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Thread: Dirt in bathtub trap - Push on or vacuum out?

  1. #1

    Default Dirt in bathtub trap - Push on or vacuum out?

    I'm digging out the crawl space under my bathroom and am getting lots of dirt in my bathtub trap. Partly from shoveling dirt over the tub and partly from my being quite dirty and taking showers each day.

    Anyway more and more dirt is getting flushed down the tub drain and it is draining slower and slower.

    I'm thinking that it might be best to vacuum the dirt out with a garden hose attached to a shop vac rather than try to snake it or push the dirt further along in the drain. (Because maybe the dirt would just stay in the bottom of the drain pipe and not move along?)
    Last edited by Billy_Bob; 05-15-2008 at 06:35 AM.

  2. #2
    Plumber gear junkie's Avatar
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    How are you getting dirt in the trap? Something's not making sense.

  3. #3
    DIY Senior Member taysan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Billy_Bob View Post
    ...Partly from shoveling dirt over the tub and partly from my being quite dirty and taking showers each day...
    Cover the tub and if you're THAT dirty, hose off before jumping in the shower.

    I'm sure everyone would love to see pics of this project. Why are you having to shovel dirt over your functioning bath tub in order to dig out a crawlspace under the bathroom?

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by taysan View Post
    ...Why are you having to shovel dirt over your functioning bath tub in order to dig out a crawlspace under the bathroom?
    Old house built in the 1930's... I'm enlarging the bathroom and have moved a wall on the back side of the tub back about 5 ft.

    The wood floor around the tub was rotted out and I needed to dig out the crawl space to get to the pipes to move the tub back (was about 8 inches clearance under there!).

    As I had to replace the floor anyway, I cut it out there. But I had to shovel the dirt OVER the tub to the wheelbarrow. Got a little dirt in the tub which I tried to get out. But some remained and went into the trap.

    This is a one bathroom house, so quite a challenge to keep the shower working during remodeling. Needless to say, my house is a big mess!

    I would be embarrassed to show pictures of this "bathroom design engineering marvel". To give you a hint, the 2 x 6 floor joists are 24 inches OC and one bathroom wall, which is a bearing wall, has no bottom plate.

    The bearing wall 2 x 6's (which are 16" OC) are held up by the wood floor and nailed to the wood floor...

    Well there was a water heater which leaked in this area and the floor was rotted out (W/H was right next to tub). So basically there was nothing holding up some of the studs in the bearing wall! (One of these studs is quite important in the scheme of things BTW).

    Someone repairing the water heater replaced some of the floor with patchwork plywood (wrong thickness), but did not fix the structural issues, nor did they replace the rotted subfloor.

    I like doing this sort of work and lumber prices are down, so good time to fix all this.

    Note: I dug out the crawl space with a Bosh hammer with spade bit. This would losen the dirt, then I could rake the dirt back to the opening, then shovel it out. (We don't have vacuum excavators for rent in my area.)

    Anyway now I can finally get to the plumbing and add a bit of support for a few things under there.

  5. #5
    Plumber patrick88's Avatar
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    Wow man that is tuff.

    I have done some digging with a rake and shop vac. Works nice.
    If you are moving the tub a little you will need to upgrade the drain a bit. I would just deal with it till you can fix it from under the tub with a new trap.

    You will drive your self crazy trying to remove dirt from a tub drain.
    I'm just starting to work with an old friend of mine to bring solar electric and hot water systems, wind turbines, Flex Fuel Boilers, batteries, hydroponic gardening, books, pellet grills and more. Also the parts for DIY installation.

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