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Old 02-08-2009, 02:24 PM   #1
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Clogged Drains


Currently I have 2 slow drains in my bathroom. One is the sink and the other is the bathtub. In the past I have used Drano but I believe that is supposed to be bad for the drains.

What is the proper remedy for this problem? I am guessing I should snake the drain.

Here is the sink drain:




In the drain there is a cross shaped object. I am guessing that is to stop something from going down the drain that is not supposed to. My concern is that is will not let me snake the drain. Any thoughts.

Here is the tub drain:



Should be less of an issue. I can take the plug out.

So my questions is:

What should I use to unclog the drains? Can I use the same thing for both drains?
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Old 02-08-2009, 07:50 PM   #2
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Clogged Drains


I am not a plumber but thought I would give you an idea until someone else with more knowledge jumps in. If you follow the drain pipe there is usually a screw on cap on the drain line which you can unscrew and snake through there. I am not sure if some of these drains you can screw out too. How long have you had this problem? Is the sink and tub tied together? Bad venting comes to mind. Just something to think about until you get more solid answers.
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Old 02-09-2009, 01:54 PM   #3
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I am not a plumber but thought I would give you an idea until someone else with more knowledge jumps in. If you follow the drain pipe there is usually a screw on cap on the drain line which you can unscrew and snake through there. I am not sure if some of these drains you can screw out too. How long have you had this problem? Is the sink and tub tied together? Bad venting comes to mind. Just something to think about until you get more solid answers.
I have had the problem on and off for about 4 years. As I said before, Draino usually would fix the problem for a while. Now it seems like it is only helping for about two weeks and then back to the way it was.

I do not know if the sink and tub are tied together. If I had to guess, I would say no. It seems like they have performed poorly at differant times but eventually will both clog.

Have you used Drain Care? I found that recommendation on another thread. I don't know if Home Depot or Lowe's carries it but it sounds like a good product.

Please chime in everyone.
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Old 02-09-2009, 03:25 PM   #4
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Clogged Drains


I've had better luck with using one of those rubber bulb deals that fit on the end of a water hose. Sounds like you are getting a build up of hair and soap causing the obstructions. You might also look at your local home center. They normally carry a more heavy duty chemical drain cleaner than Drano.
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Old 02-09-2009, 04:08 PM   #5
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try a piece of wire first,,even an OLD coat hanger if necessary. I see in the sink drain the starting of a giant hairball. You work on those a while and you will be really amazed at how MUCH hair is caught on there. a short hook bent on the end and wound around so it catches and pull back,,,repeat till NONE is found,,,drains will increase draining quite quickly!! AND soap attached to the hair. Might be as much as a half a ice cream bucket full in there. Take your time,,,it WILL take awhile to properly do. DONT try sending this downstream,,,it will clog something up further down!! Hair is a GREAT drain clogger and lasts in there forever and a day!!
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Old 02-09-2009, 04:37 PM   #6
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Clogged Drains


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Originally Posted by Willie5566 View Post
Currently I have 2 slow drains in my bathroom. One is the sink and the other is the bathtub. In the past I have used Drano but I believe that is supposed to be bad for the drains.

What is the proper remedy for this problem? I am guessing I should snake the drain.

Here is the sink drain:




In the drain there is a cross shaped object. I am guessing that is to stop something from going down the drain that is not supposed to. My concern is that is will not let me snake the drain. Any thoughts.

Here is the tub drain:



Should be less of an issue. I can take the plug out.

So my questions is:

What should I use to unclog the drains? Can I use the same thing for both drains?
There is supposedly a safe alternative to Drano that is enzyme based and will eat organic material. Check your local big box to see if they have it.
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Old 02-09-2009, 05:47 PM   #7
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I only like to use drain cleaners as a last resort, only because if they don't work, you end up taking pipes apart covered in drain cleaner. I used to use needle nose pliers to pull it out, have a pair what I can only think to call as surgical scisors, curled at the point, can really reach in there. As already said, you'd be surprised how much hair and soap gets built up in there. also, keep a steady stomach, it ain't pretty.
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Old 02-09-2009, 06:04 PM   #8
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I think I can fix the sink relatively easy. The plumbing is PVC and just screw together. I could try getting a hanger down the drain or I could take the easy way out and just replace the trap section of the pipe.

