Why won’t my bath drain?
There are few things in life as relaxing and reinvigorating as a nice warm bath. A shower is certainly a more expedient way of “getting the job done” when it comes to hygiene, having a bath can be anything from a quick dip and scrub to a decadent experience complete with a good book, a scented bath bomb and a strong glass of wine.
But one thing about bathtubs (particularly those that also double as showers) that continually irks everyone that uses them is their propensity to get clogged up. If the last time you pulled the plug on your bath it either drained slower than usual or refused to drain entirely then chances are your drain is blocked.
But what are the most common causes of a blocked bath drain and how best to rectify the problem?
Is my drain clogged?
Clogs can occur at any part of your plumbing system and while a bath refusing to drain is an obvious sign, sometimes you might be able to spot a clog and fix it before it completely ruins your bath time. If you have noticed gurgling noises as the water drains, weaker water pressure than usual, water-dependant utilities reacting to each other more obviously than before or foul odours coming from the drain, you might have a clog.
There are several potential root causes of a clogged drain:-
Hair – When showering or bathing, hair naturally falls off our body and the more hair that enters the drain, the more likely it is to stick to the pipes and trap everything and anything that enters.
Dirt and grease – If you work in a profession that involves having to remove a lot of dirt and grease from your body in the shower, over time that can accumulate in the drain and form a clog.
Soap – Soap scrum will develop on the walls of your pipes over time and trap hair and other objects, particularly if you have hard water, as the chemicals in the soap could react with the calcium and magnesium in the water. This is why installing a water filter in your bathroom might be a good idea if you have a lot of baths.
Bath bombs – While bath bombs can be a lovely way to help us unwind, they also tend to contain elements such as cocoa butter, glitter and oils than don’t break down in water very well. This is one of many reasons why bath bombs should be saved for special occasions and not used all the time!
DIY bathtub unblocking
Regardless of the reason behind the clog, there are several steps you should always take before calling in the professionals.
Get stuck in – Start by donning a pair of rubber gloves, removing the plug and seeing how much you can physically remove using your fingers. We would never, however, condone sticking anything down the plughole that could get stuck as that will only make things worse.
Flush with boiling water – You’d be surprised how effective a blast of boiling water could be in the right circumstance. For removing grease and soap scum it’s particularly useful, in fact.
Get chemical – Baking soda and vinegar can work for most clogs, with the two working together to dissolve most substances and remove any stains too. If this concoction doesn’t work, however, there are plenty of bespoke chemical solutions that will get the job done.
Get a plunger or snake – The final step before calling a plumber should be to invest in a plunger or a plumbing snake. Though at least give the other three a good go before spending any serious money!