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Dani 05-06-2005 10:50 AM

Slow draining tub
I have a very slow bathtub drain. What is the safest type of drain cleaner to use that won't pit the porcelain in the tub?

Rike 05-08-2005 10:34 AM

First, you may NOT need a chemical drain cleaner.

Check the overflow hole. You remove the overflow plate and look for a whole bunch of hair caught on this. It may be a brass cylinder or a plastic one. If that's not the problem, you want to get hold of a plumbing snake. If that still doesn't do it, then get a chemical drain cleaner-there are plenty on the market that are marked safe for porcelain.

Manuel Nunez 01-16-2006 09:11 PM

Also check the lowerflow hole, remove scrwed cover. Use a 4 to 5 inches piece of wire with a 1/4 inche folded at the end to remove hairs from these hole. This in addition to the overflow " as posted".

tstickney2 01-20-2006 06:08 PM

I saw a new drain cleaning tool at Sears the other day. Its a plastic zip tool thats about 18" long or so, and it has small sharp barbs on either side. You stick it down the drain and pull it up and the barbs grab just about anything. It wasn't big bucks, and looked like it would work like a charm!

jhudson 01-21-2006 10:01 AM

Best drain clearer I've ever owned
We had a big problem with our drains when we moved into our house a few years ago. We went to Ace Hardware and bought this rubber-balloon type thing that hooks up to a garden hose. How it works is this. You place it down in the drain a couple to six inches (it starts as a small cynliner that will fit down the drain). Turn the water on and have someone hold it in place. As the water fills up the rubber, it expands to block the drain. Then, the water shoots out the bottom filling the drain to the blockage. The water pressure then rises until one of two things happens. The blockage moves or the rubber-balloon type thing moves (although this has never happened to me yet). No chemicals - just water pressure. It has worked wonderfully for us! Give it a try, just about five bucks or less I think.

cabinetsetc 04-14-2006 08:03 PM

Those water pressure gadgets only work if the blockage is found before a vent. If the blockage is beyond the vent you simply fill your vent with water. Once you remove the water pressure you could get a nasty surprise. I also tried using my compressor once to unblock a drain. Did you know that drain pipes can come appart? Usually where you can't get at them. But being a bathtub, I think you'll find the problem to be just hair that can easilly be fished out.

mumbles 06-06-2007 06:47 PM

I use a piece of wire clothes hanger to fish gobs of hair out of my drain.

glennjanie 06-07-2007 01:21 PM

I have to go with Rike on this one; hair is almost always the problem in a shower or tub and he gave good instructions on how to get to it.

Philphine 06-09-2007 07:30 PM

run this by the more experienced on here, but i've off and on poured some bleach down the drain real slow so it dosent all splash past the trap, then put a pot of hot water on the stove. the time it take for the water to boil gives the bleach a chance to work, then i pour the hot water down the drain. works pretty good if the clog isn't serious.

glennjanie 06-10-2007 09:55 AM

Hello Philphine:
Your remedy is a good one to break up any detergent residue and float it away but, when the blockage is hair, the best is to physicaly remove it. In a bathtub or shower drain the problem is almost always a big hair ball; one that would make any cat proud. The hair in a tub drain can be removed by removing two screws in the overflow and lifting it out. Strong chemicals will usually take a toll on any pipe that is not plastic and some will even attack that too. Not to mention the porcelain finish in the tub and possibility of personal injury from contact or explosion.

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