Slow Drain (posted by LG)

[ASKNACHI]This question was posted on by LG (from Bridgeport, PA). [/ASKNACHI]Our bathtub has always drained slowly. Occasionally I’ll use some liquid chemical unclogger (big no-no, I know!), or take a plunger to it, but that only solves the problem for a day or so before it starts slowing down again. When we had our tub surround replaced a couple years ago, the company sent in a plummer first who checked everything out and said that our drain was slow probably because the pipes weren’t at enough of an angle.

So, I can live with this. I don’t mind that a few inches of water collects while I’m bathing, it’s usually completely drained before I leave the bathroom. But, when my husband takes a shower, water will sit in the tub indefinitely! Sometimes he’ll shower at night and the next morning when I go in, there is still water in the tub, not moving. I’ll use the plunger and eventually that gets things going.

What could cause the difference in draining times between him and me? I use regular shampoo and body wash, he uses anti-dandruff shampoo and bar soap. My showers are generally longer and if anyone is shedding hair in there it’s me. So any ideas?

You need a real plumber and not a tub installer.
What you describe is not normal or something you should live with.
This can be caused by a few things which I can’t determine from your thread.
It could be a mainline partial clog where water builds up during the day.
I do not know if you are in an apt unit or house.
Call a Licensed plumber and get it taken care of.
Feel free to call me through the links on my sites.

I have the same problem in one bath room in are house, about every 3-4 months I use a foaming clog remover to get the drain water flowing, so it isn’t draining very very very slow. Go to Wal-Mart and get a bottle of Liquid-Plumr foaming pipe snake and try this first and if it doesn’t work do as Robert suggested an get a real plumber.
Good luck :slight_smile:


Gary there is a small object , or maybe even a broken drain tile in this type situation.
I have seen it many times.
They need to start, with a full rod out and maybe a sewer cam.

But need more detail to be sure.

Sounds like hair to me it gets grungy and catches soap .
Cleaner gets rid of the soap but the hair is still there .
Home depot sells a flat plastic with a lots of small sharp fingers just for this application. Plumbing dept

Roy if the hair sticks to the soap and the soap goes, so does the hair.
Often there is a small object that allows the passage of water but catches the muck.
For soap I always tell people to pour a little vinagar down the drain to keep it clear.The small object could be a hair pin.

I saw this in a Home recently, the plumbing drain lines had been replaced and the person (which was not a plumber) that had performed this operation had the right slope for the pipe but used too many elbows and the wrong kind of elbows. HE used 90s instead of a gradual longer elbow and in this case things were getting clogged at the elbow such as hair…

Now you tell me all these years when I was showering I should not have been using soap.
Well too late now not much hair left to lose.

Some times there is also a drum trap right under the tub.
Roy soap does cause the most problems, and you are right about that.
Just look at the soap dish in the shower and see how it gets hard as cement.

During the inspection I say to my clients .
A good idea might be to put a little of some sort of drain cleaner in the Kitchen and bath sinks when you move in.
I wait and they usually ask why.
I then say just think those who are moving out are exceptional busy and do not usually keep things as clean as you will.
They also might have a lot of part bottles of Soap cooking oil and who knows what they do not wish to move Where is the easiest place to get rid of this stuff.

I have lots of them and many write a little blurb on my client questionnaire thanking us for these tips…

Roy , my opinion is chemical drain cleaners are a waste of money and ruin the pipes.
I had a building maintenence guy walk in while I was working once and he poured sulphric based acid down the kitchen sink whick was such a toxic fume that we had to evacuate for 30 minutes with all the windows open at -20 below zero.
A good plunger is cheaper, and a small drill based auger can be bought for 15 bucks.Chemicals eat the drain draips if they are not PVC.

Roy might be right on the money…I have the same issue at my house.

Longer hairs can go down into the drain & wash to either side of the drain basket. They hang there & collect soap & get really grungy. This happens in my own home & I use the tool Roy described to drag the muck out when the drain flow slows down. There are strainers over the baskets, but the hair still gets in there.

After the muck is pulled out, everything flows fine for a month or 2 before the buildup returns.

My husband uses bar soap & it DOES clog up way worse than my bodywash does. When you use the chemical cleaners, you clean the buildup off the hair, but the hair remains there to catch more, hence the very temporary fix.

I would give cleaning the baskets with that less than $5 tool a try before I called a plumber in. A word of warning though…It is pretty nasty :shock:

Carolyn never use Draino.
Just put a little vinegar , maybe a cup once every week or so and it will dissolve the soap.The hair is clinging to the soap.
Trust me on this one, as I spent fifteen years running large apt buildings and was the main plumber.

Thanks guys for the responses on this. I had requested this poster repost her question here as she had originally posted it on an Angie’s list forum that doesn’t get near the traffic of qualified professionals as this board and you guys came through just like I knew you would.

I hear you Robert…:wink: Wouldn’t touch the stuff. The tool I was referring to was this:

I use baking soda & vinegar for my foaming pipe cleaner. I put about 1/2 c baking soda in the drains followed by 1/2 c vinegar & let it sit for about 1/2 hour, then rinse with HOT water. This keeps my drains clean (except for the hair in the tub drains & that little plastic strip does the trick in there) I don’t want the chemicals in my septic tank or my pipes. I also don’t like pop up sink stoppers that you can’t pull out of the drain hole because of the gunk that gets in there you can’t get to. I replaced mine & turned the new ones so they could be removed for cleaning.

Glad to hear that carolyn.
Yeah I have seen the hook strip ,though that pric`e seems a little high for a piece of one penny in plastic. lol
For a sink it is nice to have those traps with a cleanout at the bottom.
Had a Condo with those today, and they are great for recovering Rings and things.