Robert J
Click here for Top Ten Discussions. CLICK HERE for Q & A Homepage
Receive Free Rental Owner Updates Email:  
MrLandlord Q & A
Robert J (by dino [CA]) Sep 12, 2021 8:11 PM
       Robert J (by Robert J [CA]) Sep 12, 2021 10:08 PM
       Robert J (by dino [CA]) Sep 13, 2021 1:20 AM
       Robert J (by Robert J [CA]) Sep 13, 2021 1:47 AM
       Robert J (by dino [CA]) Sep 13, 2021 3:31 AM
       Robert J (by Robert J [CA]) Sep 13, 2021 6:41 AM
       Robert J (by Sorta Blonde [CA]) Sep 13, 2021 12:12 PM
       Robert J (by dino [CA]) Sep 13, 2021 12:26 PM

Click here to reply to this discussion.
Click Here to send this discussion to a friend

Robert J (by dino [CA]) Posted on: Sep 12, 2021 8:11 PM

I have tub trap with very difficult access, not impossible but would require some demo I would prefer to avoid.

Is there any type of substance available that can be poured into drain which is designed to stop very slow drip at bottom of trap???

Or maybe some plumbing tool designed to place such a substance in the bottom of the trap by inserting into tub drain???

I realize it's not likely but I had the idea when I thought about some advertisement for some liquid additive that is supposed to stop radiator leaks although I have no idea if it actually works.

Even if something would work, I'm sure it would only be a temporary fix but would be useful for now.


Robert J (by Robert J [CA]) Posted on: Sep 12, 2021 10:08 PM

Here are the ways to defeat a difficult bathtub drain:

1) If the bathtub has a waste/overflow, you can remove the cover to access the drain tube. Make sure you secure the overflow to the tub while snaking. You can sink a small 1/4" snake cable into the over flow, thru the trap and then into the drain line.

2) Go on the roof and locate the vent pipe. Run your snake down the roof air vent.

3). Try to use a zip hair remover and run it down the tub drain to remove hair in the part of the drain system.

4) Use a Wet/Dry vac, remove the particle filters, and try to suck up anything suck in the trap.

Bathtub traps have a small radius on the turn and hard to snake.

I purchase of make up my own Double Drop Snake Head just for bathtub drains.

I hope this helps!


Robert J (by dino [CA]) Posted on: Sep 13, 2021 1:20 AM


Please read my post. I have no clog in the drain.

My post asked if there is any way to repair a slow drip at bottom of trap if trap has no access unless I demo.

Robert J (by Robert J [CA]) Posted on: Sep 13, 2021 1:47 AM

Yes, a cracked bathtub drain trap can be fixed without access to the inside the wall.

This is for cast iron thick traps, not 16 gauge thin copper/brass traps.

First I remove the overflow cover and secure the overflow pipe to the tub so it doesn't move around, leak or separate.

Then I send a camera down the overflow to see how dirty the trap is.

Then using a wire brush attached to a cable flexible wire I brush clean the walls of the trap. Removing rust. And I flush out the dirty stuff. Then I suck out the water using a shop vac or blow air into the overflow port to force the water down the line.

Once I've seen the trap is clean I can build a syringe with a flex clear tube so it can be lowered down into the trap where the crack is located. Once I see the tube is in place, (with my camera) I can fill the syringe with:

An epoxy, water proof 2 part that dries in 5 to 20 minutes.

Or a silicone marine sealer.

I will apply first a thin amount into the crack and then an small amount over it. Not to limit the diameter of the pipe by too much.

You just can't poor something into a dirty trap not knowing where the leak is located.

But if you had access inside the wall and found a leak, you could use a mesh epoxy repair kit and roll the mesh around the trap that will harden and make it water tight and stronger than anything.

Robert J (by dino [CA]) Posted on: Sep 13, 2021 3:31 AM

Your Majesty Robert J,

You have outdone yourself this time. I have come to expect from you a command of your various areas of expertise.

But this level of cleverness, this goes well beyond knowing your stuff.

Two questions though, at the end of your most recent post above, you described a repair if I had access inside the wall. Why would you do that repair when you could replace the trap IF you had access inside the wall???

