Why Won’t My Bathtub Drain?


There is nothing more unsanitary than a shower that fills with water because the bathtub drain isn’t draining.

Standing in a bathtub full of water because the bathtub isn’t draining is a way for your shower to get really unsanitary really fast. But, luckily there are many reasons that could cause this, and most of them are easily fixed.

Typically, when you put the bathtub drain into the open position, all of the water drains out and down the drain hole. But, sometimes the bathtub won’t drain and then the water just sits at the bottom of the bathtub.

This is when you need to address why it isn’t draining and get the problem repaired quickly. Most of the causes of this situation are easily fixed, but some of them will require a professional plumber to be called.

Here are a few of the scenarios that will cause a tub to refuse to drain:

  • If you have a bathtub and shower combo, the built-in stopper that you use to block the flow of water out of the tub drain may have gotten stuck closed. This happens sometimes with wear or build-up, and will prevent water from going down the drain as it should. You can simply pull the stopper out of the drain to make sure that it isn’t blocked by a wad of hair or hasn’t been damaged in some way.
  • Over time bathtub drains will develop clogs. This happens when hair and soap scum meet up in the drain pipe and solidify together. Shaving cream or gel is especially good for developing stubborn clogs in the bathtub drain pipe. Also, sometimes objects like shampoo bottle caps or razor shields will get rinsed down the drain and these items will also cause clogs.
  • You can use a drain plunger or a snake to clear the drain of a clog. These items are found in most home improvement stores and are relatively easy to use. If you are unable to dislodge the clog, then you will need to contact a professional plumber to have your drain cleaned.

A blocked bathtub is a nasty situation because the water that is trapped in the tub basin is full of bacteria, which will multiply and turn into a cesspool if left untreated. Make sure to troubleshoot your bathtub drain clog as soon as possible to avoid this.

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Scott Duncan

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