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Thread: Broken bath tub and it's giving me more and more anxiety every day

  1. #1

    Default Broken bath tub and it's giving me more and more anxiety every day

    So the plunger thing inside out tub broke that holds the water in then you take a bath. It went way down the pipe and it's four feet down right above the ceiling. Even the plunger couldn't get it out. It will take about two-three hours for it to drain out after showering or bathing. This is what happens when you live in old homes where lot of things are original. Even our pipes are still original but parts of them are brand new because we had replaced them when we moved in.

    But this is all giving me anxiety and I am not sure how much longer ai can live with it because I am short tempered again and screaming at everyone because of the stress and all this fear I have all because of a damn bath tub. I would fix it if I had a way. My dad keeps saying he will do it but never does and I am starting to think about ripping the boards from the ceiling in the garage where the bathroom is above it but the only problem is I have no idea how to do house maintenance and I have no idea how to call someone for help. I can only rely on family for this and everyone keeps saying they will do it but it never happens so every day I get more and more anxious and that is bad because then it's not fair to my children and then I am making their lives and my husband's lives a living hell because of my anxiety and it makes me shut down.

    I have no idea how most people can live this way and not get effected this way like I do. But I am really scared I fear I am going to go crazy literally like I have before in the past. That is what fear and stress does to me even with a change in my life or when something is too inconvenient for me, I am limited to how much I can handle it before I start to explode and go crazy and then I am acting like a manic like I am Bipolar. One minute I will be fine and the next minute I will be exploding and angry all of a sudden when I have so much anxiety from something and it's as if I have no control over it. I feel all this pressure and tense and anything else will make me explode because I can't handle it. It could be from my son asking me for something or my son throwing something, you know being a normal five year old, or my husband asking for something I there I am already screaming because I feel a lot of tension inside me all because of a damn bath tub that takes over two hours to drain out. it's as if only way to keep me calm and sane is if everything foes my way and everything is going smoothly so that means if something goes wrong, you better fix it ASAP before I make everyone's lives a living hell who live with me. Then I always feel bad. It feels like I am having tantrums except I can't even stop them. Then when something that was causing it is fixed, I am all of a sudden better and I stop so it's as if I threw a tantrum until I get what I want and this sucks. My mom calls them meltdowns.

    So any advice what I can do about this busted bath tub?

  2. #2

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    Its probably not the hardware itself that's slowing the drain.... rather clots of hair and soap clinging to it. A little drano or similar stuff should improve things until such time as your dad can get to it and fix it right.

    The fix itself shouldn't be difficult or require any expensive parts. There's a screw-in trap plug underneath the tub (been there, done that. Mine's in the basement, I can see it from where I'm sitting). I'd bet money the broken parts are hung up there and should be pretty simple to get out. Less simple to replace, but you don't really have to do that. Just use a rubber drain plug (in the tub. You DO need to use the regular metal screw-in thing in the trap) instead of the drain lever thing-a-ma-jig. Hopefully that doesn't offend your sense of how things should be.

    Like any plumbing job, it'll require a big-ass pipe wrench and a lot of bad language to get it off, and fixing the drywall hole he cuts in the ceiling will be annoying, but your dad shouldn't have any real problems doing it.

    Sorry for your stress.

    P.S. If you do use the drano, be sure and tell your dad that you did, and when you did it before he takes anything apart. That stuff is really nasty, and he won't want to get any on him, especially near the face since he'll be working over his head.

  3. #3

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    The first house I purchased was a 1930s house. First thing I did was rip all the plumbing and electrical out and replace it.







    Chances are that if your house was like mine you have galvanized pipe for drain pipe. Its going to need to be completely replaced for the job to be done right.

    But...

    I find it hard to believe that the drain stopper made it down the drain. My guess is you have a hairball or grease built up in the drain pipe. Try dumping a pan of boiling water down the drain, then working it with a plunger all while running the tap as hot as you can.

