If you have a bathtub drain that is currently clogged and only allowing a small trickle of water through, then this is a telltale sign that you have a large accumulation of hair in the drain. Hair is difficult to remove, but you can try to get rid of it before calling in a plumbing professional. Keep reading to learn how.
Dissolve The Hair
Hair is made up of a protein called keratin and long bands of the cells make up a hair shaft. Keratin cells divide in the scalp just underneath each follicle. Within each hair bulb, the cells attach to one another. The blood nourishes the protein and hormones cause the hair to grow. When this happens, the shaft lengthens and protrudes out the follicle. The follicle will go through a phase where it shrinks and the hair will then fall out.
Hairs are most likely to fall out when the shrinking follicle is stressed in some way. Washing your hair in the shower is one way the hair becomes stressed. When hair falls out, the proteins do not degrade like the skin cells. They stay strong and resilient, and this is why the hair can easily clog your drains. This hair can be dissolved though, and this can happen when different chemicals are poured down your drain.
Both bleach and sulfuric acid can dissolve the protein in your hair. However, you cannot mix these two chemicals together. Choose one or the other and pour a generous amount down the clogged drain. Allow the chemical to sit for several hours. You will typically see water moving more consistently through the drain as the hair melts away.
Grab The Hair
If you are not successful in dissolving the hair, then you can try to grab it and pull it out of the drain as well. If the clog is close to the surface, then this may be as easy as bending a wire clothes hanger, reaching it through the drain opening, and pulling the ball of hair out. Try this first. If this does not work, then you will need a drain snake. You can but the short, flexible, and manual snakes at your local home store.
If you can find a snake with a hook end, then this tool will work well for your needs. The hook will grab the clog so it can be pulled up and out of the drain. If you use a snake with just a spear end, then this can force the hair clog down further into the drainage pipe. For assistance, talk to a professional like Rolling Bay Plumbing.