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Thread: Cleaning out a drum trap

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  1. #1

    Default Cleaning out a drum trap

    Our old house has a drum trap on the tub and it's flowing extremely slowly. I've snaked into the trap, but can't get it clear. I've also tried the enzymatic drain liquids, but they haven't help either.

    The next step seems to be to get in the drum and clear it out by hand.

    I have access to the top of the drum. The cap seems to be bronze (?). A 3/4-inch square head sticks up from the top of the cap, and I'm trying to figure out how to turn it -- there isn't quite the swing for a crescent wrench down in the hole where the trap is. Is there a tool for this? Any other ideas?

    thanks, Pat Singleton

  2. #2
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Replace the drum trap with a p-trap? if you can get the old one apart without breaking something, it might be a pain to get it back together without it leaking. A p-trap can be snaked; a drum trap can't. Hair is more likely to go down the drain if a p-trap is used...it likes to accumulate in a drum trap.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  3. #3
    Master Plumber Redwood's Avatar
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    Sawzalls work great for cleaning drum traps!

  4. #4
    DIY Junior Member greekguy7's Avatar
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    Try using a hammer and chisel to get the drum trap cover to start turning to get it off. Worst case, you have to cut the drum trap cover off. You can always buy a new brass cover, a lead fits-all cover or even a rubber expandable one if the threads are bad. Once the cover is off, you can try cleaning the drum trap out and running your snake thru there.

    This is why many people just replace the drum trap entire and install a p trap in its place, but thats not a minor job for an amateur either.

  5. #5

    Default thanks

    I'll try the hammer and chisel on the cap. Getting the cap off, cleaning out the hair and putting a cap back on is at my skill level. Replacing the trap is way beyond me, and would involve opening up much more of the floor.

    thanks again.

  6. #6
    DIY Junior Member greekguy7's Avatar
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    Make sure you clean out the drum trap itself too. You need to determine if the clog is before or after the drum trap and rod out the input or output of the drum trap. what are you using to rod it out?

  7. #7
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default trap

    Drum trap covers almost always have to be cut off, which is why my dad said they made them thin. Your problem will be if you have a fine thread version because they no longer make replacement covers for them. Otherwise any hardware store has standard coarse thread replacement. You do not have to clean it out by hand, because the problem is not in the drum trap it is in the outlet pipe and you need your snake there, assuming you have one that will do the job.

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