A clogged tub or shower drain is frustrating. Not only does it take awhile to drain, which can leave you with the uncomfortable feeling of dirty water swishing around your ankles, it can also indicate a more severe issue. The following are three things to look into that could be causing the tub drain to back up:
#1: Old drain pipes
If you have a home that was built before the 1960s, then your drain pipes throughout the house may be smaller than the standard size that is used in homes today. This could also be the case if you have a home that used to be on a private well but has switched over to municipal service. Municipal water services didn't previously provide water at the same pressure as it does today, and well service also is usually at reduced water pressure. As municipal water services began updating in the last 40 to 50 years, they began to provide water at a greater pressure and the size of the standard drain pipes in homes was increased to account for the larger water flow per minute. If you home has the old pipes, it may not be able to keep up with modern water flow.
#2: Clogged main drain
All drains in your home lead to the main drain, but you are often most likely to notice a moderate main drain clog in the tub. This is because your tub drains a lot of water at once, whether you are taking a shower or emptying the bath, so any slowing of the main drain will be evident right away. A common reason for a clog in your main drain is tree roots, but it could also be from other items that have gone down sinks or toilets. You can have the drain rooted out, which will clear the clog and prevent future backups.
#3: Scummy pipes
The last issue is also the easiest to fix yourself. Soap scum, hair, and other debris often clog the shower drain. To clear it, you must unscrew the drain cover and pull it out. Many tub drains have a hair catcher attached to them, either as a solid piece or as a chain that hangs down the drain. Clean this out to remove any scum. Then, pour boiling water down the drain to flush any remaining residue. You can also use a small drain cleaner tool, which is like a toothed rod, by inserting it into the rod, twisting it to collect all the hair and debris, then pulling it out. Then, simply replace the hair catcher and drain cover.
For more help, contact a plumber in your area, like Bishop Plumbing, Heating and Cooling, Inc.