Secondly, I don't yet know what type of trap is in there but why can I not use the same procedure with a thin trap and how would you handle it differently if it were a thin copper/brass trap???

Robert J (by Robert J [CA]) Posted on: Sep 13, 2021 6:41 AM

Sometimes when you open up a wall to have access to the upstairs bathtub trap, it is located between the 1st and 2nd story, between the ceiling/floor joist. Then to change it out you'd have to open up the bathroom ceiling in the lower apartment too. Very little work room.

In other words in two occupied units, if you are only the plumber you can break all the walls and ceilings you want, knowing the painter will re-drywall and fix things. But having tenants without the use of a show or tub during the repair process makes no one happy.

Since I'm my own man with my 100 plus apartments, I don't want to open up anything I don't have too, until a unit is vacant. Then I cut exterior walls open for access and install a weather proof access door.

Plus with other buildings built around 1950, they used galvanized pipes attached to cast iron fittings. To cut out a trap that has limited clearance and install a new modern trap is going to create a clearance issue. Imagine you only have 5 inch clearance between the vertical drain line and your waste/overflow/drain connections. Modern traps with the connection nipples take over 6 inches of space, room you don't have. So fixing the old trap is sometimes easy when units have lot's of tenants.

I have many clients that allow a plumber to replace bathtub traps with any type the please. SO when Redi-Rooter runs their snake down the overflow to clear a tub train, they snake end will cut the thin wall traps and leak on the fist floor drywall ceiling. A week later the wet ceiling falls on the heads of the downstairs tenant.

Also I have a special saw to get into places like a tub trap. The body of arm of the saw pivots 3 ways. Tool was discontinued and too hard to fix. I have 4 of them for back up..

The best thing to do when you open up a wall for access to a bathtub drain is to replace the Waste/overflow, drain and trap with ABS plastic AND add a cleanout and access door.

And get a snaking cable with a Double Drop End cutter.

Robert J (by Sorta Blonde [CA]) Posted on: Sep 13, 2021 12:12 PM

Done something like this 3x now in my rentals. Had to fix the bathtub pipes and had a very nice tiled area which I didn't want to disturb. Went to the adjoining room on the other side and cut into the flat wall, fixed pipes from the backside, replaced the wall board and all was good (tile saved). The other one was a problem with a washer drain/pipes. Cut into that wall, installed DOORS like a little cabinet in the wall to access the offending area in the future. Looks great, behind washer, easy to access next time (and there will be a next time (happened 3 times now). Tenants seem to want to push, pull, yank on the outflow drain pipe for the washer and crack it so it leaks into the wall. Can't seem to get them to understand not to try to reposition the washer and 'move' the plastic piping.

Robert J (by dino [CA]) Posted on: Sep 13, 2021 12:26 PM


A few years back I had a leak from upstairs apartment tub trap. At that time, the plumber wanted to use the ABS plastic. I had not used that before so I needed a little convincing at the time. I'm glad to hear you agree.

As far as the 2 questions you just answered, exceptionally clear and thorough answers. Thank you for the follow-up.

And I need to say it again regarding my initial inquiry about the repair of trap without good access, I thought that maybe you might have some advice but I really expected that I was going to need to break an area of the exterior wall. It's first floor but there is no crawl space since it's built on a slab. I was impressed by your creative solution. I don't know what I'll find when I get a look with the camera but even if it turns out that the problem can't be fixed from the inside of the drain, your approach reminded me of the importance of removing unnecessary constraints we impose on our thinking when we engage in problem solving. I first learned that about 45 years ago but I needed to be reminded and you did that.

Click Here to send this discussion to a friend
Report discussion to Webmaster

Subject: RE: Robert J
Your Name:
Your State:

Robert J
Would you like to be notified via email when somebody replies to this thread?
If so, you must include your valid email address here. Do not add your address more than once per thread/subject. By entering your email address here, you agree to receive notification from every time anyone replies to "this" thread. You will receive response notifications for up to one week following the original post. Your email address will not be visible to readers.
Email Address: