Slow bath tub drain

safetyfirst

hi. so I have a very slow tub drain. Used drank used plunger and still slow. Is this an old house problem or should I have a plumber come in to take a look?  The ceiling below tub has been removed due to a leak and the design drain itself seems like it

Could cause a slow drain as it dips down and then back up to a pipe. Any thoughts?   Thanks. 


jimmurphy

There is usually a small grate with a center screw covering the drain.  Remove both.  Use an unbent wire coat hanger with a hook bent onto the end and fish it down into the drain trap.  You'll be surprised how much hair and other gunk gets trapped down there.


FilmCarp

The curved pipe is an important part of the system, called the trap.  You or a plumber can remove it and clean it out if the ceiling is open.  Old houses do not necessarily drain slowly.


Mike
jimmurphy said:
There is usually a small grate with a center screw covering the drain.  Remove both.  Use an unbent wire coat hanger with a hook bent onto the end and fish it down into the drain trap.  You'll be surprised how much hair and other gunk gets trapped down there.

 After doing this look for the chrome plate screwed to the tub just under the tub spout.   This is where you may have a lever to stop up the tub to take a bath.   Unscrew this and lift out what may be a series of links.    Use the coat hanger to reach down to attempt to grab any hair that is further down the pipe.   Clean off the hair or soap that may have collected on the linkage and put it all back.   


Mike

how much of the ceiling is exposed?    Many of these old houses have galvanized steel pipe for drain lines which does have a life to it.   If none of the above works and you have to bring in a plumber it may be worth considering having some or all of the exposed section replaced.   I’ve seen plumbers snakes go right through old galvanized pipe necessitating it’s replacement.   Good luck. 


joan crystal

Depending on what is down there and where it is deposited, using a plunger may help.  I was able to remove a lot of hair from the tub drain that way.  Now I use a hair catcher over the drain.  Easy to clean, cheap, you can get one at the supermarket or housewares/hardware store.  Keeps the problem from reoccurring. 


Debra

there are various drain uncloggers on the market with enzymes that consume what is blocking your drain without causing pipe damage. Don’t use Drano. https://www.homedepot.com/p/Enzyme-Drain-Cleaner-ENZ1X1/304196627


drummerboy

There are also more powerful drain cleaners than drano, though you need to be careful with them.I've used one called Instant Power Hair and Grease Removal which was very effective. Buy yourself some plastic safety goggles if you get this one.


yahooyahoo
drummerboy said:
There are also more powerful drain cleaners than drano, though you need to be careful with them.I've used one called Instant Power Hair and Grease Removal which was very effective. Buy yourself some plastic safety goggles if you get this one.

Instant Power Hair and Grease has the same active ingredient as Drano which is lye.



Eric
FilmCarp said:
The curved pipe is an important part of the system, called the trap.  You or a plumber can remove it and clean it out if the ceiling is open.  Old houses do not necessarily drain slowly.

 This.  But make sure you put it back on the drain pipe.  The trap also blocks any sewer gas from entering your house through that drain. 



steel

Sad to report that you may also have old galvanized drain pipes which through the ages of rock-hard mineral build-up and gunk have now reduced the size inside the pipes to that of a dime.

If all of the suggested remedies above fail and a plumber fails to snake it clear you may have to open the ceiling and have a plumber replace the galvanized with new PVC. (I did this myself in my own kitchen and was also able to improve the downward pitch at the same time, -not fun).

Then again as the old joke goes, -Well, so what if it takes 45 minutes to drain? -Surely you won't be needin' to take another shower in 45 minutes!

Best wishes. 


Tom

I always found Drano and the enzyme cleaners to be useless for bathtub drains. Use Liquid Plumber instead. You wouldn't think there would be much of a difference, but for those kinds of clogs there really is. 


Tom

but definitely try the bent coat-hanger thing first.


terp

I took that trap thing off once and this clown asked me if I wanted a balloon.  Does anyone have a good real estate agent?


Jonathan

This works for me. Pour half the bottle in the drain just before I go to bed. Flush with hot water in the morning. Dissolves the hair. Sold at home Depot.


safetyfirst

thanks for all your help. I have tried drano and the plunger but neither worked. I will try cleaning the trap myself otherwise I will call plumber. Thanks so much!


jimmurphy
terp said:
I took that trap thing off once and this clown asked me if I wanted a balloon.  Does anyone have a good real estate agent?

 Channeling Robert Cassotto?


mrincredible

If you pour drain opener down the drain do NOT try a plunger for a while. Like hours... it should say how long to wait.

You don't want that **** splashing around.


drummerboy
yahooyahoo said:


drummerboy said:
There are also more powerful drain cleaners than drano, though you need to be careful with them.I've used one called Instant Power Hair and Grease Removal which was very effective. Buy yourself some plastic safety goggles if you get this one.
Instant Power Hair and Grease has the same active ingredient as Drano which is lye.


 that may be true, but the Instant Power is definitely nastier. For one thing, the container comes in sealed plastic bag. I don't even bother with Drano anymore - it seems to be the least effective of the bunch.


blackcat

We use this at our house. Crazy the amount of gunk it pulls out. Just a few bucks at HD.


mrmaplewood

Had a similar problem a few years ago in my older home.  Long story short, it was the result of settling of the frame house.  It required a complete re-do of the bathroom to re-establish proper tilt of the tub.  This sounds like what you describe, but I hope I am wrong.

Edited for more clarity:

My tub drain had dropped lower, but the drain pipe did not itself drop straight down.  Instead it ran back up to the other side of the tub before dropping down.  This is where my tilt went awry.  Your tilt problem may be local to the tub, or may be more severe.



Wish you luck.


Tom
blackcat said:
We use this at our house. Crazy the amount of gunk it pulls out. Just a few bucks at HD.

 We had a backed-up bathtub drain that we couldn't fix with anything. Finally gave up and called a plumber. He took everything apart, and found half of one of these, broken off in the trap.


So be careful...


Tom

Even Drano is quite dangerous. I've used it successfully several times in our bathtub drain. But once I didn't aim it right, and it landed near the drain in the tub, and the fumes came up. My eyes started burning, so I ran out and put a fan in the bathroom and stayed away for hours.

A snake can sometimes do the job.


lanky
blackcat said:
We use this at our house. Crazy the amount of gunk it pulls out. Just a few bucks at HD.

 I use this, then baking soda with white vinegar followed by boiling water....


GGartrell

When you plunge a tub you have to make sure you cover the snorkel if you have one (dont know the real name) or you wont get the vacuum effect you need to move the clog. there's usually a hole someplace that I think does double duty preventing over filling and the chug effect when draining the tub. Mine is hidden under the drain lever. I cover it with a wet face cloth to make a kind of seal when I've had to clear the drain in the past. Of course if the clog is close enough to the drain you can just remove the grate and snake it. I got a thin one just for the tub because the one I have for the toilet couldn't make the turn. Never has success with chemicals unless the clog caused standing water. Then they seem to work great. 




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