How to Clear Bathroom Drain Clogs

Bathroom drains have a tendency to need a little more repair and maintenance than those in the kitchen. The bathroom has no garbage disposal and the kitchen drain rarely gets clogged up with hair. The first place to look if you notice that water is not draining off as quickly as normal is the bathroom sink drain. Quite often, it tends to be clogged with the likes of hair, toothpaste and hand soap to name but a few. Read on to discover some tips on how to clear bathroom drain clogs and get that waste water flowing away again.

How to Unclog Bathroom Drain Clogs Naturally

An inexpensive and natural home remedy to unclog bathroom drain clogs is to use a mixture of baking soda or bicarbonate of soda and vinegar.

Tip a quarter pot of baking soda into the plug followed by a cup of white vinegar. When the vinegar mixes with the soda, there will be fizzing foaming effect that will erupt from the plughole.

Put the stopper in the hole and leave the mixture to work it’s magic for around ten to fifteen minutes.

While you are waiting, boil up a kettle full of water and once boiled, pour the water into the plughole. This will clear away any soap build-up as well as any hair or toothpaste that is in the sink waste pipe. This process also has the added advantage of removing the white chalky deposits or calcium carbonate in the pipe, which clears the space between the sink flange and the stopper.

An alternative method of clearing bathroom drain clogs is chlorine bleach. Pour some bleach into the plughole and leave to work for about ten minutes. Pour a kettle of boiling water into the plug, which will wash away the bleach and any residue in the pipe.

Removing Drain Trap to Clear Bathroom Drain Clogs

If the worst comes to the worst and the drainage has not improved, the next step in fixing bathroom drain clogs is to remove the U-shaped pipe, sometimes called a trap or trap bend, under the sink. Ninety-percent of anything that fell the drain or is clogging up the works will get trapped at the bottom of the U bend. Clear it out, apply Teflon plumber’s tape and replace the pipe. Be sure to wrap the tape in a direction that tightens it into the threads as you secure the nut, as opposed to unwinding it.

Bathroom drain clogs in the bathtub drain represent a more difficult problem since it is harder to get at the hardware underneath the tub.

They usually come with a screen to prevent problems, but as time passes, it often is knocked out of the way or removed. This results in hair, shampoo caps and a dozen other things ending up in the drain.

Having said that, the baking soda and vinegar remedy above will work in most cases although it will not get rid of solid objects such as caps. A plumber’s snake or auger can help remove stubborn bathroom drain clogs, with some having small ‘fingers’ on the end that can be clamped together to retrieve a fallen object.

Many designs have a stopper that can be pushed down or pulled up to open or close the drain. They simply unscrew, giving some access to the drain. Others operate by a lever built in to the tub. Removing the overflow plate gives access to an assembly that can be removed. That will release the drain stopper.

In more extreme cases, it may be necessary to replace the drain. Below the stopper is a metal fitting, called a drain basket, with a pair of metal pieces in the shape of an X. A dumbbell or basket wrench is used to remove it. If that does not give sufficient access to remove anything inside, it will be necessary to remove a section of wall to get to the drain and overflow pipes. Consider having a professional do this although you can do it yourself with the replacement kits costing around fifteen dollars.

Once you have access to the area, the assembly is relatively easy to remove with a standard pipe wrench or wide-jaw pliers to get loose the slip-joint nuts. Seat the new parts in place and adjust the rod to the correct length to open and close the stopper. Then use Teflon plumber’s tape on the pipes and plumber’s putty on the drain flange to seal the new parts properly.