Washcloth down bathtub drain

So I had a plumber over to my condo unit (2nd floor) to fix a toilet issue (water spot on ceiling of unit below me). That night, no joke, a baby wash cloth went down our bathtub drain. I have tried fishing for it with a plas tic drain hook tool with no luck (it doesn't appear to be flexible enough t o navigate the pipes). I can see water in the drain pipe, about 3-4" down. When taking a shower now, water fills up to about ankle depth in about 10 -15 minutes but then seems to drain within the same amount of time. Some a pproaches to try that I've read about are various drain clog cleaners or bl each to try and dissolve the washcloth or using a wire hanger (all of ours are plastic) or plumber's snake to fish it out. I've also read that it mig ht be easier to remove the stopper linker and go straight down that overflo w pipe. I've tried to read a lot about this but am left wondering how my s ituation being on the 2nd floor of a condo/former apartment differs from th e drain pipe setup of a normal house. For instance, my bathtub drain does not feel like it goes straight down very far before it takes a hard turn, p resumably toward the wall. I guess I'm just looking for any suggestions/ti ps. I'm trying to resist calling a plumber since I already spent $250 that I didn't have on one earlier that same day and the guilty party in this ca se was a family member who was babysitting our daughter and giving her a ba th. Thank you.
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On 2/21/2013 2:49 PM, blerg_blerg wrote:

(water spot on ceiling of unit below me). That night, no joke, a baby washcloth went down our bathtub drain. I have tried fishing for it with a plastic drain hook tool with no luck (it doesn't appear to be flexible enough to navigate the pipes). I can see water in the drain pipe, about 3-4" down. When taking a shower now, water fills up to about ankle depth in about 10-15 minutes but then seems to drain within the same amount of time. Some approaches to try that I've read about are various drain clog cleaners or bleach to try and dissolve the washcloth or using a wire hanger (all of ours are plastic) or plumber's snake to fish it out. I've also read that it might be easier to remove the stopper linker and go straight down that overflow pipe. I've tried to read a lot about this but am left wondering how my situation being on the 2nd floor of a condo/former apartment differs from the drain pipe setup o f a normal house. For instance, my bathtub drain does not feel like it goes straight down very far before it takes a hard turn, presumably toward the wall. I guess I'm just looking for any suggestions/tips. I'm trying to resist calling a plumber since I already spent $250 that I didn't have on one earlier that same day and the guilty party in this case was a family member who was babysitting our daughter and giving her a bath. Thank you.

Sulfuric acid drain cleaner can dissolve/degrade cotton.
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Car battery acid did a job on my coat, one time. I think you've got the right idea.
Christopher A. Young Learn more about Jesus www.lds.org .
Sulfuric acid drain cleaner can dissolve/degrade cotton.
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Frank wrote:

Yep. Or a strong base such as lye.
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On 2/21/2013 6:36 PM, HeyBub wrote:

Caustic works better on hair. Sulfuric acid is actually used to clean wool of vegetable matter like grass. As I recall cotton is mercerized with strong caustic.
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Hydroxides react with grease to form soap. Sulphuric acid reacts with cellulose, cotton, and sugars to break them down. If the missing baby item is cotton, sulphuric acid might work.
Christopher A. Young Learn more about Jesus www.lds.org .

Caustic works better on hair. Sulfuric acid is actually used to clean wool of vegetable matter like grass. As I recall cotton is mercerized with strong caustic.
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On Thursday, February 21, 2013 8:50:34 PM UTC-6, Stormin Mormon wrote:

Just keep in mind that either acids or bases attack metal.
If it's PVC, no problem.
You said a wash cloth went down the drain, so putting in a coat hanger bent to an angle can work wonders in getting it out.
Take care.
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If the OPs home is very old there may be no P trap but a drum trap instead.....
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And how sure are you that the cloth was cotton?
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On 2/21/2013 12:49 PM, blerg_blerg wrote:

(water spot on ceiling of unit below me). That night, no joke, a baby washcloth went down our bathtub drain. I have tried fishing for it with a plastic drain hook tool with no luck (it doesn't appear to be flexible enough to navigate the pipes). I can see water in the drain pipe, about 3-4" down. When taking a shower now, water fills up to about ankle depth in about 10-15 minutes but then seems to drain within the same amount of time. Some approaches to try that I've read about are various drain clog cleaners or bleach to try and dissolve the washcloth or using a wire hanger (all of ours are plastic) or plumber's snake to fish it out. I've also read that it might be easier to remove the stopper linker and go straight down that overflow pipe. I've tried to read a lot about this but am left wondering how my situation being on the 2nd floor of a condo/former apartment differs from the drain pipe setup o f a normal house. For instance, my bathtub drain does not feel like it goes straight down very far before it takes a hard turn, presumably toward the wall. I guess I'm just looking for any suggestions/tips. I'm trying to resist calling a plumber since I already spent $250 that I didn't have on one earlier that same day and the guilty party in this case was a family member who was babysitting our daughter and giving her a bath. Thank you.

