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"Curse you plugged drain!!!!!" Topic

10 Posts

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731 hits since 1 Jun 2011
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Dropzonetoe Fezian01 Jun 2011 5:26 p.m. PST

As some of you know I inherited a house after my Mother-in-law passed away. She had stopped doing any repairs to to sometime in the early 90's and just seemed to coast on with friendly repairs from neighbors, church members and me when I would come back into the state on leave from the Army.

So replaced a 30year old hot water heater replaced piles of old copper piping, take a hot shower in the working bathtub and all is good in the world.

Two days later the tub does not want to do down. Plunged it, tried a novice hand at snaking it, about ready to sledgehammer my way down to what ever is blocking it!

Before I decide to "renovate" it, and old hand suggestions?

kyoteblue Inactive Member01 Jun 2011 5:43 p.m. PST

Dude, you have my sympathy.

Cpt Arexu Inactive Member01 Jun 2011 5:45 p.m. PST

Drano? Fixed my stopped drain issue.

Cold Steel Inactive Member01 Jun 2011 5:49 p.m. PST

Plungers don't work too well in sinks and tubs because they have an overflow drain that acts against the vacuum action. If the tub is the only thing not draining, then the plug is probably in the P trap just below the drain and is composed of lots of hair. You have several options. Plug the overflow drain with something like wax or clay, then try the plunger again. Or get the strongest industrial grade drain cleaner from the local plumbing supply store, not the cheap stuff from a big box. Another option is rent a power snake. If none of those work, look for an access panel on the opposite side of the wall closest to the drain, probably in a closet. You should be able to disassemble the P trap from there. Empty the water from the tub first!

Dropzonetoe Fezian01 Jun 2011 6:14 p.m. PST

I plugged the overflow with a rag before I started to plunge it, and I used a plastic thing with barbs to pull out a clump of hair at the drain. It still didn't go down. so I disasembled the drain cover and ran in a manual snake but I just seemed to bend up the coil on it more than get it to move down the pipe.

The kitchen and bathroom sink will back up if they are left on and will eventually overflow into the tub filling it back up.

coryfromMissoula01 Jun 2011 6:25 p.m. PST

I'd be careful of the Draino route, having had numerous apartments flooded over the years by cleaners (even pipe safe ones) that ate through old pipes long before they got through the plug.

If the back upped water is effecting more than the tub, then your best bet may be running the snake down the vent pipe – the one on the roof! Just be careful.

Cold Steel Inactive Member02 Jun 2011 4:39 a.m. PST

If more than 1 drain is clogging, the problem probably isn't the tub. Drains are like a tree; each tub, sink and toilet feed to a larger drain pipe until they come together and lead outside the house. The clog is somewhere along the tree. Rent a power snake about 100 feet long and run it through a disassembled P trap as far as it will go or down through the roof vent like Cory suggests.

pphalen Inactive Member02 Jun 2011 5:51 a.m. PST

Are there any cleanouts downstream of the drains?
It is messy and smelly, but if you can get the power snake under the clog it helps loosen it up.

Dropzonetoe Fezian02 Jun 2011 9:36 a.m. PST

I cannot get under the tub – the basement once had a small crawlspace to get to it(only way) and then they ran heating vents through it so I would have to tear out the bathroom floor to have access to under there or tear out ductwork.

I broke through the wall to see what I could do from the back side – and to just see what it looked like, some the old pipes were pretty bad.

The p trap seems really tight and I think that might be the source of the problem. I tried loosening the pipe but there is next to no room to move in the confines of the little area from the top.

This is it looking down the floor hole in the wall.

This is the p trap from a different angle.

Might be calling in a plumber to handle this for me.. nice guy and does all the family jobs and has done it for many many years.

Cold Steel Inactive Member02 Jun 2011 1:51 p.m. PST

From your photos, you may end up having to cut some pipes to get the P trap apart and that is a bear of a job. It may end up being cheaper to just replace the whole tub. But if other sinks are clogging up, you have something besides or in addition to a clogged P trap. Start with the easiest and cheapest options first: the power snake from the roof vent or clean out plug.

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