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Thread: Partially slow running drains?

  1. #1

    Default Partially slow running drains?

    Hello,

    I just moved into a new place (a 50 year old apartment building) and got the bathroom renovated (direct replacement of fixtures). After all the work was done, I noticed that my tub is draining slowly when in use. When I am using the faucet, the drain will never drain fast enough. When I turn on the shower, the water level will reach about 2" for the first five minutes and then it will start draining properly. When I fill the tub with water it will drain quite fast, but it has problems with draining small amounts of water, for example, a bucket of water poured into the tub will take much longer than it should.

    Similar thing happened with my bathroom sink. For a short wile, I did not have a p-trap connected to the drain, it was a 90 degree elbow instead. The point is, the water was draining very fast with the elbow, but it is almost identical situation to my tub after the p-trap was installed. When filled, the sink will drain quickly, but when I wash my hands, i end up with about 1.5" of water in the sink that will take it's sweet time to drain. Also,
    water draining from the sink makes a very peculiar noise, it sounds just like water being poured into the tub from the faucet, and just as loud...

    The only reason both of those fixtures are a problem for me is that the slow draining water will not take away any crap that is floating in the fixture, instead, the dirt in the water or even the soap suds will end up on the bottom.

    The old tub had one of those vertical 2' columns next to it used for stopping the drain. I believe my plumber cut that column off just below the floor level and capped it. I thought this was some sort of a vent for the tub (inside of the bathroom?) but that would not explain why the sink is draining so slow as well.

    When I questioned my plumber about this, he said that the drain pipes have 50 years of buildup in them, fair enough, but if that was the case, why would my sink drain so fast with the elbow and so slow with a p-trap??

    Can something be done to improve the draining speed of my tub and sink?

    Any advice will be appreciated,

    thanks

  2. #2
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    Sep 2004
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    Default

    I don't have much good news for you. It is likely the drain pipe is galvanized steel which is highly corroded, probably nearly closed. There is only one real cure, a very costly replacement of the drain lines. You might get some improvement with a professional augering, but that could backfire if the pipes are really badly rusted as the auger could open the pipes. I will tell you one thing not to do. Do not use chemical drain openers. The not only don't work on corroded drains, they could eat right through the pipes.

  3. #3
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Aug 2004
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    Default drain

    It depends on the type of drain the sink has. A sink without an overflow WILL have that problem after you install the P trap.

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