What Causes a Clogged Bathtub Drain?

If you have a clogged bathtub drain, you will have no choice but to fix it if you want to be using your bathtub again any time soon. However, once you have done this, it is important to figure out why your bathtub drain is clogged. If you fail to do this, you will probably find yourself facing the same problem at a later date. Fortunately, there are a few common reasons why a bathtub drain is clogged. You can take steps to prevent each of these sources of clogs from taking hold in your drain.

Hair Clogs

When you have a clog in your bathtub drain, there is a good chance that hair is the culprit. Hair can build up slowly, sticking to the walls of your drain pipe and catching other debris as it passes by. Once this happens, it is only a matter of  time before your bathtub drain is completely clogged.

If you have problems with hair in your bathtub drain, you can remove it with a plunger or a drain snake. However, you are better off preventing the clogs in the first place. After you remove your clog, you should do this by installing a hair trap immediately. This will catch hair that would have gone down your drain without impeding the flow of water. Empty your hair trap regularly, because hair building up on top of your drain will block the flow of water just as easily.

Soap Scum Build-Up

While you would think that soap scum would dissolve easily in water, it can actually be a serious problem for your drains. Soap scum is a common source of clogs in bathtub drain systems. While it is not solid, it can solidify after it goes down the drain, gradually building up on your drain's walls. As it does this, it can also stick to anything else passing through your drain, making your other potential clogs into real clogs more quickly.

While you can hardly avoid having soap go down your bathtub drain, you can take steps to minimize the amounts you put there. Do not put soap down your drain on purpose, even in small flakes. This will make your drain clog quickly, especially if other problems are present.

Hard Water Deposits

Hard water can also be a source of problems for your bathtub drain. Though you cannot see it as it happens, hard water can deposit solid material on the sides of your drain. This constricts the flow of water and gives any debris passing through your drain that would normally do so harmlessly a place to catch on and cause clogs. Because of this, hard water is particularly difficult when hair and soap scum are present in your drain.

You can get rid of hard water by buying a water softener. There are many varieties available for you to choose from, but the most common is the ion exchange water softener, which can be attached over a shower or faucet. However, there are many other varieties, so choose the one that works best for you.