clogged bath

Old 07-21-01, 10:06 AM
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My shower/bathtub drains very slowly. A while back, we had a plumber come out to clean out the drain and he said the problem was that the piece that lifts and drops the stopper/plug was caught in the drain pipe. Over time it was collecting hair, etc. and slowed the passage of water through the pipe. (Does this make sense?) Instead of paying to have it removed, I've been using a plunger and draino to try to keep the hair from collecting. Does anyone have advice on how to remove that piece from the drain?

Old 07-28-01, 04:01 PM
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It's hard to tell what type of stopper you have from your question. If you have a lever below the tub spout that you use to close the drain to fill the tub then it (the stopper that you cant see) can be removed by taking the screws out from the lever plate. The lever assbly will have a rod attached to it that goes down the overflow pipe to another peice attached to the rod that blocks the drain. It will all lift out together with a little gentle finagling. The threaded rod is usually adjustable. The adjustment moves the stopper up or down in the drain. See if when you have the stopper out, the tub drains well when it did not just before removal, if so it can be adjusted up or down to get the right drainage. If it still drains poorly then there is something in the trap/drain pipe that needs to be clened out
(snaked) to allow proper drainage.
Hope this helps
The Carpenter's Son
Old 07-28-01, 06:50 PM
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Thanks carpenter's son -- the problem seems to be that there is no stopper attached to the lever plate (actually, it's a lever plate without the lever, just a plate with a hole in the middle.) I believe that the lever assembly/threaded rod has dropped down into the (overflow) pipe. When I pass a wire into the overflow pipe, it goes beneath where it crosses the drain pipe, but gets stuck (or hits something solid) just below there. Does this make sense? I can narrowly get a thin wire by the blocking object, but it seems pretty well stuck in there. I've tried "fishing" it out, but whatever's blocking the pipe (rod/lever assembly?) doesn't budge at all.

Any ideas?
Old 07-29-01, 02:22 PM
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Hi dswolff,
The hole in the plate that you mention, does it look as if there was a lever there? Are you fishing the wire through the hole or have you removed the plate? When you remove the plate there will be a washer between the top of the overflow tube and the back side of the tub(the part that you can't see) be careful you don't loose it it will need to go back. When you have the plate off you should be able to fish the rod assbly out. If not, do you have access from below the bath via access panel or unfinished floor below? Let me know and I can give you some more direction. Talk to you soon.
Continued Luck,
The Carpenter's Son
Old 07-29-01, 06:15 PM
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1) there is a hole in the plate, where it looks like a lever used to be.

2) When I fish, I removed the plate and tried that way. I didn't come across a washer, however. Once the plate is removed, a wire will go down into the pipe easily until it hits the blockage. The blockage is about an inch or two beneath the bottom of the tub.

3) I don't have great access to the pipes for the tub. I'm in a condo in a three unit building. I have access to a panel in a room behind the tub. However, my access to the pipes for the tub end up behind the pipes that run vertically to the units above us. As a result, getting to the tub seems extremely difficult. I haven't checked the basement, but I may have access there. Perhaps it's possible to "push the blockage further down into the pipe (so that I can get it out from the basement.) (This also sounds like a very stupid idea....)

thanks for the help
Old 07-29-01, 07:29 PM
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Pushing the blockage further down the drain pipe system is exactly how most clogs are removed (with plumber's snake).
Each section of drain pipe flows into a larger size as it goes out from fixtures.
Old 07-30-01, 09:17 AM
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Oldguy is correct. If it is just hair build up it could be pushed through. But it sounds as if a piece of the stopper is wedged in there pretty good. I dont think your going to be able to push that thru. What type of piping do you have for the drain? Pvc,galvinized,cast iron or copper. It's good that you have some access to work with albeit a little tight. The stopper may be wedged,corroded or rusted in tight. Let me know what type pipe you think it is and does your drain tie into the pipe thats in your way.
The Carpenter's Son

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