Re: Bathtub clogs easily
Posted by More on November 30, 2001 at 00:11:57:
In response to Re: Bathtub clogs easily
The bathtub 1 1/4 inch drain line is tied to the main 4 inch sewer line usually within the ten foot distance of the bathroom floor. A house built in 1955 on slab on grade very likely does not have a lead sewer line, but more likely has a cast iron sewer line that was installed according to the Uniform Building Code (UBC). Most often at that time the building inspector would visit the house, and make a drawing on the back of the inspection card which showed the location of the fittings and the clean outs. You would be well advised to visit the department of Building and Safety, ask to see a copy of the Permit, and ask if such a drawing exists for your home. When there is a four inch cleanout available, upstream of the tub, you would want a LICENSED plumber to roto snake the main line all the way to the main line sewer in the street. While preparing for that, fill the tub 1/4 full with cold water. When the roto snake can be heard passing under the slab near the bathroom, drain the tub. Likely you will see black foul water come back, and after three minutes, all the water will rush quickly away. The roto snake with a three inch cutter will bang around loudly in a four inch cast iron sewer. The "wye" fitting where the 1 1/4 inch tub drain connects to the 4 inch sewer likely has fibrous material from wash cloths, soap, luffa brushes, hair, bikini top strings, lingere pieces, and stuff like that stuck in the joints where they meet. The roto snake will pull at them, and the weight of the cold water in the tub will push them toward the agitiation of the roto snake. When they do break free, the weight of the water will push them farther into the 4 inch line to be carried away by the powerful rotosnake.

Rotosnaking from a roof vent with a 1 inch cutter in a 2 inch roof vent will not have the same effect, once the 1 inch cutter enters the four inch main.

If you still have trouble, e-mail me at

: :Yes, I tried snaking it. I've not ever done this, and probably went about 10 feet once....most of the time I cannot get the snake to go that far in. Does it sound like it is just a clog to you though?

: : Hello. I have a question about my bathtub. I moved into a slab house built in 1955. The bathtub has been slow/clogging for a few months. I pour Drano down it (which I realize will harm it after a bit), and it usually works for the slowness of the draining. But typically within a few days to a week, it becomes extremely slow or clogged again. A plumber told me he could snake it, but that I may have lead pipes that could very easily bust if he snakes it - which would cause a lot of damage and expense I guess. My question is what to do. Is it a clog problem since Drano appears to usually work? I have had to actually plunge it twice when Drano did not work. I would think it is clogging, or Drano wouldn't work at all. But I don't know what else to do. I bought a hand crank auger and tried going in through the overflow, to no avail. I could not pull out any gunk or clear the drain. Please let me know if you have any suggestions. Thank you.

: : Teena,
: : I would be thinking you may have hair in the line, Did you go through the top of the overflow? I find most hair stoppages within 10 feet.

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