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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    2

    Unhappy slow draining bathtub

    ok I need help with my bathtub drain....the issue is its not draing fast at all .. In fact it takes about an hour to drain.. i have snaked it and the pipe is clean.. as far as i can tell.. I have snaked about 20 feet of it( and no clogs at all ).. I have an older house with brass and copper piping for the drain .. under the floor is a drum trap.. here is what is going on when i looseing up the plug on the drum trap it starts to suck in air( mind you the plug is on the top of the drum trap).. when i remove the plug the tub seems to drain ok.. what is causeing this..The drain pipe is only about 15 feet long before it conects into the main house drain.. I dont have any pictures but i have seen an excample where Richard show you how to replace a drum trap which just about the same set up I have http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/vide...2981,00.html:(
    Last edited by orkenman1211; 04-22-2009 at 02:01 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Fayette County, Ohio
    Posts
    5,797

    Default Re: slow draining bathtub

    Do you have a pop-up drain or a lever on the overflow you turn to drain the tub?
    Jack
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: slow draining bathtub

    neither I removed the drain lever in the tub

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Fayette County, Ohio
    Posts
    5,797

    Default Re: slow draining bathtub

    Is the tub drain vented? Is your stack vented?
    Jack
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

  5. #5

    Default Re: slow draining bathtub

    Quote Originally Posted by orkenman1211 View Post
    ok I need help with my bathtub drain....the issue is its not draing fast at all .. In fact it takes about an hour to drain.. i have snaked it and the pipe is clean.. as far as i can tell.. I have snaked about 20 feet of it( and no clogs at all ).. I have an older house with brass and copper piping for the drain .. under the floor is a drum trap.. here is what is going on when i looseing up the plug on the drum trap it starts to suck in air( mind you the plug is on the top of the drum trap).. when i remove the plug the tub seems to drain ok.. what is causeing this..The drain pipe is only about 15 feet long before it conects into the main house drain.. I dont have any pictures but i have seen an excample where Richard show you how to replace a drum trap which just about the same set up I have http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/vide...2981,00.html:(

    The problem with drum traps is that they never really scour clean and build up all kinds of sludge plus you get the hair from the tub or shower. The snaking might have cleared some of the clog but may not have cleared the vent connection to the drum trap or further down the line where it was vented.

    When you open the cap on the top of the drum trap you are venting to atmosphere that's why you can get the tub to drain.

    The next step is to clear the clog from the vent or if it is broken correct it. Drum traps can be set up different ways for the venting. Older plumbing might have lead pipes or lead patches so I caution you about being too agressive using a snake. Usually in older homes you can find a means to snake a vent from above so you can clear the clog thru and in to the mostly horizontal waste or drain arm and then flush the line from the tub.

    The link below has diagrams of some different drum trap DVW connections that might help you while you figure out your plumbing it helped us figuring out how our vent plumbing was hooked up for the tub.

    http://chestofbooks.com/home-improve...rum-Traps.html

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    56

    Default Re: slow draining bathtub

    personally i think the stoppage is between the tub and the trap

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Taxachusetts
    Posts
    136

    Default Re: slow draining bathtub

    The symptom is the slow draining, the immediate reason is the line is probably clogged, the root cause is the drum trap with no vent most likely. Drum traps aren't used much anymore because the provide a deep seal at the cost of a flow obstruction. Many drum traps were used when a vent was not easily obtained, therefore the deep seal provided by the drum would prevent gases from coming back. You could get rid of the drum trap and put a p-trap at the fixture but it won't help unless you have a vent within 5-6 feet. If the tub worked ok before then you need to clear the obstruction. If the drum trap is vented then the vent could be clogged. The description you provide seems me to believe the piping is accessible, some pictures???

    Shaun

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