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Thread: Cleaning out a drum trap

  1. #16
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default trap

    The traps were designed to be installed with the plug on the top. I have never seen, and cannot visualize one which would have the outlet pipe higher than the cover, because they were intended to be able to snake them with water running. How about a picture. Your snake is proably too small to open the entire pipe opening, especially if it is the HD $9.95 special.

  2. #17
    DIY Junior Member dkmoody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GitMoFunky View Post
    I came across a neat little idea for cleaning out a drum trap that has worked out very well for me. I have a drum trap submerged in the concrete floor of my basement with only the lead top/cap exposed, so the trap cannot be easily replaced without costly concrete work to the floor. This drum trap is the style where the cap covers the entire 4" diameter of the top of the trap and has a 1" square nut in the center. This trap has been there since 1949 and the cap was sufficiently stuck to where it could not be removed without damaging the trap. I took a 2" hole saw and drilled a 2" hole through the cap, centered over/around the 1" nut. It took a little while, but ended up with a clean 2" hole, big enough to get the shop vac and snake through. When I was done, I used a 2", wing nut/compression style, clean-out cap to plug the hole. It is easily removed and resecured for clean outs as needed. Hope this is of value to someone out there as it was to me!
    After years of issues, a trip to our hardware store, some cutting oil and a little patience... This solution worked very well. I purchased a tapered extention tube for my shop vac and now have a 1.5" tube to stick into the 2" hole. The trap is clean and this tub/shower runs smoother than ever!

    Very simple.

    Thank you!!!

  3. #18
    DIY Junior Member jgold47's Avatar
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    Detroit, MI
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    Does anyone have any suggestions when the top of the drum is inacessable? mine is clogging every 2-3 months and so far we have been able to get a shopvac on the overflow tube of the tub and can clear it so it works, but it clogs right back up.

    Any reason not to use a shopvac?

  4. #19
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    Default

    Drum traps are no longer legal and should be removed. Each fixture should have a P trap and that is sufficient. I do not think the Shop Vac will hurt anything.

  5. #20
    DIY Member mliu's Avatar
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    Feb 2007
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    California
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    Quote Originally Posted by patsingleton View Post
    The outlet that is a cast part of the trap curves up 90 degrees, and then, just above the level of the cap, curves out again. Those curves are part of the trap casting. The outlet is high enough that if I ran water with the cap off, even with the drain completely clear, it would overflow rather than run to the drain.
    Sounds to me like the trap was installed backwards (i.e., the inlet is being used as the outlet).

  6. #21
    Semi retired master plumber freeflow's Avatar
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    A 4 inch rubber test cap(or what ever size you need) works great to seal drum traps after cap has been cut off. Then you can get it off and on easily with a screwdriver or a nut driver .This even works under house when drum trap is upside down,but would be tough if drum trap is buried in cement up to top of trap, then screw in a 3 '' pvc cap use silicone on threads to keep from leaking when it blocks again.Its up to you whether to drill hole in top of pvc cap and fix your self a place for future cleaning. In most cases the rubber test cap does the trick!! Easy @ quick, no worry about stripped threads.
    Last edited by freeflow; 03-14-2012 at 05:58 PM. Reason: spelling

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