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Nothing compares to a relaxing bath at the end of a hectic day. Put on soothing music, light your favourite scented candle, and you’re ready.

Now imagine the horror if your bathtub won’t drain at the end of it all. Instead of rushing to find a local plumber or pulling up your sleeves and trying some likely-to-fail internet hacks, it is better to watch out for the early warning signs of a blocked drain.

We’re sure you’d agree that prevention is better than cure. So, let us take you through a few sure-shot signs of a clogged drain.

Signs Of A Blocked Bath

Blocked drains are a common part of any plumbing system, and there can be several reasons for it, be it food scraps, soap scum or hair. It is usually quite easy to locate a malfunctioning drain once you know what you are looking for. Here are three early signs of a blocked drain:

Blocked Bathtub White

1. Gurgling Sounds

If you hear a bubbling or gurgling noise from your bathtub or shower drain, it is one of the most obvious signs of a blockage forming in the pipe. Over time, soap scum, hair and other bathroom residues can build up in the drain, leading to slow drainage as the water struggles to go down through the confined pipe. The gurgling sounds indicate a partial clog, causing turbulence as water tries to pass through.

2. Foul Odours

The foul smell emanating from your blocked bathtub drain is unpleasant and could indicate harmful waste and bacteria growth if not addressed promptly. Clogged debris, such as hair, can decompose slowly in the warm, damp environment of the drain pipe. If left untreated, a small partial clog could eventually worsen, resulting in dirty water overflowing from the tub or shower onto the bathroom floor.

3. Slow Drainage

When you notice the wastewater from your shower or tub drain taking an unusually long to empty after use, this is a tell-tale sign of a partial or complete drain blockage forming. Over time, as further soap scum, hair, and other residue accumulate in the narrow pipe, the clog will continue to build and worsen until drainage slows to a problematic rate or stops altogether.

How To Identify A Main Sewer Drain Clog?

Sometimes, the problem may be way bigger than a blocked bathtub. If you notice slow water draining in your toilet bowl or kitchen sink, the problem is with the main sewer drain and not just your bathtub’s drainage pipe.

Watch out for the following signs:

Fixing Blocked Sewer Line

A. Frequent Backups

If you frequently notice water backing up in your bathtub, toilets, and sinks, you likely have a blocked sewer main drain. Experiencing backups on multiple fixtures in the home indicates that the issue is further down the line in the main sewer drain rather than isolated to just one fixture. It could take some time and effort to determine the location and cause of the blockage in the main sewer line since it is out of sight. A professional plumber is usually needed to properly access, diagnose, and clear an obstruction in the main sewer drain.

B. Unpleasant Smell

Not just your bathtub but your kitchen and toilet drains will emit a strong and unpleasant sewage-like smell if there is a problem with the main sewer drain serving your home. When multiple fixtures are used simultaneously, you may also notice gurgling noises in the drains. A blockage in the main sewer line can allow sewer gases to back up and escape into your home through any connected drains or fixtures. This gas build-up is what causes the tell-tale rotten egg odours.

C. Rise In Water Level

If you find that running water down one drain, such as the toilet or shower/tub, causes the water level in another connected drain, like the kitchen sink, to rise, this indicates an obstruction is restricting normal flow within the main sewer line. Any fixtures branching off the main drain pipe will be affected when it becomes blocked or constricted. Additionally, starting the washing machine or running multiple water sources at once may cause toilets or sinks to overflow due to inadequate capacity in the clogged main sewer drain to handle the higher water volume and flow.

A clog in the sewer lines means the raw sewage has no place to exit and is forced to back up the other drainage lines. So, make sure you test all the plumbing fixtures of your house and see if the drains are backing up wastewater.

The Solution

When your bathtub drain starts draining slowly over time, the natural reaction may be to take matters into your own hands and try to investigate the problem yourself. Now, you have some DIY solutions to clear a partial clog without complex tools. For instance, pouring a kettle or pot of freshly boiling water straight down the drain opening is a quick and easy way to loosen debris and melt soap scum build-up, causing slowness.

You can also use a plunger vigorously on the drain opening to force any potential clogs further down the pipe. Another simple solution involves pouring about a half cup of baking soda and vinegar straight down the drain before covering the drain opening and letting it fizz and bubble for several minutes before flushing thoroughly with hot water.

However, even though blocked bathtub or shower drains tend to be common plumbing issues, it is best as a precaution not to assume the cause of drainage problems without further investigation. Clogs forming in branch drain lines sometimes indicate larger root intrusions in the main soil stack or foundation issues putting pressure on pipes.

If initial DIY efforts do not improve water flow within a day or two, or if the problem seems more severe with standing dirty water, you should contact a local professional plumbing company for a more thorough inspection and diagnosis.

Professional plumbers have the specialised tools like drain snakes and cameras needed to properly access pipes and fully resolve drainage problems versus just temporarily unclogging a drain. Identifying and fixing any underlying structural causes of recurrent clogs requires technical skills. If left untreated, more extensive damage or health hazards could potentially develop.

If the problem seems more severe, you should contact a professional plumbing company that can detect the issue and solve it quickly.

Don’t Get Flooded By A Blocked Bath

Ideally, the plumbing company you hire should be equipped to deal with emergency blocked drains and use the latest technology, from CCTV cameras to professional-grade machines, to fix your drains and pipes.

In addition, they should be able to handle various plumbing tasks, be it blocked drains, pipe relining, or installation of hot water systems.

We can help unclog your bathtub and handle all your plumbing problems at WP Plumbing. You can quickly contact us through our website, and we will send over a licensed plumber to inspect your bathtub for any possible blockage. Rest assured, we will provide the best possible blocked drain solution after thoroughly analysing the problem.

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