How do I make the snake move in drain?

Discussion in 'Shower & bathtub Forum & Blog' started by deguza, Apr 5, 2009.

  1. deguza

    deguza New Member

    Messages:
    12
    Hello All:

    I finally figured out how to remove the overflow knob and now have vertical access to the bathtub drain. (You can read elsewhere on Internet by travails on this matter.)

    However, although I am able to get the snake in vertically, I cannot make it get it to move more that 2.5 feet. It hits something in the vertical PVC pipe and stops moving any further. I turned it and twisted as recommended on the packaging of the snake to no avail.

    I looked up the schematics of drains on the Internet, I am suspecting that the PVC is connected to a horizontal pipe at this point. The snake is probably not able to negotiate the bend.

    Any tricks in the trade would be appreciated.

    Deguza
  2. krow

    krow Plumber

    Messages:
    906
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    Make sure the snake you are using is 1/4" in diametre . You are stopped at the bath tub p-trap. Anything bigger than 1/4" would be hard to push in. Even if you manage to get any snake bigger than 1/4" in , there is no guarantee it will come out in 1 piece or come out at all.

    A spinning motion together with pushing on the cable should negotiate the p-trap bend
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2009
  3. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    I assume you are using something like a hand-crank cable? Keep the nozzle of the cannister within a few inches of the opening of the overflow. Push while turning. When it goes in, feed a few more inches of cable. repeat.
  4. kingsotall

    kingsotall Plunger/TurdPuncher

    What's the drainage problem¿ Is toilet backing into tub too¿
  5. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,270
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    snake

    The drain probably connects to a vertical pipe and the snake does not want to make the turn. No way to tell you how to do it, because it is something that is easier done than said. IT could even bet trying to go the wrong way, depending on how the piping is arranged.
  6. deguza

    deguza New Member

    Messages:
    12
    No backup from the toilet into the tub fortunately.
  7. deguza

    deguza New Member

    Messages:
    12
    Do you think I can access the piping in the crawl space? Would I be able to take apart the pipes down there?

    Deguza
  8. deguza

    deguza New Member

    Messages:
    12
    I checked the size of the snake, it is quarter inch in diameter. Of course, the head of the snake is larger.

    Last night I spent another 15 minutes, but still no luck.

    What if I were to dip the tip of the snake in grease? Would it make it easier?

    Deguza
  9. krow

    krow Plumber

    Messages:
    906
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    Sometimes, spinning counterclockwise and pushing the cable may give you the oppurtunity to get it in. Hopefully, there is no clean out cap on the bottom of the trap.(there isn't supposed to be one) If the clean out cap is thee, then your best bet would be access from your crawl space.




    Unlikely. All that will happen is that you will get grease or oil all over the place. I guess you won't know if you don't try
  10. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Messages:
    7,453
    Location:
    Connecticut
    I'm a pro and using my equipment I assure you I get through most tub traps in seconds of trying.

    With no experience and a hand snake you are destined for a long miserable journey...
    I would suggest calling a pro before your co workers start objecting to your aroma.
  11. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,270
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    drain

    One possibility, depending on how old the house is, is that you may have a drum trap, and if so NOTHING will get the snake to go where you want it to.
  12. SewerRatz

    SewerRatz Illinois Licensed Plumber

    Messages:
    1,706
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    If it is a long drum trap the snake can go through it. If its the short trap it will not. When I see its the short drum traps I walk in with my Ro-Pump and Kinetic Water Ram.

    [​IMG]
  13. deguza

    deguza New Member

    Messages:
    12
    How do I know if I have one of these traps? Go under the house?

    Thanks,

    Deguza
  14. deguza

    deguza New Member

    Messages:
    12
    I thought about this a bit more and checked on Internet. These traps seem to be several feet away from the location I am starting the snake at. I'm able to insert the snake only about 2 1/2 feet. I think I'm hitting something else. Probably the p-trap.

    Deguza
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2009
  15. deguza

    deguza New Member

    Messages:
    12
    Fortunately there is the local gym! I am taking my showers there. :) :D

    Deguza
  16. deguza

    deguza New Member

    Messages:
    12
    The house was built in 1950. It is located in San Jose, Santa Clara County. Do you think it might have a drum trap?

    Deguza
  17. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,270
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    drum trap

    We were still using them in Chicago in the 60's. I have never been able to snake through ANY drum trap without removing its cover. 2 1/2' is almost too far to be hitting a "P" trap, and even if you were the snake would slide right through it.
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