows freely, put the stopper and overflow plate back on and that’s a wrap. If the drain’s still clogged, take out your plumbing snake and drill. Get ready for some messy fun.

Messy Fun

  1. Insert the tip of the snake into the hole usually covered by the overflow plate. Slowly pull the trigger on your drill and extend about 30 inches of snake cable into the pipe.
  2. Continue to drill, and press the snake forward and down into the drain. Drill and push until you feel the snake meet the clog. As you are drilling move the cable back and forth until you feel the snake go through the clog.
  3. Put the drill in reverse, slowly, to bring the snake back out of the drain. As you are pulling the snake out of the drain make sure you have a rag around the snake, because of the gunk that will be on it. With the rags you can either throw them away or wash them once done cleaning up.
  4. Turn on the water to flush the drain to clear any remaining debris in the pipes. If you still have a clog then that means you didn’t go far enough into the drain and you need to repeat the messy part.
  5. Put the stopper and overflow plate back in the hole, and screw the plate back on.

If your drain isn’t unclogged after the steps above then you have a bigger issue. Don’t be STUBBORN CALL A PLUMBER.

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