As a rather irritating, yet common problem, clogged drains is something everyone experiences. While taking a shower, nobody wants to stand in a deepening pool of murky water. Today, we at Randall’s Plumbing would like to discuss tub drain clogs.
Reasons Why My Tub Drains Slowly
A slow-draining shower has several possibilities. The common a clog at the shower drain, or in the P-trap just below it. You can buy at any hardware store or home center a special tool called a plumber’s snake. Professional-grade plumbing snakes can cost hundreds of dollars however, the snakes available to unlicensed consumers are affordable.
Anatomy of a Bathtub Drain
An L-shaped assembly that includes the tub, the overflow tube, drain, and a stopper mechanism that is raised and lowered inside the overflow tube consists of the tub’s drainage system. A likely clog location, the tub’s drainage assembly feeds wastewater to a P-trap. It’s good practice to clean out the tub drain once a year or so even if your tub doesn’t have a slow draining problem.
Snake Drain Line to Unclog
Remove the tub’s drain cover or drain plug. You need a screwdriver and/or a pair of pliers to do this depending on the configuration of your drain.
1) With a towel, cover the exposed drain. While also preventing loose screws from falling into the drain this will prevent a dropped tool from marring your tub. Unscrew the cover plate for the tub’s overflow tube. Carefully withdraw the stopper linkage up and out of the overflow tube.
2) This reveals a tangle of hair and soap scum. Insert the tip of your snake into the tub drain and push through the drain line, twisting the snake as you go to get at it. You’ll hit the overflow tube pretty quickly and the snake won’t go very far.
3) Pull the snake free and remove the clog debris. Twisting as you push then work the snake down the overflow tube the same way. Repeat the steps to get further down and into the P-trap until it is clear.
4) Pour some water down the tub drain and see if you’ve cleared the clog after pulling the snake free and removing the goop. You can put everything back together and call it a job well done if the water drains quickly as it should.
5) There’s a good chance that the P-trap is still obstructed, if your snaking session yields plenty of hair and soap scum if you still have a slow drain.
Clear Clogged Vent Pipe
The problem might be caused by a clogged vent pipe if the drain continues to slowly drain. So that a vacuum effect won’t disrupt drainage, the vent pipes extend through the roof and are open to the atmosphere, equalizing pressure in drain lines. It can be clogged by sticks, leaves, and other debris, or even insects or animals since a vent pipe is open at the top. You can investigate just like a plumber would if you suspect that a clogged vent is causing household plumbing to drain slowly.
1) Get up on the roof, shine a light down the vent to check for obstructions. If present, pull the debris up and out with your snake.
2) Flush the vent with the garden hose with the assistance of a companion.