Mysterious Clogged Tub Drain

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DeterminedDIY

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Hello!

My husband and I are new homeowners and are taking up plumbing in our free time...with the new house, lol.

We have a mysterious drain issue that we cannot seem to resolve, here is the series of events.

- Moved in and everything worked fine. The house is mid 1960's block house in Florida with little to no trees on the lot. The house has cast iron/copper/PVC pipes.

- After moving in we noticed that the tub in the guest bath drains extremely slow. My husband snaked it and it seemed fixed. When he snaked it he pulled up some really foul smelling hair. After a week or so the problem came back. Snaked again - same thing. Hair, bad smell, and it seemed to fix it. This has happened several times in the past few months.

- We noticed the toilet burping in the same bathroom and decided to try and flush some water with our garden house down the vent in the roof. Husband snaked it as well and felt as though he knocked something loose. We both showered afterwards and had no issues. All tubs/toilets seemed to be working great.

- The next day after my husband showered, he flushed the toilet and water began backing up into the shower in the master bathroom. We snaked the cleanout at the front of the house where we knocked a bunch of stuff loose that looked like paper towels. The plumbing seemed to be working better than ever after this.

- A week later, we're back to the original problems. Clogged/slow draining tub and burping toilet.

We're new homeowners on a budget and with a huge drive to try and DIY everything. Both of us are very handy and we own lots of tools... What could this be?

Thanks!

Determined DIY
 

Terry

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Baby wipes, flushable wipes, paper towels, none of these should ever be flushed. Anything that says "wipe" will never break down and we find them clogging everything downstream.

I have also seen issues when toilets aren't flushed as often as they should be. There is a lot of salt in urine that cakes up on the inside of pipes.
 

DeterminedDIY

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Hey Terry, thank you for the quick response! Yes, we're aware none of those items can be flushed, but this clog just seems impossible! We have noticed black sand like substance coming up when we plunge the drain. Is that normal when unclogging a drain?
 

Terry

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Hey Terry, thank you for the quick response! Yes, we're aware none of those items can be flushed, but this clog just seems impossible! We have noticed black sand like substance coming up when we plunge the drain. Is that normal when unclogging a drain?

I mention the wipes for everyone. The home you bought has been in use for years, and it looks like you are cleaning up past problems now.
In most home in the 60's used cast iron or copper. Normally cast on the pipes in the slab or the large ones in the crawl space. Copper might have been done above the floor level. Black sand could also be tile grout that was washed down the drain. Never a good idea.
 
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