Hi folks..I have a stopped up bath tub drain. Have removed the lever and
chain from the overflow pipe, and cleaned to no luck. There is a plug on the
trap that is pretty rusty. The trap itself appears to be cast metal. I've
tried removing the plug no luck. Sprayed it with penetrating oil, but
probably not getting into the threads very well. Do you think it is OK to
try heating up the pipe with a torch in hopes of removing that plug, or
should I worry about methane gas in the pipe exploding?...I apologize if
this is a dumb question. But it seems like my last resort to get this thing
fixed. Can't snake past the trap.
Appreciate any help. Thanks.. JJ
I doubt it's an "S" trap, more likely a "drum" trap.
scroll sown to Fig. 7
I like the "chisel" method shown, though there can be risk of
If there's no danger of fire, heating the casting will help.
You might also try suctioning the drain with a ShopVac.
Plug the overflow opening with wet rags.
Yes, it could be a cast P-trap. The plug would be at
the bottom, no? In that case, it will have water over it
and heating will have zero effect. If the plug happens
to be on top, go ahead and heat it.
If the piping downstream of the trap is easily accessed,
sometimes it's better to just hack out a section and
put a PVC cleanout TEE in using Fernco couplings.
I assume that since its a bath tub & you have access to the trap you've
got some sort of basement or crawlspace access?
If so, I trick I have used when the plug will not budge.......this
works best with a brass plug in a cast iron fitting.
I drill through the plug to get access to the clog, run the end of a
hand snake w/o the "hook" through the plug & into the clog. Repair the
drilled hole by threading & installing a small plug or pound in a small
taperd lead plug.
Before I went after this with a Sawzall I'd give Jim's ShopVac idea a
try...you might use the shop vac along with an enzyme drain cleaner
that you let sit over night.
Do not use any acid or base drain cleaner before the shop vac idea
Thanks for the tips guys..I had thought about drilling out the plug as a
means of breaking it out of the hole..and I might try that approach
also..although I'm thinking it's so rusted the threads might be really fused
Jim..do you mean zero effect on enlarging the hole..as a means of trying to
break the threads free?..with the water in there?
With water in the trap, and no danger of fire, you might heat it up
nice and hot which should boil away the blockage (that's all those
chemicals do anyway) ... if that's where the blockage is.
What I'd do is cut the whole thing out (sawzall with metal blade) and
replace with ABS.
OT: that sawzall makes short work of cast iron pipe ... used one to cut
the fill/vent pipes (cemented into wall) to remove my old oil tank.
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