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How to Unclog Bathtub Drain Pipes and Save $200 in Two Minutes

In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to unclog bathtub drain pipes.

Everyone should learn the three methods in this tutorial.

I promise they’ll save you money and get your bath draining quickly again.

Let’s dive in!

Common Slow Draining Bathtub Questions

What can I pour down my bathtub drain to unclog it?

Don’t pour any chemicals down your bathtub drain. The reason is simple, chemicals can ruin your pipes and cost you more money than snaking the pipe. Mechanically removing clogs is the best way to unclog any drain – including kitchen sink drains.

What dissolves hair in drains?

Any acid or chemical that dissolves hair will also potentially cause your pipes to leak. So, never use anything like Liquid Plumr, Drano, CRL, baking soda, vinegar, etc.

Baking Soda and Vinegar

How do you unblock a bath drain?

The simplest way to unblock any bath drain is to check the drain shoe first. If there’s hair in the drain shoe, typically it can be removed with pliers. If the clog is farther along the pipe, using a Zip-It or drain snake will work the best.

And that’s what I’m going to show you how to do next.

How to Unclog Bathtub Drain Pipes

Normally, slow draining bathtubs are due to hair clogs.

Furthermore, those hair clogs start at the drain shoe.

So I recommend removing the drain screen or pop-up stopper. Sometimes, pop-up stoppers have decorative covers.

These can be removed by turning them counterclockwise.

Popup Tub Drain

Then you can remove the popup drain assembly from the drain by also turning it counterclockwise.

I reach down into the drain with pliers and try to remove as much hair as possible.

How to Unclog Bathtub Drain Pipes

Needle nose pliers are the best tool for this. But sometimes normal pliers work as well.

If you can’t reach the hair clog, try using a Zip-It

This costs just a few dollars and you can carefully fish it into the drain.

If the barbs catch hair, you can pull it from the drain and remove the clog.

Zip It Drain Snake

Finally, the third option is a drain snake.

Again, these don’t cost that much money.

I remove the waste overflow cover plate.

Bathtub Overflow Drain

And fish the drain snake down toward the tub’s sanitary tee.

How to Snake a Bathtub Drain

By the way, this is what the tub waste kit looks like.

Tub Waste and Overflow

The sanitary tee is the fitting that looks like a cross. It connects the drain shoe to the house DWV.

Plumbing Sanitary Tee

If you’re curious, these are Oatey True Blue bath waste kits.

And typically the tub’s P-Trap is below the sanitary tee.

P-Trap Plumbing

Your clog is probably in the drain shoe, sanitary tee, or P-Trap.

So keep that in mind when you use the pliers, Zip-It, and drain snake to unclog bathtub drain pipes.

What’s Next

Sometimes clogged pipes cause you to reflect on your outdated bathroom.

If you decide to remodel your bathroom and need help, join our Platinum Membership.

I promise our step-by-step tutorials and Personal Coaching will make your project easier.

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Bathtub Clogs