toy down the bathtub drain

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    • #278619
      Avatar photoAnonymous

        When we bought our house the bath tub drained very slowly. After about a year it was too slow to put up with, so I snaked the drain out. I pulled up a rat-sized clump of hair which contained a plastic cap-plug (like what would protect the threads on a male pipe fitting). At any rate, after removing the cap-plug the toilet drained like a dream. Until…

        About 6 months ago my son (now 2) put 2 out of 3 sailors from a bath toy down the bathtub drain. I recently tried snaking out the drain thinking that I could pull the toys out using the hair that had undoubtably surrounded them. Unforunately I couldn’t get the snake more than 1 foot into the drain. There was no access to the trap, so we called a plumber.

        According to my wife, the first thing the plumber did was hold the 3rd sailor up to the drain. I’m not sure why he did this. Perhaps he though sailor #3 missed his buddies. He must have because he dropped the 3rd sailor, thus reuniting them.

        He then proceeded to cut open the wall behind the tub (no big deal, I think it’s a good idea to have the access & I was going to redo the interior of that closet anyway). After examining the drain & consulting with his boss, he came to the conclusion that they would have to cut the trap out & replace it. Price $1000.

        I’m not a plumber, but it seems like it would be more reasonable to open the trap & give the snake another try. I have no experience with bathtub traps, but it looks like the round cover at the top of the trap would just unscrew. Also, it doesn’t even look like the outlet on the trap is big enough to let the sailors pass. Am I missing something, or is my plumber just enlisting my help to pay for his kid’s college?


      • #298879
        Avatar photoSylvanLMP

          Eric, not to second guess the plumber But I think he put the 3rd toy soldier near the drain to see if it could fit down the drain.

          About snaking the line catching a plastic toy is never easy with any snake.

          You may want to try a sears heavy duty WET DRY (4 or 5 HP) to suck the toys out BUT you have to hold a rag over the over flow so you don’t loose the vacuum this some times works.

          You didn’t say how long the plumber tried working on the stoppage.
          Was it on OT or regular time?

          You also didn’t state if the other wall was sheet rock or wire lath and what type of material your piping was Cast Iron or plastic or copper etc.

          I have charged over $1,600 for drain cleaning BUT it took us 4 hours (mechanic and helper) to clear it. (Regular time)

          Did the plumber damage any wires (snakes) working on this stoppage?

          Did you tell the plumbers boss about the 3rd soldier going down the drain?

          Did you ask for a break down for the drain cleaning and the access door?

          To give a price over the net would be virtually impossible.

          Some drain equipment is very expensive and so is the labor plus the other costs of running a business.

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