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Thread: Bathtub Clogged, Can't get cover plate off (no screws)

  1. #1

    Default Bathtub Clogged, Can't get cover plate off (no screws)

    My bathtub has been draining slowly. I tried Drano overnight and it seemed better. Last night, after doing the dishes, I went into the bathroom and the tub (a deep soaking tub) was filled with eight inches of greasy black-ish water with bits of black pieces on the bottom of the tub. I tried plunging, nothing happened. It slowly drained overnight, but now the drain is completely clogged.

    The coverplate does not have screws on it. It is a chrome circle which turns to allow the drain to close and open. There is only a small hole on the bottom. I don't know how to remove it to snake the drain.

    Additionally, I only have the kind of snake that is traditionally for toilets--is this ok to use on the drain?

  2. #2
    DIY Senior Member Mike Swearingen's Avatar
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    Instead of using a snake, plunger or a casutic crain cleaner, try using a good non-caustic enzyme-based drain cleaner like DrainCare to dissolve all of that black gunk.
    You just run a little warm water in, pour in the DrainCare, let it eat overnight, and then flush it down with real hot water the next day. I usually start the flushing with a kettle of boiling water. If it is really badly clogged, you may have to do this more than once.
    Good Luck!
    Mike

  3. #3
    DIY Senior Member Livin4Real's Avatar
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    have you tried twisting it farther to see if it will start unthreading?
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    Jack of all trades frenchie's Avatar
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    STOP! That's not a cover plate, it's the top half of a drain assembly.

    A tub drain is 2 parts - one below, one above. The seal is a rubber gasket, sits between the tub and the bottom half of the assembly, gets compressed when they're screwed into each other.

    If you unscrew it, you will be taking the drain apart - water will now just flow out all over the place.

    In other words, you can't snake a tub (or a sink, for that matter) through the drain. You have to take apart the elbow underneath, and snake the main pipe, instead.


    When you plunged it, did you block the overflow? Because if you didn't, you weren't actually plunging it, just moving air back & forth between the drain & the overflow. No suction in the pipe = no plunging.

    Personal trick: I find that powdered laundry detergent (poured into the drain before lots of vigorous plunging), for some reason, helps clear slow tubs. I think because it helps break up the soap residue, which is the "glue" for most of those clogs? Not sure. Just know it seems to help...
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  5. #5
    DIY Senior Member Livin4Real's Avatar
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    I didn't know if theirs was a "toe-touch" drain like ours where you push it down to plug the drain then push down again to release. The top part that you step on unscrews to expose the strainer below.
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  6. #6

    Default Snake the drain

    If the overflow plate does not have a lever on it, just remove the plate and run your snake through the overflow opening. If it does have a lever on it, remove the plate and pull out the linkage with the drain stopper plug attatched to the end of it and snake the drain. Dont use a snake that is made for a toilet to do this---use a sink snake.

  7. #7
    Plumber Cass's Avatar
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    You may just be able to grab the drain stopper and slowly, (it is full of hair and may be hard to pull,) pull it into the tub exposing the drain.

    I have pulled out hair 3' long and as round as a quarter from some drains.

    It is nasty.

    Then you may be able to run water and flush the drain, remove the hair from the stopper and replace it.

  8. #8
    DIY Senior Member MG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Livin4Real View Post
    I didn't know if theirs was a "toe-touch" drain like ours where you push it down to plug the drain then push down again to release. The top part that you step on unscrews to expose the strainer below.
    Yep - we have one of those, and w/two daughters that have very long hair I have to open that thing up every couple of months to clean it out. Luckily its not tough.
    Note: I am a DIY'er and not a professional. My posts here are observations / opinions and may or may not be in accordance with your local ordinances.

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