1. Things you need to know about the new ‘Conversations’ PM system:

    a) DO NOT REPLY TO THE NOTIFICATION EMAIL! I get them, not the intended recipient. I get a lot of them and I do not want them! It is just a notification, log into the site and reply from there.

    b) To delete old conversations use the ‘Leave conversation’ option. This is just delete by another name.
    Dismiss Notice

Bath not draining...

Discussion in 'off topic' started by paulfromcamden, Sep 23, 2022 at 1:09 PM.

  1. paulfromcamden

    paulfromcamden Baffled

    It looks like our bath waste pipe is gunked up - takes forever for water to drain.

    I've tried the plunger. Tried soda crystals and a kettle of boiling water. No joy.

    I have a plumbers snake but no access to the bottom of the bath (previously owners tiled over the side) so decided against unscrewing the drain cover...

    Outside drain seems OK and sink is draining OK.

    Any suggestions?
  2. farfromthesun

    farfromthesun pfm Member

    Some horrible chemical stuff from the local hardware shop.
    The one I use has lots of grave looking warnings and images on it.
    Try something like that - tip it down and leave it.
    narabdela likes this.
  3. paulfromcamden

    paulfromcamden Baffled

    I wondered about that. In general we try and use the eco-friendly cleaning products made from daisies and mountain spring water but I think it might be time for the napalm.

    Do you think this stuff might do the job?
  4. sean99

    sean99 pfm Member

    I have found that the plunger only works if you block the bath's overflow drain - otherwise all it does is blow air out of the overflow. I hold a rubber sanding block over the overflow opening while plunging vigorously and that seems to do the trick. Our bath needs plunging annually due to old plumbing and an outdated drum trap.
    Ben&Ted, Wolfmancatsup and Joco like this.
  5. paulfromcamden

    paulfromcamden Baffled

    Yep. I always put a few layers of duct tape over the overflow otherwise it just sprays water everywhere.
  6. Ian G

    Ian G pfm Member

    Sodium hydroxide or sulphuric acid drain cleaners are the way to go, also have the family shaved completely smooth all over, it's the hair and toenail clippings that cause the issue.
    Weekender and John Phillips like this.
  7. garyi

    garyi leave blank

    The only problem I find with cleaners is it relies on the plug being totaly blocked, if it can get through ok it has little effect, we need like a foam or gel?

    (Same issue here!)
  8. zarniwoop

    zarniwoop hoopy frood

    A bit tame after the other suggestions, but have you tried baking soda and vinegar?
    Richard Lines likes this.
  9. paulfromcamden

    paulfromcamden Baffled

    The HG stuff is 20-25% Sodium Hydroxide. I'll pop over to Wicks in a bit and invest four quid.

    We have a crud catcher that goes over the drain after a bath but I guess stuff still gets through. Thankfully no one is putting toe nail clippings down the plughole... *retch*
  10. narabdela

    narabdela who?

    Yep. Shelf your eco scruples temporarily, tip that down, leave overnight, and then have a good flush down with hot water.

    Not in my experience.
  11. gavreid

    gavreid pfm Member

    Never put hot water in the drain with sodium hydroxide folks. It will boil in your face giving you a painful trip to A&E - at best...
  12. paulfromcamden

    paulfromcamden Baffled

    I often put baking soda down the kitchen sink (followed by a kettle of hot water) after I do the washing up as a preventative to keep the kitchen sink from blocking. No idea how effective it is in practise.

    I've tried the baking soda and vinegar thing on blocked sinks in the past without much success.
  13. zarniwoop

    zarniwoop hoopy frood

    Fair enough. It's worked for me a few times on blocked baths but I guess it depends on what's causing the blockage and how far down the pipe it is.
  14. Rug Doc

    Rug Doc pfm Member

    I've used the HG Duo that is also for sale at Wickes by the looks of it - left overnight and it must have dissolved all the hair that was in there - I have never been so excited to see water flowing away so fast the next day :D
    gavreid likes this.
  15. stevec67

    stevec67 pfm Member

    Baking soda or washing soda alone will work on grease. Don't mix it with vinegar as this simply neutralises it. Yes, it generates foam (acid plus carbonate gives salt plus CO2, in this case sodium acetate (used to flavour salt and vinegar crisps) plus CO2.)

    Sodium hydroxide will saponify grease very effectively (look it up), and sulphuric acid will shift other organic gunge. Both will dissolve hair. DO NOT EVER mix sodium hydroxide and sulphuric acid unless they are very dilute.
  16. Seeker_UK

    Seeker_UK Feelin' nearly faded as my jeans

    Mix the NaOH with water before poring down the plug 'ole, else you end up with a plug of solid, caustic nastiness in any trap. I speak from experience - I lost a lot of fingerprints that day...

    If potions and fluids fail, get one of these;

  17. mansr

    mansr Objectionist

    Use half a cup or so of sodium hydroxide (aka caustic soda) powder/crystals followed by a little water, enough to wet the stuff and transport it to the blockage, not so much as to rinse it out before it has had time to act. Let it sit overnight. Repeat if necessary.

    Bath/shower blockages are usually a combination of hair and soap residue. Sodium hydroxide will dissolve it quite readily, as will sulphuric acid. Less corrosive stuff is a waste of time.
  18. paulfromcamden

    paulfromcamden Baffled

    Got one of them - it's done the job for the bathroom sink in the past where I can unscrew the trap and get it down the pipe. In this case I don't have access underneath the bath and decided against unscrewing the drain cover in case it's all that's holding the waste pipe in place.

    Top tip with a plumbers snake - wear gloves! I got a load of fetid black waste pipe gunk under a thumbnail and was squeezing out pus for days... : )
  19. gintonic

    gintonic 50 shades of grey pussy cats

    fill the bath alot - strip off and jump in. Sit over plughole and let rip........ arse pump plunger
  20. Darth Vader

    Darth Vader From the Dark Side

Share This Page


  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice