View Full Version : Slow tub drain.

12-12-2005, 06:18 AM
I ran the shower on the first floor for the first time and noticed the drain was slow. A typical length shower would result in 4-6 inches of water. I used three bottles of Drano foaming cleanser and that helped quite a bit. Now I get about 2 inches of water. I tried snaking it, but the hard right angle of the tub drain doesn't allow me enough leverage to push it in. I was going to try an acid based cleaner next but was worried about the possible effect on 80 old plumbing. The initial drain and overflow tube for the tub are bronze and the trap is galvanized that goes into cast iron. Any ideas?

12-12-2005, 12:59 PM
I would never use Draino or any other thing that pours down the drain.

Did you remove the lever plate on over-flow and pull the lever linkage out to gain access to clean?

If it's 80 years old, you may still have an old cast iron p-trap in the basement or crawl space. There should be a 11/2" brass plug on it as a clean out.

12-12-2005, 01:17 PM
I had the same trouble snaking through the overflow. The trap is all galvanized with a galv. plug as a cleanout...rusted solid.

Why wouldn't you use chemical cleaners?

12-12-2005, 01:24 PM
Go to lowes and buy a small 15' snake in a drum with a turn handle. Then remove the trip plate and snake down to the trap and as far as you can go. If it is 80 year old galv. drain you won't be taking any clean out cover off unless a miracle occurs or it has been removed on a regular basis. You may not be able to get beyond the trap. I use lye on occasion and under certain circumstances but I have a specific way of using it. It works every time.

Gary Swart
12-12-2005, 03:20 PM
The reasons drain cleaning chemicals are not recommended include the fact that they will not open are truely clogged drain and the chemicals create a hazzard for anyone working on the drain. I would venture a guess that you drain is only 1-1/2", and in something as old as you have, maybe even 1-/1/4". The small drain size will of course clogged easier than a 2". There may be an elbow that is not a wide radius and that would make snaking difficult. I would suggest that the best thing to do is to call in a professional plumber. Do tell him what chemicals you used, when you used them, and how much you used.

Mike Swearingen
12-12-2005, 04:59 PM
I never use caustic chemicals such as Drano, but I have successfully used enzyme-based drain cleaners for years, such as DrainCare.
An enzyme-based drain cleaner will not harm the tub/shower or the drain, or anyone working on it, but it will dissolve hair, soap scum, grease, and other organic gunk to clear sluggish drains.
You simply run warm water in the drain and pour in the enzyme-based drain cleaner, allow it to eat overnight, and then flush it down with very hot water. I start with a kettle of boiling water.
If it's really sluggish, you may have to use more than one treatment, but it WILL work.