    Another option is to suck the drain out with a shop-vac. Put the suction hose up to the drain and try to make an air-tight seal , turn on... and watch the stuff come out. This may also be your best option if the stopper did indeed make it down the drain.

    If you can take a picture of the drain I might be able to give you more options.

    Wish I could help... from one diaper lover to another.

  4. #4

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    The advice I have seen so far is the first steps to clearing the plug. the next step of advice is a plumbing snake. They can be rented from some shops or there are some inexpensive (less then $25) ones at the big name stores. Just thread it though the drain opening and advance it as far as it will go then you turn the handle part and move it back an forth until it starts moving again. If it feels caught on something that is a good thing pull it back out and clear the end off (usually a big hair ball).

    I Hope the advice helps. I can understand the stress. Been there, done that.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maxx View Post
    Like any plumbing job, it'll require a big-ass pipe wrench and a lot of bad language
    So much this.

    Gotta say though, doing your own plumbing is pretty much the last thing you want to do if you're stressed. I'm usually a reasonably calm person, but plumbing is one of those things where you've been bent over ackwardly under some sink, banged your head approximately 2 million times, had water and gunk drip on you, slipped with the wrench and smashed your finger against something, and then the 1/4" to 1/2" compression fitting has slightly different threading than the one you're replacing and the hardware store _just_ closed and you basically think.. "you know what would fix this.. you know what! A CHAINSAW!!!!"

  6. #6

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    I had a issue similar to this, so I feel your pain.

    The half back of my house is a trailer built in 1958, and the drains for the bathroom sink/tub is cast iron. Well, after nearly 60 years that iron pipes rusted away. A few months ago, the rust clogged the 90 degree bend and flooded the room it was in.

    I had to take a wet/dry vacuum and attach a thin PVC pipe to it and send that down the vent tube to suck out all of the rust. It was a few pounds of rust... I still need to replace all of that iron pipe to PVC.

    The vent pipe itself is broken just above where the sink connects to it, so it just sits on this pipe and really doesn't help.

  7. #7

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    We had a laundry sink that was clogged and it came to a point where it wouldn't drain anymore after we kept using the plunger to get it unclogged. We had to hire a plumber and it turned out it was clogged because the pipe got old and it was all rusty and it stopped it from draining. I wonder how plunging made it worse? But we replaced that part of the pipe because it was old and all our pipes are medal. You can easily tell what ones are new because they will be plastic or rubber for where the water goes when you use the tub or washing machine or laundry sink. We had to cut open a wall in my kids room to replace the water pipes because they were leaking and it was going into the garage. But it was still impossible to get the the sewer pipe where the water drains because the wall is in the way between the tub and bedroom.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Calico View Post
    [...]
    But this is all giving me anxiety and I am not sure how much longer ai can live with it because I am short tempered again and screaming at everyone because of the stress and all this fear I have all because of a damn bath tub. [...]

    I have no idea how most people can live this way and not get effected this way like I do. But I am really scared I fear I am going to go crazy literally like I have before in the past. That is what fear and stress does to me even with a change in my life or when something is too inconvenient for me, I am limited to how much I can handle it before I start to explode and go crazy and then I am acting like a manic like I am Bipolar. One minute I will be fine and the next minute I will be exploding and angry all of a sudden when I have so much anxiety from something and it's as if I have no control over it. I feel all this pressure and tense and anything else will make me explode because I can't handle it. [...] before I make everyone's lives a living hell who live with me.

    Then I always feel bad.
    It feels like I am having tantrums except I can't even stop them.
    Then when something that was causing it is fixed, I am all of a sudden better and I stop so it's as if I threw a tantrum until I get what I want and this sucks.
    My mom calls them meltdowns.

    So any advice what I can do about this busted bath tub?
    Did you call a plumber?

    After that, did you make an appointment with a Doctor or a therapist to see what you might be able to do for these anxiety-meltdown-rage issues?

