Shower drain keeps clogging

Discussion in 'Showers and Tubs' started by GhostRider, May 31, 2018.

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  1. May 31, 2018 #1

    GhostRider

    GhostRider

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    My shower drain keeps getting clogged a lot, and it’s largely my wife’s fault..lol. I went to the basement under the tub and snapped these pics. The first showing the drain. The second a pic of the system. Any way to fix that drain so it doesn’t immediately go to a right angle and flows better? That’s where my problems are, at that bend. Thanks!
    F886BA2E-25DD-47F3-B677-80CC3E290824.jpeg 3C799497-36DE-4492-91F7-85BAD9DCE49B.jpeg
     
  2. Jun 1, 2018 #2

    CT18

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    That tee is not allowed in the horizontal like that. Is that a tub drain or a shower stall.
     
  3. Jun 1, 2018 #3

    GhostRider

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    Its a bath tub. Sorry.

    I dont know what you are talking about the "tee"?
     
  4. Jun 5, 2018 #4

    TomFOhio

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    It's the fitting that the p-trap drains into. That should be a wye or a tee wye. It also reduces from 2" to 1 1/2".
    Here's a couple pictures. wye.jpg tee wye.jpg
     
  5. Jun 5, 2018 #5

    breplum

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    Tom you are so patient and make great effort to help, and -of course- it is the wrong fitting.
    Also, I have never seen a tub drain done with tubular.
    And, I don't see a vent, so the water may be flowing very slowly due to the lack of a vent, which contributes to the clogging.
    Additionally, plastic pipe must be supported at 4' intervals with ridged hangers that prevent movement in all directions. Whoever did that work did a (expletive) job and it needs to be fixed.
     
  6. Jun 6, 2018 #6

    TomFOhio

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    Breplum, if it is the wrong fittings to go into then what is the correct fitting. I've seen tubs with tubular p-traps which
    are wrong and with the correct tub trap with union. I don't think the vent was mentioned when I posted. PS Go into
    an older home and you will probably see most of them ran like this, without a vent.
     
  7. Jun 6, 2018 #7

    breplum

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    Tom, the TEE on its' side is what I (and you) were calling wrong.
    Without a vent serving the tub trap (really-all fixtures require a vent) , it does not meet UPC standards.
    There is a chance that it may be using "horizontal wet venting", which in the UPC had been allowed only with inspector's approval on a case by case basis. But, in the recent code additions (starting 2016), horizontal wet venting is now allowed, when it conforms to all the particular elements and requirements.
     
  8. Jun 6, 2018 #8

    TomFOhio

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    I agree. Are you allowed to use a AAV in CA so they wouldn't have to try and get a vent added into the system through
    the walls. I believe around here they will let us. I mis-read your post about what was wrong on the fitting.
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2018
  9. Jun 6, 2018 #9

    GhostRider

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    I have had several plumbers in and out of here and nobody has ever mentioned anything wrong. So, I guess without some major work, I am out of luck huh? I really have no other major plumbing issues otherwise
     
  10. Jun 7, 2018 #10

    TomFOhio

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    You are not out of luck. It would not be hard to change that tee out. It might stop your problem of plugging up all the
    time. Ask your plumbers about that particular issue, as maybe they didn't notice it. If changing that out doesn't help
    then let us know and we can give you suggestions about adding a vent. When you get the tee replaced just have them
    put in a tub trap with union instead of the tubular trap like Breplum suggested. Let us know how it turns out for you.
     
  11. Jun 7, 2018 #11

    Diehard

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    In the meantime you may want to use a hair catching type, tub drain strainer. :)
     
  12. Jun 7, 2018 #12

    RenewDave

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    Wow, so much wrong! Sorry you paid for that. But that “accordian” tailpiece is probably the first reason the tub is backing up. Those catch everything. You could change that santee out with a 2 inch combi and trap the tub with a 2inch trap hard piped up to the waste and overflow.
     
