How Do You Fix a Bathtub that won’t Drain?


Even if you take sensible precautions your bathtub drain can block. The most common culprit is hair that comes off you as you bathe. It can cause a block by itself. However, it is usually compounded by little pieces of soap. Soap normally dissolves before it goes down the drain but, when it doesn’t, it can become tangled with the hair to make a more effective clog.

Fix a Bathtub

There are several remedies that you can try to unclog the drain and sort the issue properly.

Professional Help

Getting your local Sydney plumber to resolve the issue for you is always a good idea. It’s convenient, guaranteed to fix the issue, and you’ll usually get a fast response.

It also saves you getting in a mess while you try a different combination of techniques potentially to no avail.

Drain Cleaner

There are several different types of drain cleaner on the market. However, before you try this you should note it needs to get into the drain, which means anything in your bath needs to drain away first.

It is also important to be aware that many chemical-based drain cleaners can actually damage the inside of the waste pipes, potentially causing a different set of issues in the future.

There are natural drain cleaners which can be effective, you simply need to follow the instructions on the bottle.

Hot Water

Sometimes all it takes to unblock the drain is to pour water, which is close to the boiling point, down the drain. The heat can dissolve blockages and restore flow. Never use boiling water as this can also damage the inside of your pipes.

Baking Soda & White Vinegar

This is a powerful combination and an effective tool if the boiling water approach has not worked.

Allow all the water to drain out of the bath. Or, if it won’t drain at all, you’ll need to scoop it all out with a bucket. You can then pour half a cup of baking soda into the drain. Leave it to sit for several minutes before pouring a cup of white vinegar into the drain.  This mixture will need to be left to work its magic for 15-20 minutes.

The best way to clear the clog and remove the vinegar/baking powder is to boil the kettle. Switch it off just before it starts to boil and then pour it down the drain, hopefully, the clog will melt away.

The Snake

You can feed a snake down the bathtub drain. This is a slim metal pipe that will move along the drain channel until it encounters a blockage. You can then punch through the blockage or pull it back toward you to break it up, allowing the water to go down and sweep the remaining bits away.

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The final option before giving up and calling the plumber is to use a plunger. It should create an airtight seal around the bathtub drain. Then using long slow motions, pump it up, and down the air pressure should release the clog.