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Clogged Bathtub: DIY or Call a Plumber?

Wire hook pulling out hair from the bathtub drain

Dealing with a clogged bathtub drain can be a nuisance, but not every blockage requires the expertise of a professional plumber.

Homeowners can often tackle minor clogs efficiently with some do-it-yourself methods. However, distinguishing when to opt for DIY solutions versus calling a plumber can be challenging.

In this blog, the expert plumbers at Duane Blanton Plumbing, Sewer, Heating & Cooling discuss the important factors to consider.

When You Can Use DIY Plumbing Methods

If you notice the water in your bathtub backing up gradually and the rising water level seems contained without threatening the immediate area, a DIY fix may be sufficient. This is typically a surface-level clog, often caused by accumulated hair over time.

Common causes of bathtub clogs include hair, soap scum, hard water, and debris. To prevent bathtub clogs, consider these tips:

  • Use a bathtub drain cover: This helps catch hair and debris before they become problematic.
  • Clean the drain weekly with baking soda & vinegar: Create a mixture of baking soda and vinegar, pour it down the drain, and let it sit before flushing with hot water.
  • Allow water to run thoroughly: Let water run through the drain after a shower to wash away soap scum and prevent buildup.
  • Consider a water softener: If hard water is a concern, installing a water softener can help minimize potential clogging issues.

Common DIY Drain Fixes

When dealing with a minor clog, safety is important to avoid damaging the pipes. Over-the-counter drain cleaners aren’t recommended due to potential harm to plumbing systems.

Here are some effective DIY methods:

  • Plunger: Use for low water levels and minor clogs. Apply gentle, consistent pressure and ensure a tight seal for effective plunging.
  • Wire hook: Use an old wire hanger or a specific wire hook for plumbing found at a hardware store. Carefully navigate the hook down the drain to pull out accumulated hair and debris.
  • Plumbing auger: A drain snake helps catch and remove a mass clogging the drain. Insert it and rotate it to break up or retrieve the blockage.
  • Baking soda & vinegar: If minor draining issues persist, pour half a cup of baking soda followed by one cup of vinegar down the drain. Let it sit for a few minutes, then flush with boiling water to help clear the drain further.

Signs a Clogged Drain Requires Professional Help

Recognizing when to seek professional plumbing help is crucial to prevent further damage. If the water is rising rapidly and spreading, immediate professional help is best. This could indicate a major issue in the bathtub plumbing system that needs urgent attention to avoid property damage.

If the clog isn’t isolated to a single drain and other drains in the house are affected, there may be a more significant problem, potentially in the home’s sewer line.

Unclogging a sewer line demands specialized training and tools, making it a task best left to plumbing professionals.

Frequent or recurring clogs also signal the need for expert intervention.

Choose Duane Blanton for Drain Repair in Chicagoland

For drain cleaning in the Chicagoland area, Duane Blanton Plumbing, Sewer, Heating & Cooling is the top choice. As a family-owned company serving the area since 1988, we bring decades of expertise to every plumbing service.

Whether you need same-day or emergency assistance, our team is ready to provide quick and reliable solutions. We pride ourselves on offering upfront pricing, ensuring trust in every interaction with our valued customers.

Call Duane Blanton Plumbing, Sewer, Heating & Cooling at (815) 781-2567 to schedule same-day or emergency drain repairs in Chicagoland.

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