Old house - can't get snake into tub drain


Old 02-20-13, 01:57 PM
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Old house - can't get snake into tub drain


Our house is 100 years old and most of the drain piping is copper, feeding into a cast iron main stack. The bathtub on the second floor drains very slowly. Plunging doesn't help and I'm not able to get a snake into the drain at all. It seems like the drain only goes down about an inch, then turns sharply outward. I can't seem to get the snake more than a couple of inches past this point.

A few years ago we removed the old bathtub on the first floor, and I recall that in the basement, the drain from the tub to the main stack contained what I can only describe as a small tank. Unfortunately I don't have any pictures of it. Does anyone know what this "tank" is? We may have something similar on the second-floor tub which is preventing the snake from getting through. I'm trying to avoid cutting out the ceiling below the bathtub and replacing the drain. Any ideas?

Thanks as always!
Old 02-20-13, 05:12 PM
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You are most likely encountering a drum trap. Old. In addition, you don't snake a tub from the drain, but from the overflow tube. You'll need to remove the overflow mechanism and run the snake down there. However, the drum trap may hinder further travel, necessitating the horrid removal of the ceiling downstairs .

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