THe bath tub will not be as easy. What do you suggest for that? My guess is I will need to get farther than a hanger will allow.
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Old 02-09-2009, 07:16 PM   #9
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Lowes has a snake, just a flat wire that is something like 25' for around 5 bucks.
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Old 02-09-2009, 07:58 PM   #10
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For snaking the tub, you want to go through the overflow. The overflow goes straight down to the p-trap, but the drain makes a 90 degree turn after about 8-9" or more if it is a center drain. Since you have a lift-n-turn stopper, I would imagine that the overflow is just a cover plate and has no attached stopper to get in your way. HTH,
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Old 02-10-2009, 12:42 PM   #11
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I got this white plastic thingy from Home Depot a while back. It is about 24 inches long and has these barbs on them. You slide it down the drain and pull it back up and all that Hair and Junk comes with it. I did it with all the bathroom sinks and I even did that with my tub which has a very similar drain plug to yours. I couldn't remove the drain plug so just slid the thingymajiggy under the plug. It was a bit more of a PITA, but worked fantastically.

I am willing to bet you will get a good handful of slimy greasy yucky hair.

I am sure the plumbers are all laughing at me with my plastic doohicky, but it worked OK for a noob like me.
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Old 02-10-2009, 01:16 PM   #12
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I got this white plastic thingy from Home Depot a while back. It is about 24 inches long and has these barbs on them. You slide it down the drain and pull it back up and all that Hair and Junk comes with it. I did it with all the bathroom sinks and I even did that with my tub which has a very similar drain plug to yours. I couldn't remove the drain plug so just slid the thingymajiggy under the plug. It was a bit more of a PITA, but worked fantastically.

I am willing to bet you will get a good handful of slimy greasy yucky hair.

I am sure the plumbers are all laughing at me with my plastic doohicky, but it worked OK for a noob like me.
I saw this device at Harbor Freight a few weeks ago. it was pretty cheap...a few dollars.
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Old 02-10-2009, 03:46 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by drtbk4ever View Post
I got this white plastic thingy from Home Depot a while back. It is about 24 inches long and has these barbs on them. You slide it down the drain and pull it back up and all that Hair and Junk comes with it. I did it with all the bathroom sinks and I even did that with my tub which has a very similar drain plug to yours. I couldn't remove the drain plug so just slid the thingymajiggy under the plug. It was a bit more of a PITA, but worked fantastically.

I am willing to bet you will get a good handful of slimy greasy yucky hair.

I am sure the plumbers are all laughing at me with my plastic doohicky, but it worked OK for a noob like me.

I just found the name of it on line. It is called the EZ Zip Drain Cleaner. Mine is white and has barbs on it. Must have been the 1st generation EZ Zip.
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Old 02-12-2009, 07:52 AM   #14
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Clogged Drains


Thanks for all the advice. I am going to try and do this project over the weekend.

I do have one last question.

I read that the plumbing is tied into the sewage. Do I need to worry about seweg gas while I am doing this? Any tips on dealing with this?
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Old 02-12-2009, 09:48 AM   #15
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I read that the plumbing is tied into the sewage. Do I need to worry about seweg gas while I am doing this? Any tips on dealing with this?
Well YES the plumbing is tied into the sewage system. Attached is a photo of a "P trap". This p trap will be under all your sinks and tubs/showers. There is always water sitting in that U shape and that water keeps the sewer gases from coming into your home.

You will be fine. And if you start smelling sewer gas, pour some water down the drain.
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