How to Unclog a Bathtub Drain with Standing Water


Clogged drains connected to the bathtub are a common occurrence in most bathrooms. When this occurs, it is typically accompanied by standing water which can be disgusting. It is definitely not a pleasant experience finding yourself standing in a pool of water after a shower. Or you come back to find the tub full of dirty water.


Standing water can cause serious health issues if it is not taken care of in time. It will host various insects, especially mosquitoes, flies and dragonflies. Also, it attracts bacteria and fungi which can cause health hazards, not only for the humans but animals, i.e., pets living in the house. It is, therefore, necessary to unclog the drain at the earliest.


There are several ways to unclog the bathtub drain, depending on the condition of the problem. The best way to do this is to fix an appointment with a professional plumber. This is because you may have some other plumbing issues which you cannot detect. A professional plumber will not only fix the problem at hand, but he will also help prevent future plumbing issues.


However, if you decide not to, there are different methods you can try.


How to unclog  a bathtub with standing water in it


First method to unclogging a bathtub drain

Before you start, make sure you extract all the standing water into a bucket or a large container. Follow these steps when ready:

  • For this method, you will need hot water, a cup, three to four spoons of baking soda, and one cup of vinegar.
  • Fill the cup with hot water and pour it down the drain.
  • Put the baking soda (all of it) down the drain.
  • Fill another cup with water and pour in the water and vinegar at the same time. If you hear bubbling or fizzing sound, it means the chemistry is working.
  • Cover the drain and allow it to sit for about ten minutes.
  • Pour in the remaining water into the drain. Unless the blockage was caused by a hefty chunk of solid, this typically gets rid of the problem.

Second method to removing a clog from bathtub drain naturally

For this method, you will need;

  • rubber gloves,
  • screwdriver,
  • plunger,
  • and a piece of cloth.

Remove the standing water before proceeding, same as with the first method.

  • Wear your gloves and get rid of all material blocking the drain. You are lucky if this solved the problem. If not, go ahead and execute the next step.
  • Use the screwdriver to take out the overflow cover under the faucet (some drains does not have an overflow drain). Skip this step if your drain doesn’t have one. Check the coil and get rid of any obstructions such as hair or soap scum that you see.
  • Now that the overflow cover is removed, jam the piece of cloth into the overflow hole tightl

    y. Ensure that the cloth is jammed in as tight as possible. This is to make sure that air does not escape when you use the plunger. If necessary, have someone hold or press down the piece of cloth.

  • You can now start plunging the drain by pushing it in and out. This will require the right amount of patience and effort. Keep plunging the drain until you hear the sound of the water draining.
  • Another way to use a plunger is to fill your tub with water and start plunging. It is as easy as that. Follow the above steps if this doesn’t work.
 Check Out: Useful Tips for Basic Household Repairs

Third method to unclog a drain with standing water

This is only recommended if you are familiar with the plumbing snake. Call a professional if you are not sure how to use it.

  • Remove the cover of the overflow.
  • Insert the plumbing snake into the opening of the overflow cover; keep on inserting the snake until you feel resistance or a pushback.
  • Wiggle the plumbing snake by turning it anti-clockwise, and pull it out. If you see a clog stuck to the head of the snake, (a plumbing snake has a spike on the head, designed to bust clog) you have successfully unclogged your drain. If not, try pushing the snake in and out, this will help break up the clog.


Fourth method to unclogging a drain

  • Using a drain cleaner or clog remover.
  • Drain cleaners contain chemicals that help breakdown hair, protein, soap scum and other materials responsible for causing blockage in the drain. There are different types of drain cleaners in the form of gel, liquid and foam. All of them have their own merits.
  • However, use of drain cleaner products is not encouraged as they contain chemicals that can cause serious plumbing issues if used regularly. Drain cleaners can be dangerous too, as it contains harmful chemicals. Also, they are not environment-friendly and can have adverse effects.



What causes a drain to clog, and how to prevent it?


hair clogging drainHair is one of the main culprits that cause a drain clog. Every time, you take a shower or a bath, some of your hairs enter the drain and gets stuck somewhere. Over time, these hairs continue to build up and attract other materials such as soap scum, hair and dead skin cells. This prevents the drainage from functioning correctly and ultimately leads to draining the stagnant water.


Another drain clogging agents are soap scum and dirt. Soap scum collects slowly and sticks to the pipes, it gets harder and sticky when it is solidified. A lot of dirt and sand enters the drain, especially when you shower after visiting the beach. These particles keep on accumulating and attract other materials, and finally clog the drain.


Using a drain filter or drain cover, and cleaning them after every use is the best way to prevent a drain clog. It prevents materials and objects from entering the drain thus preventing serious plumbing issues and problems. Drain filters are a cheap and practical solution that keeps the drain in pristine working condition. Some drain filters are designed to trap fallen hair strands. This can be of great help in the long run. Make sure you have one if you have a pet, and you wash them frequently.


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