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Paul asks…

Bathroom Clogs and Water Issue?

Ok so my bathroom sink and bathtub gets clogged with water now. Been for a long time. I think the problem with the sink is the pipe needs to be cleaned underneath. But there are a few other things. My bathtub also has a clog and I’ve had plumbers over before Roto Rooter can tempererily fix it but thats expensive and they keep coming back. Something is clogging the tub not sure what or what to do about it. We poured things like drano down the tub before and no dice. Now the water in the shower goes from hot to cold very fast less than ten min and 1/2 the water flows from the tub head when the shower is on. And not at the same temperature! Also I noticed that if I stay in the show too long or someone uses the upstairs bathroom, I hear bubbles in the toilet. Lastly the water in the sink takes awhile to heat up again after I get out of the shower. Its usually cold and I don’t get any hot water to shave. WHAT IS GOING ON? Can these problems be fixed without a plumber. They keep coming back these plumbers professionals too. WTF. Please help in regard to these issues. Thanks

tantan answers:

You have several separate problems:

1) Clogs in sinks can be addressed like previous answerer said, remove the U-bend under the sink and try just cleaning that out. Don’t forget to also ream out the gunk in the straight pipe above where the U-bend was. Icky.

2) Bubbling in the toilet when a toilet overhead flushes means there’s some kind of obstruction in your main line – a big blockage. The overhead flush is forcing air in the main pipe back up through your toilet. That’s going to need professional help, unless you own one of those big drain reamers. It also suggests your drain vent isn’t working or there isn’t a vent – the vent should let that pressure off with no resistance. You’ll want that fixed, too.

3) Stop pouring chemicals down the drain. They’re expensive and don’t help much. Try running a bent hanger down the tub drain, try to fish out the wad of hair and soap that’s likely causing all that trouble right there.

4) Half the water coming out of the tub spout instead of the shower might be a problem with the spout. If your spout has a knob you lift up or a lever to flip to make the shower come on, try unscrewing the spout and see if its little gate valve dealie is messed up. When that gate valve is operated, it just forces the water in your pipes to go up to the shower head. New spouts are cheap.

5) It sounds like, for whatever reason, your water heater has lost a lot of its capacity, either to heat water effectively or somehow a lot of its volume. How big is it? And when was the last time you ran the sediment off its bottom? Hook up a garden hose to the draincock on the bottom and let out a lot of that water, it’ll probably take a while before it runs clear. As to the heating, turn off power to the water heater and test the elements, see if either of them has failed. If so, they’re not hard to replace, but you’ll need to turn off the water and drain the tank to do it.

Good luck!

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