    What can your husband do to help, either the plumbing problem or you?

    I am very sympathetic to the numerous issues that come about with household and autos...

    The plunger can make it worse because, it knocks more of the rust-scale off from the sides of the iron pipe... and, wherever it falls forms a bigger pile of rust-scale. The plumbers snake may knock some in too yet, you might get enough pushed through or, better yet pulled out to get enough water draining.

    From what I recall of those pop-up tub drain stoppers is, the only part of it that may be able to fall through would possibly be a nut on the other side of the grate "(+)" shaped... If just the cap or upper part of the stopper has come off... you my need to find something to push what remains of the stopper, to where it pops back up, to where you may be able to thread (screw) the top part back on to it or, finish removing the stopper remains by unscrewing it from the grate...

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Your best bet would be to call a plumber... especially if there's a chance of you winding up on the evening news because you went berserk and tore your house down...

    I assume that you own this house (not renting)...

    Products such as Drain-O can be very effective when used correctly yet, they will add to the corrosion deterioration of your rusty old pipes too...

    Here's where I have questions though...
    2-3 hours to drain from a shower or shallow bath is a very long time...
    I imagine it was slow before the piece fell down the pipes though right? It was just the straw that broke the camel's back...?
    You would have noticed gradual slowing even before this mystery piece fell in... you didn't mention that it was getting slow before then.

    I'm curious that something could fall 4-feet straight down because, usually there is a so-called "P" trap that looks like the letter "S" on it's side... that is most often where things get gobbed-up and, it's usually within a few inches of the drain opening (look under your bathroom or kitchen sink for an example)...

    And, if this isn't a pop-up type of stopper (I believe that you called it a "drain plunger), that makes me think that it is the kind with a lever between the spout and the drain with an overflow drain... in which case (put a hand towel in or over the drain first) you'll need to remove the 2 slotted screws on the round plate that holds the lever... once that's done, remove the plate and shine a flashlight in to see if you can find what's left of the metal rod sticking up (it'll probably be leaning against the inside of that pipe)... you might need a pair of pliers or approximately an 18"piece of wire with a hook on the end to get a hold of it and work it out (gently pull up) through the opening... (you might have to carefully feel around inside the pipe with your finger -careful-)
    **We're not talking about the drain but instead, the hole where you took the lever thingy off about midway up the tub.**

    Altogether, the pieces should closely resemble the image below.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    What you'll be fishing for, is in this image, the sort of yellow looking round bit to the left, with the wire/rod linkages which have broken or come undone, causing the round bit to drop into the drain-stop position... Thus, stopping the drain (mostly)...


    The bad news is that no amount of Drain-O, plunger or, snake -not even a "shop" or "Wet/Dry" vacuum or, hot water will be of any use if it's this type of drain-plug.

    The good news is... once you get that cylinder with the wire rod (linkage) out, it will drain again and, if you get the replacement part like the picture above installed, you'll have fixed that too! (the hand towel in or over the drain, is so when you drop the screws (and you will) or the wire hook - they wont go down the drain...)

    Peace and happy plumbing,
    -Marka
    Last edited by Marka; 14-Jan-2016 at 09:17.

  9. #9

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    My dad already called the plumber and he couldn't fix the tub, he was the one who said it was the stopper that is doing it and said it was deep down. He reached the snake down and apparently it didn't go down far enough so my dad said it was deep down. But he did fix our sink and it was filled with gunk and stuff that fallen down the drain like band aids or wipes.

    It used to get backed up when we turn the water on but when the shower head started, the tub was drained out because it wasn't a lot of water going down it. Then when we would let the water out, we used to hear it drain and hear it through the sink and then we didn't hear that sound anymore and the draining got slower and slower so I think it was already breaking and one day it just broke. My kids used to mess with the lever and take the other thing out of the drain that pops up and down when you let the water out but it was something else inside the pipe that broke off and went down the drain. I am not sure what it was.

