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How to Clear a Clogged Bathtub with a Drain Snake

There is a simple and effective way to fix a clogged bathtub drain. If plunging and commercial drain cleaners failed to get rid of the clog, a drain snake may be just the tool you need. Follow the steps below.

Tools and Materials
  • Drain snake
  • Gloves with a powerful grip
Step 1 - Prep Your Drain

To begin, run a steady stream of hot water down your clogged bathtub drain. In addition to helping break up any bits of grease and hair that might get in your way, the hot water will also help lubricate the drain, ultimately making it easier for you to extract the source of clog once you've gotten a hold of it. After running the hot water for 3 to 5 minutes, you'll be ready to proceed with the next step.

Step 2 - Insert Your Drain Snake

Now that you've prepped your drain, it's time to insert your drain snake. Put on a pair of nonslip gloves to ensure that you can keep a firm grip on the snake during the clog extraction process.

Gently insert the corkscrewed end of your drain snake into the clogged bathtub drain. Slowly turn the snake's handle in a clockwise direction to allow it to gradually make its way down the drain. If it feels like the snake is having a rough journey, run more hot water down the drain to give it some additional lubrication. Continue turning the snake's handle until it feels like it has latched onto something.

Step 3 - Extract Your Clog

Once the corkscrewed end of your drain snake has gotten a firm hold on the source of the clog, it's time to begin the extraction process. Begin by slowly turning the drain snake's handle in a counterclockwise fashion, enabling the hooked end of the snake to gradually make its way back up. As before, if the snake seems to be having any difficulty traveling upward, allow some hot water to flow into the drain to offer it some lubrication. Continue to turn the snake's handle until the corkscrewed end emerges from the formerly clogged bathtub drain with the source of the clog in tow.

Alternatively, if the source of the clog is relatively small, you can simply break the clog up by aggressively continuing to turn the snake's handle in a clockwise direction after the corkscrewed end has latched onto it. Once the clog has been broken up, run some water down the clogged bathtub drain drain to wash away the broken-up pieces.