Mr Rooter's Tips for Shower and bathtub clogs:
Clumps of hair and soap sludge are the most common culprits in shower and bathtub clogs. “Shower drains are fairly simple to clear, since you just remove the drain cap and then auger the line,” according to Bob Beall, president of Mr Rooter Plumbing Pittsburgh and Youngstown.
Bathtubs, on the other hand present a real challenge because of the mechanism used to stop up the drain when filling a tub. “There are two basic types of these mechanism: One uses a stopper and is remotely activated via a trip lever, much like the pop-up mechanism of a typical bathroom sink. The other type uses a rod-and-bucket assembly to stop water from draining out of the tub.
“The rod-and-bucket type is the most common,” according to the most referred plumbing and drain specialist, Mr Rooter. A two-piece adjustable rod that fits inside the tailpiece attaches to a trip lever via a clevis pin on one end and supports the bucket on the other end. When the trip lever is activated, it lowers the bucket into the tee, blocking the flow of water coming from the waste elbow.
“It’s probably no surprise that this rod-and-bucket assembly has a well-deserved reputation for catching hair and soap to form quick clogs. This is why the first step in unclogging a bathtub is to remove this assembly,” says Beall.
Tip 1 Remove the trip lever. To remove the bucket-and-rod assembly, first remove the trip lever by unscrewing the screws that hold the trip lever to the overflow.
Tip 2 Pull out the lift rod and bucket. Then pull out the bucket-and-rod assembly. Quite often a hair ball will be discovered wrapped around the bucket. If the water flowed down the drain when you pulled that out, that is plumber’s luck. If removing the waste and overflow linkage didn’t clear the clog, it’s time to pull out the plunger. Make sure there’s sufficient water in the tub or shower to completely cover the rubber cup of the plunger. Block off the overflow tube with a damp rag, and plunge with a series of sharp, hard strokes. Continue until the drain is cleared.
Tip 3 Auger the waste line. If plunging didn’t work, an auger will be needed, inserted into the overflow drain. Start by augering the waste elbow. Then auger the waste line by passing the snake or hand powered auger down through the tailpiece and past the sanitary tee until the clog clears.