  13. Jun 7, 2018 #13

    gthomson

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    While this doesn't help with your draining problem - I had a problem with a horizontal T like in the picture at one time. Was living in a condo. The initial plumbing setup had a main drain going down the middle of us to the front of places into the grass outside. The plumbing, to put it simply, went from my kitchen sink to the neighbor's kitchen sink, with a T in the middle to connect to that main drain out to the front.
    Plumbers kept trying to clean out my line from the vent on the roof and the plug under the sink, but kept hitting a blockage that it wouldn't go past. And cleaning wasn't helping much.
    One of them finally found that it was hitting the neighbor's drain plug under her sink when trying clean out from the plug under mine because there was no way for it to turn down the main drain line.
    Had to dig up my bathroom floor and wall to put in a Wye connector (I'm assuming, but didn't think to check at the time the work was done) to get it to go down the main line to clean out the blockage.
     
  14. Jun 8, 2018 #14

    CT18

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    You have had several plumbers in there and none of them said anything about that tee on the horizontal.
     
  15. Jun 9, 2018 #15

    RenewDave

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    @CT18, actually it was mentioned by you and breplum early on. After something has been brought up a couple of times, why would I list it again? Are you insinuating that we are “lesser” plumbers if we don’t specifically list every code violation every time?
     
  16. Jun 9, 2018 #16

    jwwing

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    GhostRider: I am assuming that the problem that you are having is hair tangling in the drain. There is no amount of plumbing changes that will fix that. The drains are made so that they can be cleaned out for a reason - they plug. It is not because the water is going horizontally too soon and it sure as (expletive deleted) is not because your plumber used a straight T!!!

    You have not indicated the nature of the plugging other than due to your wife. That suggested hair to me. I have a grand daughter living with us who has such thick long flowing hair that every time she washes it, she clogs up a similarly designed drain system. I have been told that there are two methods to fix it other than banning the girl:

    1. There is a gadget that you can buy that raises the drain about a half inch and captures all of the hair in the tub
    2. There is a gadget that you can buy that allows you to reach into the tub and extract the hair

    I have not tried either of these, but the first one sounds best. It is a device that fits over the drain sort of domed shape to prevent the hair from entering the drain. I cannot find one (haven't tried very hard) but something like a plastic spaghetti strainer upside down made out of screen material should work. It allows the flow to continue unabated, while stopping all the hair.

    I have the second gadget on order - it looks like a hook and loop (Velcro) plug that slips into the drain and you turn it slowly as you remove it from the drain along with all of the hair. I can see problems for that device if it is not very strong (made out of plastic) because I have pulled with all of my strength in order to pull braided hair out of that drain after she washes her hair.

    So my conclusion is that you do NOT have a plumbing issue. Putting the street el or modified street T will have no effect on the problem because it occurs above the elbow at the device that first 'tangles' with the hair - the drain closer (plug). All of these hand operated mechanical devices have some form of linkage that is inserted into the flow and the hair goes around it tangling more and more as it is caught - the hair never plugs at the T (thankfully). One thing that might help would be to remove that contraption and use a rubber hand-plug to close the drain if you want it shut. Then drain it with a washcloth over the drain to capture all the 'stuff'. Messy!

    As far as whether this is to 'code' or not depends on the municipality and which plumbers were involved in getting the standards set. I am not up on the codes - but I will insist that the T has very little to do with your problem and a straight down drop will affect it almost as much - zero. The hair will still accumulate.

    PS enjoy your wife's hair while she has it long - she just might decide cut it short.

    Oops - I noticed that the drain you claim is a shower - I assumed a tub used as a shower. All of my drains are short turn like that but under the slab. I have never had a shower drain plug - ever.
    No one seems to have an issue with you non-specific description, so I guess I would need to know specifically what is happening and how you unplug it, etc.
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2018
  17. Jun 9, 2018 #17

    stryker221982

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    I use a treatment of Thrifty in my drains every few months as a preventive measure. works great, works very fast, good on clogged hair and soap/grease build ups
     
  18. Jun 9, 2018 #18

    TomFOhio

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    Ghostrider, are you saying that as soon as you take that p-trap apart and take any hair out then the drain
    runs great? If so then you do need a strainer to stop the hair from going down the drain. In post #3 the poster says
    it is a tub drain.
     
    Gh0st likes this.

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