shop vac
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On Thursday, February 21, 2013 2:49:41 PM UTC-5, blerg_blerg wrote:

e (water spot on ceiling of unit below me). That night, no joke, a baby wa shcloth went down our bathtub drain. I have tried fishing for it with a pl astic drain hook tool with no luck (it doesn't appear to be flexible enough to navigate the pipes). I can see water in the drain pipe, about 3-4" dow n. When taking a shower now, water fills up to about ankle depth in about 10-15 minutes but then seems to drain within the same amount of time. Some approaches to try that I've read about are various drain clog cleaners or bleach to try and dissolve the washcloth or using a wire hanger (all of our s are plastic) or plumber's snake to fish it out. I've also read that it m ight be easier to remove the stopper linker and go straight down that overf low pipe. I've tried to read a lot about this but am left wondering how my situation being on the 2nd floor of a condo/former apartment differs from the drain pipe setup of a normal house. For instance, my bathtub drain doe s not feel like it goes straight down very far before it takes a hard turn, presumably toward the wall. I guess I'm just looking for any suggestions/ tips. I'm trying to resist calling a plumber since I already spent $250 th at I didn't have on one earlier that same day and the guilty party in this case was a family member who was babysitting our daughter and giving her a bath. Thank you.
There's nothing special about your tub drain. It makes a sharp 90 degree tu rn toward the wall. That is perfectly normal. It meets up with the overflow tube where it turns again and drops down into a P-trap, which stays filled with water to prevent sewer gasses from coming up and stinking up your apa rtment.
The washcloth is probably wedged at the second 90 degree turn, or in the P- trap itself.
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If this were my job to fix, I'd bend out a drain snake, so the end of the wire sticks forward, and try that, see if I could pull the fabric back.
Second try would be plumbers force cup, with the overflow vent closed with a rag, held tightly on.
I'd go for sulfuric acid as the third try.
Christopher A. Young Learn more about Jesus www.lds.org .
So I had a plumber over to my condo unit (2nd floor) to fix a toilet issue (water spot on ceiling of unit below me). That night, no joke, a baby washcloth went down our bathtub drain. I have tried fishing for it with a plastic drain hook tool with no luck (it doesn't appear to be flexible enough to navigate the pipes). I can see water in the drain pipe, about 3-4" down. When taking a shower now, water fills up to about ankle depth in about 10-15 minutes but then seems to drain within the same amount of time. Some approaches to try that I've read about are various drain clog cleaners or bleach to try and dissolve the washcloth or using a wire hanger (all of ours are plastic) or plumber's snake to fish it out. I've also read that it might be easier to remove the stopper linker and go straight down that overflow pipe. I've tried to read a lot about this but am left wondering how my situation being on the 2nd floor of a condo/former apartment differs from the drain pipe setup of a normal house. For instance, my bathtub drain does not feel like it goes straight down very far before it takes a hard turn, presumably toward the wall. I guess I'm just looking for any suggestions/tips. I'm trying to resist calling a plumber since I already spent $250 that I didn't have on one earlier that same day and the guilty party in this case was a family member who was babysitting our daughter and giving her a bath. Thank you.
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I have had some luck with a flexible 4 jaw retriever Push the plunger in to expand the jaws, poke it in until you feel the cloth and pull it out. It may take a couple tries
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Yup that's the one. Lowes has a good one that is about 18-20" long.
I would go with the acid/caustic soda thing absolutely last after nothing else worked and then understanding it still might not work leaving you a horrible environment to do anything else.
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If you have a wet/dry Shop style vaccuum cleaner, I would try to vaccuum that wash cloth out of the p-trap.
--
nestork


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I would first try a shop vac.
Greg
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Situation has been resolved. I went out looking for a wire hanger but appa rently no one sells them anymore. So instead, I bought a 15' drain snake f or $11, stuck it in there and a few feet down hit paydirt. It came out ver y easily. Thanks for the helpful suggestions!
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You da man! We never doubted you.
At least, I don't think we did?
Christopher A. Young Learn more about Jesus www.lds.org .
Situation has been resolved. I went out looking for a wire hanger but apparently no one sells them anymore. So instead, I bought a 15' drain snake for $11, stuck it in there and a few feet down hit paydirt. It came out very easily.
Thanks for the helpful suggestions!
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blerg_blerg wrote:

apparently no one sells them anymore. So instead, I bought a 15' drain snake for $11, stuck it in there and a few feet down hit paydirt. It came out very easily. Thanks for the helpful suggestions!

Don't you feel great when things do work out?
Jeff
--
Jeffry Wisnia
(W1BSV + Brass Rat '57 EE)
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On 2/22/2013 10:00 AM, blerg_blerg wrote:

apparently no one sells them anymore. So instead, I bought a 15' drain snake for $11, stuck it in there and a few feet down hit paydirt. It came out very easily. Thanks for the helpful suggestions!

Next time you need a wire hanger, just get one from your local dry cleaners.
--
Peace,
bobJ

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