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How to Unclog a Tub Drain

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Introduction to Repairing a Clogged Bath Tub Drain
tub overflow drain

Tub overflow drains are a problem when using a plunger

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Next to kitchen drains and garbage disposals the tub drain gets the most abuse of any drain in the home. We put hair and hair care products through it along with the occasional razor blade cartridge. Over time the drain can slowly get clogged until you are standing in the tub taking a shower with 2 inches of slow draining water around your feet. Yuck.

The challenge with fixing a bath tub drain with a plunger is that tubs have what are called “overflows” used to prevent tubs from flooding. The overflow’s job is to take water in the bath tub that exceeds the overflow height and dump it right back into the drain so your tub does not overfill. Problem is, this little guy prevents a plunger from working effectively because it creates a vacuum and pressure leak in the drain system and a plunger depends upon vacuum and pressure to function properly.

You’ll see how to fix this problem “MacGyver style” on the next page.

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