Bathrooms DIY Home Repairs Thrifty Ideas

Slow Drain: Trial and Error

The tub drain has been slowing down.  I first noticed it a week or two ago after we had a plumbing back up in the basement.  The plumber came out and snaked the main drains and we cleaned up the water that had pooled.  But as a paranoid individual, especially when it comes to home maintenance, I kept listening to the drains, and to me the one in the tub sounded louder.  Each day I showered it seemed so close, the water falling so loudly through the pipes, I was almost sure that I would get sucked down into the melodious drain and then swirl slowly to my death.

I have yet to be sucked into the small tub drain.  The water drains slow and loud and I groan because I’m out of drain-o.

Today I decided to try my hand at home remedies for slow drains.  I heard someone mention that they keep vinegar and baking soda under their bathroom sink for just such purposes and I decided to give it a go.

In the name of science I measured: 3 tablespoons baking soda,

1 cup vinegar,


combined and waited.

slow drain

I gave my mixture a whole minute to work and then I flushed the system with water.  And nothing seemed to change.  LAME!

At which point I decided to get a little more information.  According to random message boards about home remedies the solution should work, I just have to adjust:

  1. my recipe.  1/2 c. baking soda and 1/2 c. vinegar
  2. my wait time.  Most sites suggest an hour or two, not a minute or two.  I guess that makes sense considering even drain-o needs 15 minutes.
  3. flush the system with HOT water.  Most people suggest that I boil some water and then flush the system with that.
  4. methods.  Many people also recommend closing the drain.  I suspect that this allows the pressure of the reaction to move things along.  Or something.

Take 2: I made the modifications as recommended.

And I waited.

And then I poured in my boiling water and waited some more.

The Verdict:  It worked better once I followed the extended directions.  The drain is still a little loud and a little slow, but not like it was.  I’m thinking it’s just time to clean out the drain.  Perhaps if this was just to keep things moving on a regular basis it would be great, but it isn’t the end all solution.