My bath drain, drains very slowly. It doesn't appear to be clogged with
hair and it drains into a septic tank. No other drain seems to have a
problem. However I was wondering if the way the previous owner routed the
drain lines might be the source of the issue.
Shows the drain. There are two obvious things that make me wonder. One, as
you can see there is a wierd PVC joint right above the transition to the
galvanized pipe - almost like they necked it down, you can see all the green
joint compound. The other is the absolute horizontal pipe that runs from
the tub drain to the PVC "T" junction. Could this be the source of my slow
drain? I presume the vertical PVC pipe section is for the tub overflow
drain - it doesn't go anywhere else and it isn't a vent so far as I can
A couple of questions, if I were to snake the tub drain, would the trap
Second, if I were to redesign the tub drain, how do I deal with the sewer?
I presume that there is basically raw sewage all the way to the top of the
tub drain "U" trap. Should I crack out the NBC suit and call in the EPA or
are there alternatives to dealing with the sewer line?
BTW: I finally cleaned out the bulk of the spiders in that corner, as you
can see its relatively clean now. The webs back there made the opening
scenes of Raiders of the Lost Ark look like Martha Stewart dusting cobwebs.
The PVC stuff is just a standard tub setup. That wouldn't cause a
slow drain unless it's clogged with soap scum and hair, which is
pretty common. You are correct that the vertical leg goes to the
You can try snaking the drain with a small diameter spring snake down
through the overflow. If you use the type that you can spin you
should be able get it through the trap. If the tub has a trip-lever
stopper on the overflow plate, it will pull out up through the
overflow when you remove the plate.
If you can't snake it or it doesn't help, you are going to have to
take it apart. IIWM, I'd cut the galvanized leg midway between the
trap and the stack, and replace the trap with a pvc one with a
cleanout. You can couple the PVC to the galvanized with a fernco
You may find the galvanized piping is so corroded inside that it is
restricting the flow. If that's the case, you are in for a bigger
Uhhhgg, I was hoping you wouldn't say that. Well actually it won't be so
bad, the pipe doesn't run very far before it dumps into the main septic
Just out of curiousity, is the galvanized and PVC line gonna be full of
On Sat, 16 Sep 2006 21:07:07 -0700, "Eigenvector"
No. As another poster pointed out, the pipe will be empty except for
a little old bath water in the bottom of the trap. (unless something
is really, really wrong!)
Well, that's not quite true, it will probably have a pretty disgusting
build-up of sludge, soap scum, hair, lint, etc. But no sewage or
(ahem) waste. (Unless you have very unusual bath habits :-) )
I would say no, the section past the P trap seems to slope well but I
can't see what happens after that.
Yes, should be the overlow
Shouldn't but it's always better to be very gentle when snaking old
Another think you may want to check is if that drain has a dedicated
vent pipe http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plumbing_drainage_venting and if
that pipe is clogged. Birds, wasps, bees. etc have a passion for those
Not sure what you mean here.
Actually no, that pipe should be empty when not draining water from the
tub. Only the lower part of the trap should hold some grey water, but
No, and no need to call the cavalry either. If you re-route the pipe
(why?) or replace it, just stuck some rag on the septic side to keep
the odor down until you'ready to reconnect. You don't want that rag to
go all the way inside the pipe, right? No offense, but replacing that
drainage pipe is a job is better left to a pro.
I presume that there is basically raw sewage all the way to the top of
tub drain "U" trap. Should I crack out the NBC suit and call in the
are there alternatives to dealing with the sewer line?<<<<<
chill out......the "raw sewage" of which you are concerned is really
just "grey water".....shower / bath drain water. The trap stays wet
from use but the rest of the drain plumbing is empty .....everything
just drains away....not supposed to have standing water anywhere except
in the trap
Even "black water" is mostly water....esp after a few flushes of water
only. Changing diapers is worse than either one..... :)
per the other replies, the trap & galv lines might be the problem. I'd
Sawzall out everything from the new plastic tub /shower stuff to the
iron T & replace it with new plastic parts. If the old metal parts
are corroded & clogged...you fixed it!
If not, the problems further downstream (but I doubt it).
I had an upstairs shower back up into a downstairs sink (shared
downstream line). I pulled the downstairs pedestal sink away from the
way & snaked the common line from there......a week later no problems.
Usually a simple fix solves the problem.
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