Chronic Tub and Branch Drain Clogging
I have a 2nd floor bathroom in a 50-year-old house with high-maintenance drains. The tub drain clogs every four months or so; snaking it pulls out a medium-sized hair clog. When we first moved in, the sink drain started to have problems. Water draining from it started bubbling up the tub drain, along with a fair amount of black gritty material. Clogged branch drain, I guess. I removed the trap from the sink and snaked out the drain. I had to replace the small stub of pipe coming out of the wall, and noticed that the drain appears to be galvanized steel, with some rust on the inside (welding itself shut?). Now, for the second time in two years, the branch drain has clogged again.
The toilet seems to flush fine. The only hint of trouble from it is occasional movement of the water in the bowl, usually during windy days. I would imagine that this is due to wind blowing down the stack on the roof, which isn't too far from the bathroom, though I would not discount the possibility of a problem with the stack.
Any suggestions? Perhaps I could rent an auger (more heavy-duty than my hand snake). Any particular size? Any particular cutter? I don't want to damage the pipes.
I can rip up the floor if I have to, as I'll be doing it anyway to install a better substrate for ceramic tile. I'd rather not rip the walls apart if I can avoid it.