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Thread: Slow Bathtub Drain

  1. #1
    DIY Member Backglass's Avatar
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    Default Slow Bathtub Drain

    I also have a slow tub drain question:

    Like the other thread, my tub is also plumbed the same way (drain pipe runs back and under the full length of the tub). I haven't measured the drop in pipe, but will as this could explain things. Mine backs up more like 2" in 15 minutes however. I have removed the trap and snaked the pipe, all of which are clean.

    My question is about the drain in the tub itself. It seems that due to the pop-up mechanism, the hole through which water flows is very small. (Kohler Clearflo) Could it be as simple as this? Any of you plumbers know if this drain set has restricted flow?


  2. #2

    Default Same kind of drain

    That's funny, If your pic is correct, you've got the same kind of drain system I have with the pop-up drain stop. I was wondering if those pop-up drain stops just don't let enough water through and causes a back-up. Anybody have any experience with them?

  3. #3

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    I bet there is a build up of stuff in the horizontal drain line.

    I hope this link will work
    http://images1.hdpi.com/product_enlarged/clearflo.jpg

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    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Default

    Those drains typically have an adjustable shaft on them to adjust the max height of the stopper. This allows the thing to accommodate different thickness tubs (say from CI to fiberglass). Yours may need to be adjusted so it opens more. I'd raise it as high as you can go and still allow it to close and seal. Then see what happens.

    Not maintaining the proper slope risks a buildup of soap scum, hair, etc. on the inside of the horizontal drain pipe.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

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    Homeowner geniescience's Avatar
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    Default water in tub, during shower.

    just to be sure we have the same mental image, what do the words "back up" mean / not mean? A real slow tub drain lets water out, during a stand up shower in the tub, but water doesn't come back up... the level gradually builds up during a shower. A real slow tub drain lets water out, after a bath, but water doesn't come back up... A good test to perform is to measure the time it takes to drain a full tub. Stopper the drain, then remove the stopper. Not an open drain during a shower.

    in both cases, there is a long pipe. More than 5 feet long. That is not common.

    Looking at the picture in the first post, remove the Tee and rotate it a 1/4 turn (90 degrees). Is that what you have sending drain water horizontally, to a distant P trap? Or is the P trap right under that tailpiece (the last pipe, going downwards) with its tailpiece sending water horizontally more than five feet away?

    david
    Last edited by geniescience; 07-24-2007 at 06:09 AM.

  6. #6
    DIY Member Backglass's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by geniescience
    just to be sure we have the same mental image, what do the words "back up" mean / not mean? A real slow tub drain lets water out, during a stand up shower in the tub, but water doesn't come back up... the level gradually builds up during a shower. A real slow tub drain lets water out, after a bath, but water doesn't come back up...
    Sorry for the poor description. Yes during a standup shower the water builds up. Nothing ever comes back out of the drain. It does drain fully a minute or two after the shower, it just takes it's time and can't seem to keep up with the volume of water from the shower head.

    Quote Originally Posted by geniescience
    A good test to perform is to measure the time it takes to drain a full tub. Stopper the drain, then remove the stopper. Not an open drain during a shower.
    I will do this. How long should it take to empty with 1-1/2 pipe?

    Quote Originally Posted by geniescience
    Looking at the picture in the first post, remove the Tee and rotate it a 1/4 turn (90 degrees). Is that what you have sending drain water horizontally, to a distant P trap? Or is the P trap right under that tailpiece (the last pipe, going downwards) with its tailpiece sending water horizontally more than five feet away?
    It is installed exactly as pictured with the trap connected directly under the tailpiece. That after the trap, the pipe runs horizontally the length of the tub. I will try to take a picture tonight.
    Last edited by Backglass; 07-24-2007 at 07:09 AM.

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    Homeowner geniescience's Avatar
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    forget the benchmarking exercise. Based on what is getting diagnosed in the bholder thread, I'd suggest you tell us more about
    1. the connections downline, to the stack, and how the connections are configured.
    2. how long since anyone did any DIY re-plumbing anywhere in the house.

    David

  8. #8
    DIY Member Backglass's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by geniescience
    forget the benchmarking exercise. Based on what is getting diagnosed in the bholder thread, I'd suggest you tell us more about
    1. the connections downline, to the stack, and how the connections are configured.
    2. how long since anyone did any DIY re-plumbing anywhere in the house.

    David
    Well, that's the problem. We have only been in this house for 2 months and it was an as-is foreclosure (bank owned) so there is a mystery at every turn! From what I have heard of the former owner from the neighbors, the looks of it and the fact that it is a whirlpool tub, I don't believe it was a DIY install.

    It appears that the tub drain pipe heads toward the vanity and toilet which are at the opposite (non drain) end of the tub, both of which drain perfect. When the tub is draining after a shower, I can hear water gurgling in the vicinity of the vanity/wall. The connection appears to be in the wall behind the vanity.

  9. #9
    Homeowner geniescience's Avatar
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    i'll let you figure out more where your pipes go, and later others can carry the ball further. A sideview and a topview diagram will help.

    since you just got into the house, and you know nothing of its history, you have some detective work to do.

    david

  10. #10
    DIY Member Backglass's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by geniescience
    i'll let you figure out more where your pipes go, and later others can carry the ball further. A sideview and a topview diagram will help.

    since you just got into the house, and you know nothing of its history, you have some detective work to do.

    david
    Well, the wife want to rip out the vanity and toilet eventually anyway, so that will be my opportunity to dig into the wall.

    I will work on the pics & diagrams tonight.

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