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Old 07-20-2009, 03:43 PM   #1
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Bathtub Problems


Hey all,

First time home owner here and I'll probably be posting a plethora of problems from here on out.

But, my first and biggest issue (so far) is my bathtub. I have been having drainage problems for a couple of months now. I have tried de-clogging with the plunger, the snake, and a few drain cleaners to no avail. The weird thing is that the amount of water back-up seems to change on a day to day basis. Some shower sessions the water covers my feet and other times it's nowhere near as bad.

I am really concerned that the roots from the tree in the backyard may have something to do with it which, from my understanding, can mean mucho dinero to fix. However, a couple folks I have asked about it say that it can't be the roots since it is only effecting the one drain, any logic in this?

My next step is to call in a professional but I figured I would post the problem here in case there is anything else I can try.

Also, staying with the bathtub, whomever installed the darn thing did a pretty poor job because there is a bevel in the middle where the water sits. I'm assuming that this isn't exactly a DIY project but, again, I figured I would throw the question out there.

Thanks in advance,

John

P.S. It's a single floor slab foundation dwelling if that means anything

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Old 07-20-2009, 05:05 PM   #2
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Bathtub Problems


You've tried an auger? A kind of snake that comes coiled in a hand-held drum, you advance it by turning a crank. $15 at Home Depot. That's your best bet if there's a hair/soap clog -- better than a plunger. (Years ago, the residents of the apartment above mine used a plunger on a tub drain -- they were so vigorous about it they jarred the pipe joints loose and flooded my apartment. Don't know how common that is, but I've steered clear of that method ever since.)

It may be a case of galvanized drain pipes. They corrode from the inside out, and over time they effectively get narrower and narrower. Do you know what your pipes are made of?

It may also be that your drain pipes are not sloped properly.

I'm not a plumber, just a homeowner who's had to deal with these issues.

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Old 07-20-2009, 09:46 PM   #3
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Bathtub Problems


Quote:
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You've tried an auger? A kind of snake that comes coiled in a hand-held drum, you advance it by turning a crank.
Yeah I tried the snake and it didn't do much for me. I fed it through the overflow opening until it wouldn't go any further and started bending on itself. I turned the knob for a couple of minutes while trying to push the snake wire further and still nothing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RDS View Post
It may be a case of galvanized drain pipes. They corrode from the inside out, and over time they effectively get narrower and narrower. Do you know what your pipes are made of?
No clue.

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Originally Posted by RDS View Post
It may also be that your drain pipes are not sloped properly.
Any way to find this out without ripping the house apart? Since the bathtub wasn't leveled properly, It wouldn't be a shock if the piping wasn't neither.
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Old 07-21-2009, 05:04 AM   #4
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Bathtub Problems


It is possible that your slow drain problem is the main drain clogged eventhough it is currently only showing up in the shower. Think volume of water youre trying to drain at one time as opposed to a sink.
To use the auger the most effectively especially if the clog is roots is to auger from the "clean out" which will avoid all the interior pkumbing and go straight out the drain line. The clean out will be located probably on the exterior of your house in line with where the drain leaves the foundation. It is usually a slanted pipe the same size as the drain line and will have a hex head nut type cap on it. Find that and start the auger from there and if there is a clog that should take care of it unless the clog is major and it doesnt sound like it is yet.
Good Luck
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Old 07-21-2009, 09:18 AM   #5
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Bathtub Problems


Other information it would be helpful to have includes: How old is the house? Do you have city septic or your own septic tank/field? Do you have problems with other drains running slowly, or just the tub?

You *might* be able to get an idea what your pipes are made of by looking at other drain pipes in the house that are visible, e.g. under the sinks. It's not a sure thing, of course -- if the sink drain is PVC, that just may indicate a recent replacement, but if it's galvanized there's a decent chance all the drains are galvanized. And depending on how old the house is, that may be your problem there -- i.e. perhaps your drain pipe has just reached the end of its natural life span.

But hopefully that's not the case, and a good augering will do the trick. If doing it from the cleanout doesn't help (indicating a problem further upstream), and you can't get the auger to work from the tub end, a plumber should be able to make short work of it.
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