Plumbing advise needed!

I’m a moron. I’m stipulating that from the beginning.

I was letting a mop that was frozen in a bucket (don’t ask) thaw in my bathtub. Unfortunately, apparently there was quite a bit of dirt and crap along with the ice, because my bath tub is now clogged. I took the drain cover off, and it doesn’t appear that there is anything blocking the drain that I can just pull out. Sooo…

Will draino help? If it’s a bunch of organic matter, maybe the draino will eat through it. On the other hand, maybe it won’t, then I’ll have a bathtub that is clogged AND full of semi-corrosive material.

Should I get my Dad with his plumber’s snake over to my apartment? He’ll make fun of me. And then I’ll have to hit him. Niether one of us like this arrangement, but that is how it will work out. Actually, it will envolve him driving 2 hours round trip, so if he does it, I’ll owe him BIG time.

I’m gonna go get dressed (without a shower, my poor coworkers…). If anyone has any advice (other than hire a plumber. I’m poor. Of course, I rent, so maybe I will. But then I’d have to explain the situation to my landlords, whose English isn’t that hot. Sheesh.) please pass it along. I’m gonna pick up some draino on the way to work tonight, I’ll check this thread before using it, and unless someone tells me not to, I’ll pour it in.

Just in case, anyone remember how to raise the PH of a base?

Liquid Plummer® (and possibly Draino® by now) each have non-caustic plug relievers. They generally require overnight application, but you aren’t using the tub, now, anyway.

There is also a product that I haven’t needed in years, so I can’t remember the name, that is just a can of compressed air with the top shaped to cover the drain. You hold it firmly against the drain and trigger it, and it is supposed to force the plugged stuff out.

You can also try using the toilet plunger to accomplish the same thing.

These are all generally carried at supermarkets, but are definitely carried at hardware stores.

Surprising, this is one problem I haven’t run into. I would suggest trying a plunger first:

I would then read the Draino bottle to see if it says anything about dirt. I couldn’t find the Draino homepage, and the Liquid Plumber homepage doesn’t seem to mention dirt.

I would be very carefull pouring Draino into your tub if you’re not sure it will work. If you end up with Draino standing in your tub, it makes other options very difficult.

There are a few other things you can try. If you can find one there are hoses which fit on the end of the faucet and spray a strong jet of water to clear the drain. You can also try pouring boiling vinegar (oh, the smell!) down the drain. You can pour baking soda in the drain first, and it will fizz furiously, which at least gives the illusion of doing something.

You can also pour boiling water down the drain. If the clog is greasy, boiling liquids can loosen it.

In the end, I’m going to say go with a plunger. They work surprisingly well. I hope your dad doesn’t have to drive up and help you, that’s just unpleasant for both of you. But you might call him. He might be able to suggest something you can do.

Just let the hot water run and use the plunger.It should be all that you need. No chemicals.If that doesn’t work you cal pick up one of those cheap snakes at a local hardware store. those short ones.Just in case you don’t want to hear it from your father.

I’ve done well by going to Home Depot and buying the product with the scariest warning labels, and not following the directions.

Please don’t take my statement as advice.
Does the drain run at all? or is it completely plugged?

If I didn’t live 300 miles away, I’d come over and help.

Damn speed limits.

I hate plumbing so much, I almost didn’t look at this. But then I realized that there is no possible way you can wreck one of my weekends with this problem.

It sounds like you have a fairly old drain that has a sort of restrictor plate on it. It’s underneath the drain-grid, if you have one, in a vaguely uterine set-up. This leaves a fairly small gap for the water to drain through, apparently just in case you’re sawing up a human torso and want to get rid of all that intestine in one gulp. Not that I’m knowledgeable about such things.

Your first recourse is, as mentioned before, to plunge the hell out of the drain. That will get rid of all the crud that can pass through. What’s left has to be removed, too, or it will merely collect all that other human detrius and clog up again sooner or later.

