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Old 01-08-2013, 07:28 PM   #1
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Slow tub drain, new tub installation


After discovering a very leaky bathtub, and having to replace sub-flooring, etc, we have installed the new bathtub. However, in the initial tests of the drain, the tub drains very slowly as if there was a clog.

So far we have:
- Taken apart the drainage pipe and snaked all the way to the main drain (where the bathtub's drain joins with the toilet and sink). This includes the trap for the tub. We un-hooked the drain at the trap (at the tub side) and dumped water down the tub drain (emptying into a bucket), and it still drained slowly, indicating that the "clog" is between the tub drain and the P trap. The toilet and sink drain perfectly fine, as do everything else in the house.

- Removed the plate covering the overflow to ensure the gasket between the pipe and the tub is not obstructing airflow. No luck.

- Ran a snake / parts grabber down the PVC of the drain kit we installed to ensure we didn't absent-mindedly shove a shopping bag into the pipe (while it was dangling into the crawl space).

The overflow/drain is a basic design that does NOT have a lift lever, or anything like that. In fact, it was a Keeney Mfg kit bought from Lowes: http://www.lowes.com/pd_269575-143-6...htub+drain+kit

Having ensured there's no clogs, and the slow flow of water has to be in the drain we've replaced instead of the pre-existing PVC & ABS piping, we're at a total loss as to what could be causing this. This is the last thing holding up this project before completion!!!

Thanks!

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Last edited by eshock; 01-08-2013 at 08:06 PM.
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Old 01-08-2013, 09:39 PM   #2
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Slow tub drain, new tub installation


Put one of these in. Kohler. Dont go cheap on hidden stuff.
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Old 01-08-2013, 10:39 PM   #3
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Slow tub drain, new tub installation


Hate to start with the obvious, but did you use a torpedo level to check grade from the p-trap onward to where it intersects with the other drains that you say are working fine? If you have opposite grade, it will drain slowly.
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Old 01-08-2013, 10:50 PM   #4
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Is there a vent?
What type drain stopper?
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Old 01-08-2013, 11:14 PM   #5
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Is there a vent?
What type drain stopper?
I wonder about the vent too. Follow his link in previous post for the stopper design
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Old 01-09-2013, 10:30 AM   #6
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Slow tub drain, new tub installation


The vent for a tub is usually the overflow, isnt it? I hope they put the gasket on the right side, and allowing air to get in. As Allen said, check slope away from trap at 1/4 " Per Foot
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Old 01-09-2013, 11:09 AM   #7
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The vent for a tub is usually the overflow, isnt it? I hope they put the gasket on the right side, and allowing air to get in. As Allen said, check slope away from trap at 1/4 " Per Foot
The overflow is just that. A vent connects downstream of the trap.
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Old 01-09-2013, 09:30 PM   #8
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Another MIA single post newbie.
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Old 01-09-2013, 09:43 PM   #9
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Hit and Run again its bad enough i have bad knees from and bad back from all the years of the trade now i will soon have Carpal tunnel in my hands from typing advise that goes in to the waste land of internet plumbing.
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Old 01-10-2013, 06:43 AM   #10
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My apologies for not living on the internet to continually watch the replies to a discussion thread - especially when I've only received an email for one response and it was a veiled advertisement. LOL But I do appreciate the responses thus far.

Anyways... The venting was a concern, and the blocked airflow and so we removed the plate covering the overflow just to ensure there was maximum airflow. No luck.

As for the slope of the pipe downstream of the trap, we disconnected the drain just upstream from the trap, and thus the only thing in the system was the 1 1/2" vertical pipe coming down from the overflow, and the 6 inches or so of pipe running from the drain to the pipe coming from the overflow (and the T of course). Everything from this point (trap onwards) was pre-existing from the old tub. The issue has to be somewhere in the newly installed line. However, with that short run between the drain and the connection to the pipe from the overflow, and unobstructed airflow between the two, I can't understand a physical reason why it would be so slow.

Thanks for the responses thus far. I'm at the point I am going to likely remove the newly installed drain piping and double-check to make sure there isn't any sort of blockage.
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Old 01-10-2013, 06:59 AM   #11
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Slow tub drain, new tub installation


Opening up the over flow cover does little to increase the 'air flow' --all venting for a drain needs to be in the drain line within 5 feet of the P-trap.

Is the old drain line exposed so you could photograph it? Can you find a vent? How old is the exosting piping? what is it? Steel.cast iron/PVC???
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Old 01-10-2013, 09:53 AM   #12
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Opening up the over flow cover does little to increase the 'air flow' --all venting for a drain needs to be in the drain line within 5 feet of the P-trap.

Is the old drain line exposed so you could photograph it? Can you find a vent? How old is the exosting piping? what is it? Steel.cast iron/PVC???
The old drain line from the trap onwards is 2" ABS, and is probably original to the house (1974 vintage). The drain kit installed is 1 1/2" PVC as stated before, and is the kit that was linked in my original post. Between the two are two 2" sch 40 pvc elbows put in place during an earlier remodeling of the tub area to make the drain match up with the trap. Everything up to there is attached, bushed, and hung appropriately. It was between the pvc "jog" at the trap that we detached the drain after noticing the slow flow. With the drain detached (thus, only the new piping from the drain kit involved in the test) and emptying into a bucket, we filled the tub partally with water again. Stil slow. That is why I am convinced the problem exisits in the new piping from the drain kit.

I could provide a photo, as everything is down in the crawlspace, but if I go under there again, I will be taking the opportunity to remove the new drain piping and either replacing it, or taking it apart to make sure there is no obstruction.
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Old 01-10-2013, 09:58 AM   #13
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Correction... the sch 40 elbows are 1 1/2" and are bushed properly into the trap, which is 2" ABS.
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Old 01-10-2013, 10:19 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by eshock View Post
As for the slope of the pipe downstream of the trap, we disconnected the drain just upstream from the trap, and thus the only thing in the system was the 1 1/2" vertical pipe coming down from the overflow, and the 6 inches or so of pipe running from the drain to the pipe coming from the overflow (and the T of course). Everything from this point (trap onwards) was pre-existing from the old tub.

But I asked if you put a torpedo level on the line.

When you install the overflow kit, if the elevation is too high and then you install the tub, and it pushes the kit down, you're creating opposite grade on the line.
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Old 01-10-2013, 06:40 PM   #15
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Slow tub drain, new tub installation


Alan: But if I have disconnected from the trap, and thus the only thing I have on the drain is the overflow pipe and the 6" or so horizontal run from the tub (in other words just the drain kit I installled), that shouldn't affect things negatively for those testing puropses?

Thanks again for the responses thus far with this headscratcher. I'm probably not going to be working on the drain issue until this weekend (when my father in law can help some more) and am instead focusing on the drywall part of the project.

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