Flexible pipe drainage woes


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Old 05-16-08, 11:33 AM
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Flexible pipe drainage woes

Hi -

I have a steam shower/tub with a slow drain. It is a flexible pipe (maybe 1 1/4"?). Here is the setup - the drain is normal tub drain size, and goes to a little grey box - that box has a tube connection for overflow, a small tube incoming for steam generator drainage, and a little wire connection for drain control.

It also has a small connection to the flexible hose, which is 3 feet or so. I have it looped in a wide semicircle over to the drain hole.

What happens is the drain area fills up with water before it can all get into the tube. I don't know if the problem is too small a hole, no venting, not a steep enough slope to the tube, a dip in the tube that creates a mini trap or what. I don't think it is clogged, as the drain area fills up even if I just quickly pour a glass of water in it.

Is there anything I can do with the tube to make it better? Does anyone have experience with these things to know if I can somehow disconnect the tube and do a direct connection?

FYI, the model is Wisemaker (WMK) A-14.

Thanks in advance for any tips.
 
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Old 05-17-08, 11:10 PM
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I have to say that I have no idea of what you are trying to describe. Could you please take some pictures of the "little box" and its piping and post them?

Pictures need to be first uploaded to a photo hosting site such as photobucket.com or villagephotos.com and then the public URLs posted here.
 
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Old 05-18-08, 12:06 AM
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I have to agree with furd on this one.
 
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Old 05-18-08, 08:54 AM
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Photos

Fair enough. I was hoping that someone might have experience with this particular unit, but that ship has sailed. Here are photos:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/8119816...7605123458311/

For the record, that silicone glop came from the factory.

Note how the tiny (1 1/4?) tube comes out and loops around to the trap.

Looking at this detail, it seems like if I could replace the bottom white piece with some PVC that goes down or at an angle to the trap that would be good - but it would also have to have a threaded inlet for the small drain hose - do they make that? Do you all think that the white piece connect to the grey piece with threads? If not, does it look like there is room for a clamp?

Any comments, advice, help are much appreciated.
 
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Old 05-18-08, 10:06 AM
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OK, from looking at the pictures ( which make this a whole lot easier to figure out), I would say the white piece and the gray piece are most likely threaded together.
I have not seen this type before with a steam drain tied to the side.
Is it just the small steam vent drain giving you a problem, or the whole thing?

All that caulking is put on by someone that was probably told they don't want any leaks so he just puts it to it.

If it just the steam vent I see a little dip causing a trap in the line and you could be getting some buildup in there

Before I go further please tell me if it is just the small drain
 
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Old 05-18-08, 10:13 AM
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I wish it was just the steam drain - the tub drains slowly when showering, so water accumulates at the bottom. Even if I just pour a cup of water into the drain it fills up before it slowly drains out.
 
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Old 05-18-08, 11:18 AM
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OK, here I go,

First thing to do is check to make sure the tub waste controls are fully opening up. If you can remove the stopper in the tub, try to run water then and see if you still have the problem. If not, you just need to adjust the cable for the stopper.
Does anybody in the house that uses this shower have long hair?
Once again, when pulling out the stopper look for lots of hair getting caught. VERY COMMON problem.

Next, Have you tried any drain cleaner? If not try to get an environmentally safe one. They have some good ones out now.
Follow the instructions and see what happens.

Lastly, if you wish to remove that flexible pipe, it looks like it can be done. But lets see how you do with what I recommended first.
 
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Old 05-18-08, 12:31 PM
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Thanks - already did the other two - stopper is all the way out and it is clear all the way down. I have short hair and am the only one who uses the shower.

I tried drain cleaner, and that seemed to help a bit, but it still fills up the drain pipe quickly and then drains slowly.
 
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Old 05-18-08, 12:58 PM
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Well we have a few more options,

1 - Try more drain cleaner.

2 - Plunge the drain. To do so you will need to open the overflow and stuff a wet rag into it so it blocks the air from coming out there. In this case you will also need to see if you can block the steam drain line also somehow.
When plunging, put plunger over drain, add some water, at least an inch or so. Then plunge, pushing and pulling let a little water in then plunge more. do this 4 or 5 times. You may need to add a little water as you go. Try to keep a water seal while plunging. If you do not have a good plunger, get one. As a homeowner you should have one anyway. Get the one with the black inner cone(force cup). Not those cheap brick colored ones.

3 - Repipe the drain. But we do not know at this point where the problem lies. It could be after the flex drain at which time you will need to snake the line.
But if you wish to remove the flex pipe, from looking at the pictures you supplied, it looks like you could cut the flex just before the first rib on the flex drain at the tub side. Then get a rubber coupling with hose clamps on each end,(Fernco), one side to fit around the existing tub drain, the other end to fit 1 1/2" pvc pipe. Connect the fernco from the tub to a 1 1/2" pvc street 90*. Then get a new trap. Remove the old trap and repipe to new trap directly under the pvc 90* with a coupling and a short piece of pipe.
 
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Old 05-18-08, 02:57 PM
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Originally Posted by plumbingods View Post
Well we have a few more options,
Then get a rubber coupling with hose clamps on each end,(Fernco), one side to fit around the existing tub drain, the other end to fit 1 1/2" pvc pipe. Connect the fernco from the tub to a 1 1/2" pvc street 90*.
You don't think the problem could be the drop from 1.5" to 1.25" and the 90 angle at the bottom of the drain? Connecting at the hose wouldn't help that problem.
 
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Old 05-18-08, 03:21 PM
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Actually, No I don't think that is the problem. You need to remember that all you should have coming out of the drain is gray water, which is mostly water, some soap and some hair.

You have no solids going down the pipe so it should be fine. Before the trap you are vented from the overflow and after the trap you should be vented as per code. I did notice a little bit of a sag in the flex pipe causing a small trap condition. It should not be a problem though. Even with an 1 1/4" opening it should drain as fast as a lav.

A good way to test the drain if possible is to cut the line someplace after the trap, where you can repair it and make up some kind of funnel sealed with duct tape. Run some water down it and see if it goes down ok.

Is this tub brand new? If so maybe it is the caulking, but I would assume it is only on the outside. If it is not new, has it always been like this or just start?
 
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Old 05-18-08, 03:23 PM
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Unless of course a small used bar of soap didn't get into the drain plugging it up.
 
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Old 05-18-08, 03:42 PM
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It is new - maybe there is some silicone in the path - It used to drain OK (not great) so it may very well be clogged still. I will try some of these steps and report back.

Thanks!
 
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Old 05-22-08, 02:48 PM
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OK, so it was NOT a clog. The drain cleaner and nothing else worked. I removed the silicone glop and unscrewed the funky adapter from the bottom. The pipe and the trap were completely clear.

It turns out that the entrance to the tube is less than an inch in diameter, and easily filled up such that there was no venting (which is much higher, in the grey tube).

I bought a street 90 for the trap, and a rubber clamp 90 for the bottom of the grey piece. I am left with a very small space in between (maybe an inch or two) and in that inch or two, I need to drain the steam generator, which is a 1/2" threaded nut. I had originally tried a Wye and then a sanitary-T with a 1/2" female thread bushing, but both are way, way to long to fit in that space.

Does anyone have any fittings or other suggestions on how I can get a 1/2" threaded nut to drain into a 1.5" fitting? Is there a T with such a threaded stem? A 1/2" nipple that can pierce into a 1.5" pipe (like my icemaker does in copper)? I'm seeing nothing like this at my local Lowe's, though I haven't hit the supply house yet.

Any suggestions are appreciated.
 
 

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