    I thought about unscrewing the lever part and taking it off thinking I can use a coat hanger to get it out but my dad said it was deep down and it won't work. I even looked it up online and got that idea and people have fixed it that way but it wasn't deep down for them. Unless I find a wire that is like over four foot long and have a hook at the end and just go fishing. A wired coat hanger would't be long enough.

    My dad wants to rip away the boards in the garage on the ceiling and open the pipe to get to it. But four feet between the first floor and the second floor? I have never seen any gaps that wide in between floors on houses when being built or when in the basement and I can see where the floor is and it's not four feet deep from the ceiling and above floor. Maybe I should try the coat hanger thing if I can find a screw driver.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Calico View Post
    My dad already called the plumber and he couldn't fix the tub, he was the one who said it was the stopper that is doing it and said it was deep down. He reached the snake down and apparently it didn't go down far enough so my dad said it was deep down. But he did fix our sink and it was filled with gunk and stuff that fallen down the drain like band aids or wipes.

    It used to get backed up when we turn the water on but when the shower head started, the tub was drained out because it wasn't a lot of water going down it. Then when we would let the water out, we used to hear it drain and hear it through the sink and then we didn't hear that sound anymore and the draining got slower and slower so I think it was already breaking and one day it just broke. My kids used to mess with the lever and take the other thing out of the drain that pops up and down when you let the water out but it was something else inside the pipe that broke off and went down the drain. I am not sure what it was.

    I thought about unscrewing the lever part and taking it off thinking I can use a coat hanger to get it out but my dad said it was deep down and it won't work. I even looked it up online and got that idea and people have fixed it that way but it wasn't deep down for them. Unless I find a wire that is like over four foot long and have a hook at the end and just go fishing. A wired coat hanger would't be long enough.

    My dad wants to rip away the boards in the garage on the ceiling and open the pipe to get to it. But four feet between the first floor and the second floor? I have never seen any gaps that wide in between floors on houses when being built or when in the basement and I can see where the floor is and it's not four feet deep from the ceiling and above floor. Maybe I should try the coat hanger thing if I can find a screw driver.
    Yeah, the 4 foot drop... just shouldn't be able to happen... and, if you don't have a "P" trap in line, seems like you would smell sewer gas from the drain... I'll have to look for a diagram... because, I've never heard of (nor seen) those stopper cylinders being able to drop more than maybe 1-foot... The other problem is maybe somebody before you moved in, did some real wacky plumbing... I'll see if I can find out anymore while you're hunting for a screwdriver...

    Best of luck!
    -Marka

    EDIT:
    On the other hand, if it's like this image depicts with a straight down-pipe and no P-trap immediately after the drain... I could see that going quite a ways

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Still, I thought there was some sort of ridge-ring after where the horizontal pipe from the drain meets at the vertical overflow pipe (where the stop-plunger goes in)... to prevent just this sort of thing...???

    However...


    Quote Originally Posted by Calico
    [...] My kids used to mess with the lever and take the other thing out of the drain that pops up and down when you let the water out but it was something else inside the pipe that broke off and went down the drain. I am not sure what it was.

    [...]
    Click image for larger version. 

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    This type that has a pop-up stopper of a different type than what you push on directly to open and close and, has the lever and over-flow pipe as well... and, presents a different problem.

    Also, if this upstairs tub is butted against a wall that is inline with a downstairs wall... the down-pipe could go as far as 8 - 12 feet... leaving what should just be the short horizontal pipe from the tub drain as the only thing that would likely be accessible from the ceiling below... the part that you may need to get to, would then be in the wall downstairs (garage?)... I don't know where the 4-foot number came from... I'm still miffed that there's no apparent P-trap...

    Well... I'm going to sleep now before I obsess on this any more... wish I could be of more help!

    For now,
    -Marka
    Last edited by Marka; 14-Jan-2016 at 09:17.

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