How To Fix Slow Draining Bathtub? [Effective Tips]

Do you have a slow draining bathtub? If so, then this article is for you where we have explained how to fix slow draining bathtub! A slow draining tub is not only frustrating and annoying but can also be dangerous.

This can lead to respiratory conditions such as asthma, allergies, or even worse: Legionnaires Disease. To make matters worse, if the water isn’t drained correctly, it will eventually back up and overflow onto your floor potentially causing damage to your home’s foundation and/or mold on your bathroom ceiling.

It’s important that we solve this issue before it gets any worse, which is why I’ve put together a list of some common causes for a slow-draining tub, as well as how to fix the problem.

This is an article about how to fix a slow draining bathtub. One of the most annoying problems you can have with your bathroom is a tub that takes forever to drain, especially after a long relaxing soak!

Many people assume if their tub does not empty fast enough, it just needs a good cleaning. While this may help in some cases, often, there is a more severe problem such as a clogged drain or broken plumbing.

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Reasons Of Slow Draining Bathtub

There are many possible reasons why a tub will drain slowly, so let’s start with the most common ones:

Soap Scum

If you find when you run the bathwater there’s no standing water in the tub, but when it finally drains, it leaves behind smelly soap scum on the sides of your tub; then this is probably just a case of soap scum accumulation caused by an improper cleaning schedule.

To clean this up, mix some dishwashing liquid in warm water and scrub the sides of your bathtub with an old toothbrush, then rinse. You should notice this problem fixed after just one treatment!

Dirt & Sediment

If there’s dirt and sediment caked up around your drain, then this is another common cause for a slow draining tub. You can clean this buildup by pouring boiling water down the drains. This works to loosen the grime so that it washes away with future use.

To get rid of this issue on a more serious scale, there are enzyme-based cleaners available at most hardware stores that can be used to break up sediment clogs. Simply follow the directions on the label, and you should notice your tub draining properly again!

This solution works best if your water flows out of your faucet, bathtub, or showerhead slowly because it often indicates there is a buildup of sediment in the pipes.

Hair Clogs

If you notice your bathtub drains slow, but there are no signs of soap buildup, dirt, or sediment, then the culprit is probably excess hair. Often when people take showers, they don’t realize just how much hair gets washed into the drain.

This buildup can slowly accumulate and lead to a clog that prevents water from draining out of the tub. To fix this problem, you can either use a drain strainer, or on the more extreme end of the spectrum, you could purchase a chemical drain cleaner from your local hardware store.

In any case, this is one of the most common causes for a slow draining tub, and it’s usually relatively simple to solve so why wait! Go ahead and get your drain flowing properly again!

Drain Stopper

There are other issues besides the ones listed above that can lead to a slow draining bathtub. If you notice your drain is still slow even after trying out one of the solutions above, then it’s possible your drain stopper isn’t working correctly.

To test your drain stopper, pull up on the chain or knob until it lifts up above the level of the tub. If it doesn’t stay up, then your stopper might be broken or worn out in that case, you’ll need to replace it.

Scale Build-Up

Another problem that can cause slow draining water is scale buildup in your pipes. Scale is a mineral deposit that accumulates inside the guts of your plumbing system, usually due to the high mineral content in the water you’re using.

Over time this builds up and causes blockages which will eventually require professional intervention. This issue isn’t terribly common, but you might notice it if you have very hard water or are on a well.

You can check to see if this is the case by requesting a free water analysis from your local municipality. If they come back and tell you there’s high mineral content in your water supply, then it’s time to call in the professionals!

How To Fix A Slow Draining Bathtub

There’s nothing worse than getting ready for a nice relaxing bath and realizing that your brand new tub is taking hours to drain. A slow draining bathtub can be very frustrating, and there are several potential causes of the problem. Hence, it’s important to troubleshoot and find out exactly what is causing the water to drain slowly before attempting any fixes on your own. Below we have listed several common causes of slow draining bathtubs, so be sure to read through the list before you begin any type of fix.

