Ok....... are you getting any flow ...that is, does the tub empty
after many minutes or hours?
Or does it not empty after many hours?
If you're getting some flow....empties after many minutes you might
get lucky with a chemical drain opener.
Unfortunately, using a chemical drain opener will preclude using the
plunger with standing water (there would be a good chance in splashing
the stuff all over place)
Also in order to get really effective plunger action you've got to
block the overflow....sometimes not easy to do completely in a bathtub
or even a bathroom sink. And depend on where the clog is...plunging
could just send air & water up the vent.
A really badly blocked drain often needs a snake...... a slow drain or
even a "very slow" drain can be opened with enzyme drain cleaner or
chemical drain cleaner.
If the tub is on the first floor and the house is built on a
crawlspace....you can access the drain plumbing from the crawlspace.
There might be a cleanout in the bathtub line.
But now that another poster has pointed out that I missed in your OP
you clogged drain reference.......
The knob might pry off......revealing some sort of fastening. But
if the installation is really old, the knob might be frozen on the
shaft & prying might break something. If you do choose to attempt to
pry the knob off, use two same size screwdrivers or small pry bars and
protect the surface of the tub with cardboard or wood (paint
stirrers). Pry gently ...... its an acquired skill (unfortunately,
acquired by breaking things)
Drain maintenance using Zep Drain Careฎ Build Up Remover will
prevent these issues in the future
Use this products on clogs Zep Professional Strength Drain Opener
Well, I must be lucky: It drains slowly. If I get 1 or 2 inches of
water it takes about 5 minutes or so. In fact, this improved a bit
since I used the enzyme.
I agree I have to use the snake eventually. I have a crawl space where
I can probably access the pipes easily, but I do not want to go down
there in this damp and rainy weather.
Also, for future issues like this I think it would be best to develop
the capability to clear the pipe from the bathroom.
The bathroom is relatively new. The house was built 60 year ago, but
the previous owner must have done a remodel within the past 10 years
I am afraid to pry the knob though. One poster was saying earlier that
he has seen this type of knob at his mother's home, and it was secured
from the back.
Even if the clog clears, I will cut the backpanel of the counter in
the kitchen and the Sheetrock and see if I can reach the knob and the
pipes from behind.
By the way, thanks for all the suggestions.
If you can get the drainage to improve even slightly
...continue you use your enzyme product or switch to the Zep Drain
Care Build Up remover.
I've been using & recommending that stuff for YEARS (close to 30).
When used as a drain maintenance method it will improve drain
performance and usually preclude the need for ever using a snake.
I would hold off on tearing into the back side of the tub area for a
while, give the drain enzyme a chance......like every night for a
week. If the flow is acceptable switch to 3 days in a row per week
for a month & then drop back to every 6 months.
Way easier than cutting an access hole.
It is funny! I kept referring to the stuff I was using as "enzyme". A
few minutes ago I looked at the manufacturer , brand, etc.
It turns out what I got from the local Home Depot *was* Zep!
I did not pay attention to other similar products at Home Depot. The
one I got says:
Are there different types of ZEP?
turns out what I got from the local Home Depot *was* Zep!
ZEP Commercial Drain Care Professional Strength.
That is one I would suggest to get a nearly stopped drain working.
ZEP is a manufacturer of MANY household chemicals
(Amazon.com product link shortened)
their enzyme drain build up remover product
Zep #DC-16 18OZ Drain Cleaner
(Amazon.com product link shortened)
is what I suggest for drain maintenance
If you get that bathtub flowing reasoanbly well....... follow care
with enzyme stuff will keep it working forever (unless you have a
mechanical blockage; toothpaste cap, paper clip, LEGO block, etc)
let us know how it works out
This looks just like one I encountered at my parents house about a year
ago. You need to go to the back of the tub. Likely the knob is pressed
onto a shaft that goes into the vertical drain. That shaft will have a
nut on it. Remove the drain pipe and or nut and it will all come apart.
I recall it was a bitch to reassemble.
Usually there is access to the back side of these fixtures through a
removable panel on the OTHER side of the wall from the tub. May be in
the back of a closet or something. Access to the back of the tub may
help clarify how things are attached and connected. -- H
You need to get out more. I own a dozen or so, all stick built, and
each and every one has an access panel for the tub drain and related
hardware. It is extremely rare for me not to see that sort of thing
in a house. Where do you live?
In a 900-SF cheap stick-built lath+plaster (yes, REAL plaster) house built in
1952. No access panels for anything, but we do have a generally-useless
cleanout near the kitchen sink. There is a crawlspace, though.
I have found that enzyme treatments have limited use in tub and sink
drains. The culprit is usually hair and hair is not easily attacked by
enzymes. As an experiment I took a clump of hair and put it in a dish
with an enzyme drain treatment. Northing happened. The hair did not
break down or lose strength. After about a week mold grew in the dish
and I gave up.
Well, in Heathcliff's defense, a lot of houses didn't have them when
new, but got them the first time the tub plumbing crapped out around
year 15 or so. Mebbe he only works on newer houses? There is a hole in
the wall of my hallway closet I have been meaning to build a pretty
cover for since I bought the place 3.5 years ago. Too big for one of the
borg snap-in covers- it goes all the way down to the floor. Probably end
up with painted masonite or thin plywood, held in place with screws,
since I don't feel ambitious enough to frame and case the hole and put
up a panel held with magnetic catches. (Which is how we did it on fancy
houses in the old days....)
When I hit lotto and build my dream house, there will be access panels
EVERYWHERE, for any item with an expected lifespan shorter than the
house. I HATE patching drywall....
Most of my houses were built before 1930, and they generally have a
varnished panel held in place by screws. While I like the idea of
magnetic catches, I haven't seen them used, in even on fancy old
houses. The panels are big enough to be able to replace the waste &
overflow on most of them, and possibly the mixer.
The face plate looks like a Gerber drain set up. It's been 10 years or so,
since I've been involved in remodeling, but IIRC, they just pop on/off.
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