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Examine the plumbing system for your claw foot bathtub. Claw foot bathtubs have an exposed plumbing system. The most popular configuration for this system uses a rubber stopper in the bottom of the drain. Another popular configuration uses a stopper that lifts and turns.
Remove the screen over the overflow valve by loosening the screw that holds the screen in place with a flat head screw driver. For chain a screen assemblies, the screen is connected to the rubber stopper with a chain. For a lift and turn assembly, you must unscrew the drain plug by turning it counter clockwise. Set the overflow valve and the stopper and chain aside.
Examine the inside of the pipes if the water drains slowly from the tub. You may be able to see the clog if it is close to the stopper. If so, pull the clog out of your drain with your fingers. If the clog is very deep, or the tub is filled with water, cover the drain overflow valve with a wet rag to block it. Place a plunger over the drain hole and work the plunger by pushing inward and pulling outward until the clog loosens and the bathtub drains freely.
Pour water that is almost boiling down the drain. The hot water flushes oils, hair, soaps and dirt out of the pipes.
Insert a pipe snake into your pipes. A pipe snake resembles a thin piece of metal with a spring on the end. Thread the snake into the pipes until it meets resistance. This is likely the clog location. Twist the auger to insert the spring into the clog. Then pull the auger out. The spring on the auger latches onto any hair or other fibrous material and pulls it out.
Pour dry baking soda into your pipes. Turn on your taps a little to wash the baking soda deeper into the pipes. Pour vinegar into the pipes after the baking soda. The vinegar and baking soda bubble, fizz and expand to scour the pipes and loosen oil or soap deposits and help remove the clog.
Replace the drain and overflow valve when you finish unclogging your bathtub.