QUESTION: How do I snake a bathtub drain that got clogged?


A clogged bathtub drain is one of the most common bathroom plumbing problems faced by homeowners. As hair builds up in the drain, it will gradually start to drain slower. You may be able to keep the drain from completely clogging if you use a plunger at the first sign that it is draining slower. If this does not work or if the clog simply cannot be avoided, you can snake the drain, which is a relatively simple process.

• Start by gathering up the appropriate tools. You will need a pair of gloves, a plumbing snake, and cleaning supplies.

• Remove the overflow plate, which is located beneath the faucet and above the drain, by removing the screws. Be careful to put the screws in a safe place so that they do not fall down the drain.

• Remove the stopper, which is normally attached to the overflow plate, from the drain.

• After putting on your gloves, clean any soap residue and hair from the stopper and overflow plate.

• Run the water to see if you have removed the source of the clog. If the water still overflows, you will need to proceed to snaking the drain.

• Insert the end of the snake into the opening, and crank out between two and three feet of wire. Push the wire forward and crank more wire as needed until you feel the obstruction. Use the handle to twist the wire until it is able to penetrate the clog. Crank the handle in reverse to draw the snake and the clog back through the drain. You will probably end up with a bit of a mess, so be sure to have cleaning supplies nearby.

• Dispose of the clog and soap debris, clean the snake, and replace the stopper and overflow plate.

• Allow the hot water to run for a couple of minutes to flush away any remaining debris.

If this does not solve the problem, you should contact a professional plumbing service.