Some drain grids can be unscrewed, clockwise. Whether this is a clever conspiracy on the part of plumbers or some shamanistic defense against the evil Coriolis effect, I do not know, but I swear I’ve seen it. Then it’s just a matter of tweezing out the big chunks. Also, pour your drain cleaner through that funky plate that appears to have no purpose just below the faucet. It’s usually secured by two screws, and opening it up and dumping your drain-shit through that somehow works better. If that doesn’t work, well hell, think of it globally, dude. If you have a tub-shower, filling it up with hot, dirty, bacterium-infested water is actually good for the environment.

Why? Well, water retains heat pretty well, so just sending it down the pipe is pretty wasteful, isn’t it? Your clogged drain is actually returning that expensive heat energy back to your home. You’re therefore spending less money by keeping a giant vat of toe-jam soup, which leaves you more leeway to further rape the rain forests and relocate Native Alaskans. See? The world is still a wonderful place to visit, even if you don’t really want to live there. Thanks for letting me help.


Ok, plunging will take a while, but it will work better. You can pull out the crud and dispose of it somehow. I had to do this on my tub. I covered the upper drain (the one that prevents overflow) with a wet rag–held tight against it by hand–because the plunger just kept pulling air through that. (annoying!)

Drano, etc, will just give you some nasty caustic stuff to spray yourself with when you have to use the plunger anyway.

Swiddles, fear not . . .

Everyone has given you quite a few good ideas. The trap in your bathtub sounds like it has its trap stopped. Try the plunger first, then try the Liquid Plumr, then lastly snake it out.

No big deal. In a pinch, I have also found that pouring boiling water down there may expand the pipes enough to help pass whatever’s there. After that, go to the trap itself (if you can) and give it a few steady (not too hard!) raps to loosen whatever’s blocking it.

Beyond that, if nothing works, then you’ll have to replace the trap. Shoot me an e-mail, 'cause it’s pretty straightforward.

The “Bob Vila” of the US Air Force.

Upon re-reading the post, remember that I can be retarded sometimes myself. But fear not.

Still a “Bob Vila” type. . .

I use some stuff for drains, it comes in a white bottle & it’s basically sulfuric acid. As you can imagine, when it hits the crap in the pipe, it makes quite a fuss…ABout $7.00 a quart bottle, but it works very well, no surprise there.

The coefficient of thermal expansion in a 1 1/2" I.D. pipe would have to be HUGE, as well as it’s K value, the coefficient of thermal conduction, for the pipe to expand enough to pass a blockage. I contend the pipes would burst with these conditions. More likely the boiling water breaks the bonds of the stoppage and allows it to pass.

But what do I know, I’m a dumb jarhead. With a BSE NOT from a miltary school.

I also know how to take criticism and corrections, so have at it.

Well, UncleBill, I’d love to hear what non-military school advise you have for me. But since you provided none for me, I can’t compare.

So it’s still stopped. More importantly, I was without internet use all day yesterday. Talk about roughing it. No shower, no internet.

I plungered. Nothing. I liquid plumbered. That helped it a VERY little. Now, if I leave it for three or four hours, I’ll notice the water level will drop a bit. Not entirely, but a little.

So I bought myself a snake, and called my Dad, who came over with little whining, and minimal teasing. I think it helped that I fed him. He REALLY plungered, liquid plumbered a bit more, attempted to snake it. But apparently there are a couple elbows right after eachother, because he couldn’t get the snake down the drain.

So he gave up. Anyone know how to say “You’re gonna have to pay for a plumber,” In Tibetan? Oy.

Trip, check your email.

Hahooie. It was the trap, I fiddled with it under the advise of the wise Tripler, and we have drainage. I’d make this post longer, thanking all for thier advise, but I have a shower coming to me…

Good! Glad to hear it worked. It usually is the trap, and okay, whatever boiling water/tapping on it/snaking it out method works, it works. Just glad to hear you’re bathing again.

The Bob Vila of the US Air Force ™