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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
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_269575-143-65AWK_0__?productId=3591176&Ntt=bathtub+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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Roofmaster
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Put one of these in. Kohler. Dont go cheap on hidden stuff.
 

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Doing it myself
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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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Is there a vent?
What type drain stopper?
 

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Roofmaster
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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
 

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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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Master Plumber
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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.:blink::wheelchair:
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
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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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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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
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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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Correction... the sch 40 elbows are 1 1/2" and are bushed properly into the trap, which is 2" ABS.
 

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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. :whistling2:

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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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
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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It's probably just the design of the outlet and plug that does not allow
water to drain as rapidly as your old setup. As long as it can flow 2.5
gal/min to keep up with the shower head output (if there is one), there is
really no need for more, and it's not clear why you're so concerned about
this.
 

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Roofmaster
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Im with Weet.

Being the cheapo that I am, or more accurately, Not being able to comprehend the thought of spending $139 on a tub drain assembly (Kohler) I installed one of the same sets you did on my jacuzzi tub.

They are as slow as molasses in January. Its the nature of the beast. I suspect there is nothing wrong with your drain.

I was going to replace mine, but I figured, once I lift the popup why am I standing there watching the paint dry? Who cares if it takes a while to drain. We ain't talking solid waste here. (At least I know I don't do that in the tub) Accidents excepted.

:whistling2:
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
That is an interesting possibility, and one I hadn't considered. In my investigating, I did notice that the opening between where the drain screws in and the 1 1/2" pipe itself was somewhat small. The fact that you had the same issue with the same drain kit helps. However, while I haven't paced it with a stopwatch, I think the rate of draning is closer to 1 GPM than 2.5. But your post has me thinking I should try a different drain if I can't find anything specific.

Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Well.....

I dropped the drain today and immediately discovered the problem. Due to the length of the overflow in the new tub, we had to add a small extension piece between the T and the opening for the overflow. Yeah, you probably know where this is going... we had assumed that the piece snugged up inside on a stop, before obstructing the drain, but it of course, it didn't. A quick job with a hacksaw to shorten the extension, and the drain works beautifully.

Thanks to everyone for their input. I hadn't mentioned the extension piece previously, because I didn't think it could be a factor. As the two old sayings go, "its always in the last place you look" and "ASSUME: ASS out of U and ME." Lesson learned, and thanks again.

-Eric
 
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