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Thread: HEEEELP! Clogged tub drain

  1. #1
    DIY Member ho333ard's Avatar
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    Default HEEEELP! Clogged tub drain

    One of my tenant's bathtub drains suddenly stopped working.
    I tried plunging for hours (more than 2 almost nonstop). A bit of a gurgle each time and then nothing. I stopped up the overflow since the plunger was just causing water to splash out of it.
    I ran a small snake in-- can only get between the drain and the overflow (easily)-- can't seem to get it in anywhere else. I ended up breaking the snake and cutting myself. I tried taking the trap off the sink nedt to the bathtub but couldn't feed the snake in.
    No other drains seem affected. Kitchen and bathroom sink and toliet seem to be flowing fine. Water from bathroom sink drain does seem to increase bathtub water volume, but I'm not sure.
    There's black sooty water standing in the bathtub, going nowhere . . . no idea what to do at this point. Please spend your Thanksgiving holiday advising me.

  2. #2
    Plumber Cass's Avatar
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    At this point I would call aplumber and have them snake it out with the right equipment. The clog is either to hard for your wimpy snake or to far away. A 3rd possibility is the trap is an old cast iron trap that will no longer allow a snake through and the line needs to be cut out and replaced. A plumber can determine if that is the case.

    Do you have a basement, crawl space, or slab?

  3. #3
    DIY Member ho333ard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cass
    At this point I would call aplumber and have them snake it out with the right equipment. The clog is either to hard for your wimpy snake or to far away. A 3rd possibility is the trap is an old cast iron trap that will no longer allow a snake through and the line needs to be cut out and replaced. A plumber can determine if that is the case.

    Do you have a basement, crawl space, or slab?

    The bathtub is on the second floor of a rental building with an identically configured bathroom above and below. There is no access to a trap anywhere that I can see. This building was remodeled maybe 8 years ago, very unprofessionally. "Call a plumber" is a tall order on Thanksgiving day . . .
    no other suggestions?

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    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    Do not use chemicals to try to open this.

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    Master Plumber Dunbar Plumbing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ho333ard
    Please spend your Thanksgiving holiday advising me.







    No, especially on a rental.
    Read what the end of this sentence means.

  6. #6
    DIY Member ho333ard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RUGGED
    No, especially on a rental.
    OK, I'll look for your response tomorrow morning then-- thanks!

  7. #7
    Master Plumber Dunbar Plumbing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ho333ard
    OK, I'll look for your response tomorrow morning then-- thanks!

    Good response I'll make sure to give a reply












    (toasts wine glass)
    Read what the end of this sentence means.

  8. #8
    Plumber Cass's Avatar
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    Now that it is Friday AM call a plumber.

    In the plumbing world this is predictably the busiest day of the year for back up calls.

  9. #9

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    Why Cass, cause of a TURKEY?

  10. #10
    DIY Member ho333ard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cass
    Now that it is Friday AM call a plumber.

    In the plumbing world this is predictably the busiest day of the year for back up calls.

    That's encouraging, thanks. You should program a 'bot to reply "call a plumber" to every post on this forum-- it would save people a lot of typing.

  11. #11
    DIY Member ho333ard's Avatar
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    I spent several more hours on it yesterday. I used a large shop vac to try to suck the blockage out-- got some of it but there is still -zero- water flow.
    It apears to be composed in large part to chunks of tile grout that went down the drain, but I'm not sure.
    I really need something to bore through it-- can anyone recommend something like that? I snake that attaches to a drill maybe?

  12. #12
    DIY Member ho333ard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ho333ard
    I spent several more hours on it yesterday. I used a large shop vac to try to suck the blockage out-- got some of it but there is still -zero- water flow.
    It apears to be composed in large part to chunks of tile grout that went down the drain, but I'm not sure.
    I really need something to bore through it-- can anyone recommend something like that? I snake that attaches to a drill maybe?

    Although . . . I did try with a sturdier snake, and can't seem to access anything but the channel between the drain and the overflow-- can't get into the "real" drain; I can tell by the amount of water it takes to fill from the blockage to the top of the drain that the blockage is pretty far down, so I don't think that's what's keeping me from getting the snake in.

  13. #13
    Plumber Cass's Avatar
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    You said you snaked the line and it broke. You know it needs to be snaked / fixed. You either get another and better snake and try again or call a plumber who will have more expensive equipment and knowlage to figure out what needs to be done.

    I can't see the situation enough from here to tell you what to do. If the drain / trap is enclosed and you are at the point that you feel a snake wont work and you don't want to call someone then you need to cut open the area that gives you access, if there is no access now, to the trap and drain so you can replace it.

  14. #14
    Master Plumber Dunbar Plumbing's Avatar
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    Try bending the end of the cable.......then try running it forward in reverse; sometimes I've been able to get through what I was fighting by making the machine work in reverse fashion.
    Read what the end of this sentence means.

  15. #15
    DIY Member ho333ard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RUGGED
    Try bending the end of the cable.......then try running it forward in reverse; sometimes I've been able to get through what I was fighting by making the machine work in reverse fashion.
    Excellent replies to both of you, thanks.
    I bought a $10 snake that attaches to a drill-- gave it a good try but ultimately ruined it. Then ruined my better snake. Found a guy to come over (building owner of guy working in hardware store, presented to me as a plumber, but probably not credentialed)-- he brought one of those handheld power-augers; started looking for a trap access and confirmed there was none. Pulled the sink away from wall after disconnecting (still looking for access or assessing if there would be a place to force access) and then decided to go in the now very accessible sink drain rough-- got the blockage, giant hairball, drain open.
    Helped me nail the sink back together (cheap POS cabinet sink) and then wanted $35 for his trouble-- wouldn't accept $50!
    So I think I dodged a major bullet in terms of "real" plumber service call costs (plus who knows if I'd have been taken for a ride). I lose about $600 a month on this building and if I can get by without additional dings I'm pretty happy.
    Thanks for all the advice-- it was right on.

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