Fixing Slow Draining Bathtub With Plunger

A plunger is a great tool to have on hand, so be sure to keep one handy even if you don’t often experience clogged drains. Plunger work by creating a seal with the drain and forcing fluids and air through at such a high velocity that the blockage is forced upward and out of the drain.

To fix a slow draining bathtub with a plunger, fill the tub with enough water to cover the plunger’s head and prepare for some intense plunging action. Place the plunger over the drain and push down several times as quickly as you can.

You will need to use quite a bit of force, so be prepared to really give it your all if you want to fix a slow draining tub with a plunger. It’s important to know that this is not an effective long-term fix, and you should still take steps to determine the source of your drain problems so that they can be addressed before they become a major issue.

Plunging alone will only push the blockage further down into your pipes which could result in the blockage reappearing at a later date.

Fixing Slow Draining Bathtub With Auger

A drain auger can be a great tool for fixing slow draining baths. Drain augers are basically long tubes that snake their way down into the drain and help push the clog towards the opening of the drain, where it will then become visible and removable by hand or with a plunger.

To use an auger, lower it into the tub in several short increments while turning the crank in a clockwise motion. This is important to prevent the auger from becoming stuck or tangled in the drain.

While turning, continue to push it down until you feel resistance and then pull upwards slightly with steady pressure. If you are familiar with this procedure, you can do it without water in the bathtub and simply let the clog and water drain out, but this isn’t necessary, and you will be able to fix a slow draining bathtub with very little effort.

Fixing Slow Draining Bathtub With Bent Wire

If plunging and using an auger doesn’t work to fix your slow draining tub, there is another more old-fashioned but surprisingly effective method of unclogging drains; you can use some leftover bent wire hangers to make a homemade snake.

This is especially useful if the clog has gone further down into the plumbing than usual or is proving difficult to dislodge. Cut several pieces of wire about the same length and bend them in half at equal angles so that they are easier to grip.

Be sure not to make the bends too sharp, or they will become stuck in the drain. Insert the bent wires one at a time into the drain while wiggling them side to side slightly until you feel resistance.

Pull upwards to dislodge the blockage and continue this process until your drain is clear. This can be a somewhat heavy-duty fix for a slow draining bathtub, but it will get the job done if necessary.

Fixing Slow Draining Bathtub With Hot Flushes

If plunging, augering, and bending wire hangers don’t work for you, then there is one step left to try before calling a plumber. If your bathtub has only become slow draining recently, it may be due to a buildup of hard water deposits, which can clog up drains over time.

You can fix this by adding some hot water to your bathtub and letting it sit for an hour or so. The heat will dissolve the deposits, which are often responsible for slow draining tubs in the first place. After you wait, simply drain your tub as usual and see if that fixes your issue.

Fixing Slow Draining Bathtub With Hose and Rubber Ball

For really slow draining bathtubs, you may need to get rid of the gunk completely. This is where a plumbing snake comes in, but for this method, you will also need a garden hose and rubber stopper with a hole in it like those used for bungee jumping.

Make sure your stopper fits tightly into the tub drain, then attach it to the end of your garden hose with some plumber’s tape. Turn on the water and let it fill up the tub until there is about an inch of water above the stopper; then, turn off the water and pull out the stopper.

The force of the water pressure will push any blockage through your pipes but if this doesn’t work, simply repeat the process until you’ve removed all of the gunk. Then, remove any standing water from your tub and drain it, as usual, to finish fixing your slow draining bathtub.

Final Words

Slow draining bathtubs are annoying and can be challenging to fix. Thankfully, there is a variety of options on how to fix slow draining bathtub ranging from the DIY option to hiring a professional plumber or drain cleaner.

For those with little time on their hands, they may want to try the above-mentioned methods. All of these methods are effective in fixing slow draining bathtubs. If none of these options work, you can always call a professional to sort out your drain.