Clogged bathtub drain. Has not been cleaned in
Your first impulse might be to reach for the can or bottle of trusty drain cleaner. But, hold on just for a minute. Here's another solution might just work, and if it doesn't you can always revert to the chemical solution. Begin by pouring cup of salt down the drain and then flushing it with lots of boiling water. Keep the hot water flowing in order to push the clog on through, and your drain should be good to go once again. This usually works quite well, unless the drain is plugged with something plastic or metal.
Next, try using a plunger. This usually works, as long as you remember to plug the overflow. In order to do this, you have to remove the two screws that attach the overflow plate and then remove the components, including the stopper. Clean these items up using soap and water, being careful to remove any hair, grease, or anything else lodged on them. Now, plug the hole in the tub with a rag and use the plunger to force water down the drain, dislodging the clog in the process. If all is well simply replace the stopper assembly, cover plate and mounting screws.
If this doesn't work, the next step is to try to clear the clog by inserting a flexible wire, usually an unwound coat hanger, into the drain hole. Coat hangers are ideally suited for this purpose, as they are just flexible enough to work their way through the bends in the drain pipes, as well as stiff enough to dislodge anything that could causing the clog. Wrap one end of the hanger wire with a cloth or wear a glove in order to get a firm grip on the wire. Push it through the drain as far as you can, working it back and forth as necessary. If you can't seem to get the wire through the pipes, try inserting the wire through the overflow opening.
If this doesn't clear the clog, the next step would be to try using a plumber's snake. These are inexpensive and it's a good idea to have one handy. Just insert the wire wound tip into the drain as far as it will go. Tighten down the binding screw onto the snake and twist. As the tip turns inside the drain, it will grab onto of anything it finds. If it's only a bend in the drainpipe, the snake will work itself around the corner and you can push it further into the pipes. If you have to go more that three for four feet, you probably have a more serious problem and should call a plumber.
If none of these attempts to clear the clog work satisfactorily, try the chemical solution. Chemical drain cleaners are usually safe for septic systems, but are caustic and dangerous when mixed with water. You should never use them in combination with any other chemicals. Wear safety glasses and protective gloves before opening the container and emptying the contents into the drain. Be sure to read and follow the instructions provided on the label.
Finally, these suggestions don't work it's probably because the clog is deeper into the pipes than you, or the chemicals can reach. It's a good time find a phone book and call a plumber.
on Aug 15, 2010