If you’ve noticed while in the shower that the water in your bathtub was rising rather than draining, then you understand how unsanitary and frustrating a backup in the bathtub can be. You can fix bathtub backups with ease if you use the right tools.

Hair and Soap Scum Deposits

Most bathtub backups are caused by a buildup in the drain of soap scum and hair. In the drain, hair, soap, or other debris can block water flow. This can cause water to accumulate in the bath, which creates a backup. Remove the drain stopper to fix the problem. Clean out the soap scum or hair that’s accumulated. Use a drain snake, or a sink plunger to remove any stubborn debris. Baking soda mixed with vinegar is also an effective way to break down soap scum.

Clogged Drainpipe

Clogged drainpipes are another common cause for bathtub backups. The blockage can be caused by the accumulation of soap scum and hair over time. Toys, jewelry, and toothbrushes are all foreign objects that can block the drainpipe. You can use a drain snake to clear a blocked drainpipe by removing the drain cover. You can use a plunger or other tools to force the obstruction through the drainpipe. If the blockage persists, you might need a professional plumber’s help.

Sewer Line Backup

Sometimes, a backup in the bathtub can be due to a backup in the sewer line. This is more serious and requires immediate attention. Multiple drains in your house could be backing up simultaneously. This is a sign that you have a sewer problem.

Call a professional to repair a sewer backup. The plumber can use a video inspection to find the blockage. They will then use special equipment to remove the obstruction. It’s not something that should be attempted by an amateur. Only a professional can handle this.


The cause of a bathtub back-up can vary from a buildup on soap scum and hair to a blocked drainpipe, or even a backup in the sewer. By identifying the root cause, you can take steps to prevent the issue from recurring in the future. You can call a professional to help you if you don’t know how to fix your problem, or it’s more serious like a backup in the sewer line.