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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    8

    Default Plunger bathtub drain - where is the stopper?

    Hi, I have a "plunger-type" bathtub drain that does not drain so well. The problem is that I do not understand the mechanism. I wonder if there is an open/close system other than the plunger, which is stuck at "closed" position. This is the second time this happened, and this was what happened the first time:

    1- Took off the face plate, the whole plunger system (which looked fine). It still does not drain well.
    2- Snaked in from the hole for the overflow, pass the P-trap, to about 4-5 feet, but nothing really hit.
    3- Stuck in a thin plastic flexible wire (designed for snaking) from drain to the vertical pipe attached, but nothing really hit.
    4- Tried sealing the overflow with wet rag, tried a plunger, but did not solve the problem.
    5- Reinstall the plunger system and the face plate and turned the switch up and down rapidly several times. Only made the situation worse.
    6- Upon desperation, kept trying the snake several times. And at one point, the water drained. I am not sure when it happened.

    This happened about 4 months ago. And now it started to drain slower again! What could be the problem? There are tons of diagrams of plunger-type tub drains, but I cannot figure out what is closing/opening the drain. Please help!
    Last edited by Sansho; 07-09-2011 at 11:06 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Houston Texas
    Posts
    2,969

    Default Re: Plunger bathtub drain - where is the stopper?

    The usual culprit is the person with the long hair, which clogs the pipe somewhere. Get a strainer for the drain and clean it frequently. Draino and similar products work pretty good on hair clogs when allowed to set for enough time.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    6,694

    Default Re: Plunger bathtub drain - where is the stopper?

    You may have a blockage, but it's most likely deeper than 5 feet down the line.

    Try a longer snake and see if it frees the line.

    I bet it's hair.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    8

    Default Re: Plunger bathtub drain - where is the stopper?

    Thanks for the response. So is the plunger attached to the lever the only stopper that stops water from draining? I cannot believe it is because of the hair or soap.

    1) I have short hair and the drain does have strainer that catches most hair.
    2) I have used the caustic chemical, and there really isn't anything around the drain opening or overflow opening.
    3) The snake went through all the way until, what I think is the connection to a pipe that goes vertical (from the pipe direction and where the toilet is). This vertical drain is attached to the toilet, and the toilet flushes fine.

    If it is a hair or soap clog, why is it gets worse each time close/open the plunger? I am confused......

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    South*East
    Posts
    1,217

    Default Re: Plunger bathtub drain - where is the stopper?

    Could you have it adjusted wrong? Will it drain with the plunged removed? What type of snake are you using? Trying to get a hand snake through a tub trap can be very hard, if not impossible.

    John

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