The drain in my shower is REAL slow. I tried using the standard drain
cleaning chemicals, but they didn't do much to improve it. I'd like
to auger or snake it out, but the opening is real small. Too small
for my drain auger.
I found a nice 1/8" SS Wire, pretty stiff, which I tried sticking down
I found I can only get as far as the on/off plug. That is, the
vertical up and down shut-off that opens and closes the drain to allow
the tub to fill.
Any thoughts on the best way to clear such a small drain?
Here's how I clean my tub drain when it slows down.
From the looks of it, it's mostly hair and soap scum slowing it.
I run hot water to warm and fill the trap, then pour maybe 4-6 ounces
of liquid dish detergent directly into the drain.
Let it set overnight.
Close the drain and fill the tub with hot water.
Hold a wet rag over the over the overflow fitting and get a regular
toilet plunger over the drain.
Open the drain and pump the plunger like hell.
You should see some crap coming up from the drain, but then the drain
should empty the tub a normal pace.
If I don't think it's normal, I repeat the entire process.
Had to repeat the first time I did it, but since then once every few
years does the trick.
Try this before you go snaking the drain.
Plunger works fine if you stuff a wet or dry rag into the overflow
opening and block any airflow there. The crud will be loosened by
some boiling hot water poured down the drain just before you plunge.
Wear gloves and don't get burnt, but this will work perfectly 95% of
I use the small auger, I think it's 1/4 or 3/8th inch, anyway the smallest
one available at the big stores.
I take the end and open it a bit, just enough to start snaking it through a
section of the drain.
Once started it will coil itself through till the entire head is in, then
turn turn turn. Backing out just becareful it doesnt catch.
Slow but surely id the way to go.
Yes. Use a Zip-It, which only costs a couple bucks and can be picked
up at the local hardware or big box store. It's basically a long
flexible plastic strip with reverse-facing teeth on each side. You
slide it down the drain, then pull it back up, and all or most of the
gunk is dragged back out on the zip-it.
These work very well, and since they're so cheap, I always keep a
couple on hand. It's my first (and usually last) line of attack on a
The zipit was what I was going to suggest. It or another version is sold at
Home Depot on the plumbing aisle. Darn things work so well that the wife is
now in charge of the tub drain. It's her hair clogging it so it is only
fair for her to clean it. :)
The popup drain can be removed by turning it counter-clockwise though if you
have never done it, it may be stuck. Be cautious about using tools to
remove. It should never be more than hand tight. A little Vaseline on the
threads will make it easier next time.
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