Blocked baths are a serious inconvenience, and can be caused by a number of factors.
Hair is probably the most common cause of bathtub blockages, which happen when strands of hair stick to pipe walls as they are washed down the drain, often catching other debris passing through. This creates a tangled blockage that prevents your bath from draining properly, or sometimes stops it draining altogether.
- Bath bombs and soap
The residue from soap and bath bombs is another common reason for bath blockages, which occur when soap washed down the drain solidifies and, over time, begins to build up on the pipe walls, causing the drain to become clogged. Due to its sticky consistency, it also tends to collect other debris passing through the drain, such as hair, causing an even bigger blockage to form.
- Scale build up
Scale build up on drain pipe walls is a somewhat slower cause of blocked baths, but by no means less damaging. It occurs particularly in hard water areas, where the water running through the drain deposits minerals and solids on your drain pipe walls, eventually causing a hard scale to form, constricting water flow and catching other debris passing through, which then blocks the drain still further.
How to spot the signs of a blocked bath:
The easiest symptom to recognise, a blocked drain will often give off a foul smell, particularly when water is draining.
Gurgling sounds from the plughole are a clear sign that water isn’t draining properly and that there may be a blockage somewhere.
- Sink drainage.
It may not be just a slow-draining bath that indicates a problem. Water taking longer than usual to drain from your sink, or rising and – in worst cases – even overflowing the toilet after flushing are all signs of a drainage problem with the bath.
- Bathtub back up.
One particularly nasty example of a blocked bath is when dirty water starts backing up into the bathtub. This is extremely unhygienic and needs to be resolved promptly. How to unblock a bath depends on what is causing it to become clogged in the first place. If the bath is draining slowly rather than completely blocked, it’s sometimes just a question of plunging it, or pulling out the hair that has become trapped in the plughole. Unfortunately, this is as unsavoury as it sounds, but using gloves or a drain snake instead of your bare hands can help make the removal a little easier. However, this is often only a temporary solution, and you may find that the pipes require much closer attention from a professional in order to ensure that your bath is fully unblocked.
Wastewater backing up into the bath is more than just a nuisance, it can also indicate a much more serious problem that requires immediate professional assistance, as the blockage is likely far deeper in the plumbing system, and may cause quite severe damage, as well as create very unhygienic living conditions. For these reasons, it’s always wise to call in a drainage specialist to unblock your bath.
If you have a blocked bath, we can use electro mechanical cleaning to clear it for you. This is an extremely effective system that pushes a rotating cable machine through a pipe or drain to break through blockages, as well as descale and remove debris, no matter how hard to reach. Often used with water to flush out the debris dislodged by the cable, electro mechanical cleaning is great at removing even the most steadfast of blockages, as well as limescale and hard water deposits.