Clearing a Clogged Tub Drain
Tub drains are susceptible to clogs from hair, soap residue, and grease. Clearing a clogged tub drain is a pretty straightforward process. You can usually tell how close the clog is by how fast the tub begins to back up. A Rigid K-50 motor-driven snake is used in this step-by-step. However, the process is the same when using a hand snake.
Remove the Over-Flow Plate
Loosen the screws and remove the over-flow plate. This will give you access to the tub's drain line.
Insert the Snake
Insert the snake into the over-flow. If you are using a hand snake you will need to pull about 7-inches of cable out. Don't forget to tighten the set screw before cranking. Turn the snakes handle clockwise while feeding the cable into the drain.
Whether you're using a powered snake or a hand snake you must be able to get the snake around the trap and down the line. This could be 5 to 12 in. in around the trap to clear a stoppage. It takes some experience holding a powered snake with one hand and feeding the cable in with the other.
Run the Snake to the Clog
Continue to run the snake until you hit to break the clog or push it into the main stack. When using a hand snake you will need to loosen the set screw, pull out more cable, reset the screw and continue cranking in a clockwise motion. Repeat this process until you hit the clog.
If you are lucky enough to feed the cable past the trap and down line but the stoppage does not clear, then your cable is going up the vent and not traveling the waste line downstream. It may take several times and lots of patience. If this doesn't work, call a professional drain cleaner.
Backing the Snake out
Loosen the set screw and feed the cable back into the hand snakes barrel. If the cable does not come free tighten down the set screw and pull the snake back while turning the handle clockwise. Don't reverse the cranking direction, this could loosen the clog from the snakes head and leave it in the drain.
Run Hot Water
Running hot water will clear out any remaining part of the clog that could have been left in the drain. It will also help clear out anything that you may have loosened up in the drain during the snaking portion.
Clean off the snakes head in the tub to prevent dripping any dirty water around the bathroom. It is also important to clean off any black water that may have splashed onto surrounding walls or the tub. If allowed to dry it may stain surfaces.