How To Fix When Your BathTub Won’t Drain

When your bathtub doesn’t drain, it can be a considerable inconvenience.

It is challenging to take a bath when the water isn’t draining correctly, and it can also lead to some serious plumbing problems if left unfixed. 

In this blog post, we will discuss some of the most common causes of bathtubs not draining properly and how to fix them.

We will also provide some tips on preventing this from happening in the future.

How to Fix When Your Bathtub Won’t Drain

How to unclog bathtub drain

If you are experiencing problems with your bathtub not draining properly, don’t pour any more water down the drain until it has been cleared out completely.

It will help prevent the clog from worsening and possibly causing a more significant problem later. 

If the clog is located near the drain, you can use a plunger to loosen it up and break through. If all else fails, you may need to remove the drain cover or grate to access the clog directly. 

Be careful when doing this, as sharp objects or bacteria could be present. You can try using a plumbing snake to dislodge the clog or use a plunger if it is accessible.

Ways to Unclog Your Bathtub on Your Own

Do you want to take care of a clogged drain yourself?

You can handle a simple blockage without the assistance of a professional through these simple steps.

  1. Wear gloves and clear any noticeable blockage like hair from the drain’s outside.
  2. Using a plunger, clear the bathtub drain. To ensure that no air escapes while you’re plunging, remove the overflow lid from your tub and shove a cloth into the opening.
  3. To remove whatever is stuck in your drain, use a plumbing snake. You may purchase a plumbing snake at your local store; however, it can be difficult if you don’t understand how to use one. It could be an excellent opportunity to get the help of a professional.
  4. Dissolve blockages without the use of dangerous chemicals. You can unclog some drains with hot water, vinegar, and baking soda.

Causes of Bathtubs Not Draining Properly

The problem with a bathtub that doesn’t drain properly isn’t always obvious; however, understanding the common causes of the issue will help you address it correctly and quickly.

We’ll discuss five of the most common causes of bathtubs not draining properly.


When it comes to drains, hair is usually the biggest culprit. Hair is designed so well for what it does that it also gets caught in drains. 

Shower and tub drains are especially susceptible because people tend to have longer hair, with more surface area to blockage. If the drain is running slowly, it’s probably the hair.

Food Scraps or Soap Scum

Another common culprit for a backed-up bathtub that won’t drain properly is food scraps or soap scum. If you use bar soap in your tub, the soap can accumulate and obstruct over time. 

Food scraps are not likely to cause any significant issues; however, it is always best to keep them out of your drains.

Damaged Pipe

It’s also possible that the drain isn’t blocked, and some other issue prevents it from draining properly. The most common reason for slow or clogged drains is a damaged pipe. 

If the drainpipe has any cracks, water can leak out through those cracks and make its way through your home until it reaches another drain or pipe.

It can be a costly fix, depending on where the damage is located.


You might also have an issue with the vent that drains into the sewer line outside.

Usually, this is nothing more than an underground hole with pipes running out of it in different directions to each of the drains in your home. 

If the vent is clogged, it can cause backup and drainage problems in all the drains in your house.

Drain Plug

The last common reason for a bathtub not draining correctly is an issue with the drain plug itself. Most tubs have a plug in them that you sit inside and pull out when you drain it.

Sometimes these plugs will get old and worn, making it harder to seal the drain.

How to Prevent Bathtubs Not Draining Properly

How to fix a slow-draining bathtub

One of the best ways to prevent your bathtub from not draining properly is to keep it clean. Make sure that you regularly clean the drain and the tub itself. 

This cleaning will help ensure that nothing is obstructing the flow of water. Another way to prevent this problem is to install a strainer over your drain. 

You can place a strainer over any drain, including a bathtub one. The strainer will help keep debris and other particles from clogging up your drains. 

They are relatively inexpensive and easy to install—making them an excellent solution for those who don’t want to spend money on professional plumbing services.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Vinegar Harmful to PVC Pipes?

When used in tiny doses, vinegar will not be harmful to your pipes, as indicated in many web recipes.

It doesn’t matter if your pipes are constructed of PEX, PVC, copper, or something else; they will not be harmed by vinegar.

How Frequently Should Baking Soda and Vinegar Be Poured Down the Drain?

It would help to pour 1/2 cup baking soda into the drain, accompanied by 1/2 cup vinegar, every few weeks or anytime the water is slow to drain.

Plug the hole for 1 hour, then unplug it, after which you pour boiling water to aid in the removal of greasy substances.

Final Thoughts

When your bathtub starts to drain slowly or not at all, it can be a significant inconvenience. You may not know where to start when fixing the problem. 

We hope this blog post has helped you understand how to fix a bathtub that won’t drain. We recommend calling a plumber if you are facing challenges fixing it yourself.