How do you install plumbing for a bathtub?

blue bath tub

Plumbing For Your Bathroom

How relaxing is it after a long day of work to come home, kick off the shoes, and soak in a hot bathtub with bubbles? All the tiredness leaves your body and mind until…. Then you realize the bathtub drain is clogged and draining slow. Now your body and mind are tensed up again, and it disappoints your soul. The only thing that could be worse is when the bathtub doesn’t fill up with hot water and you realize you may need to replace the water heater.

Plumbing for bathtub drain, bathtub plumbing fixtures, and pipes may look to be a simple thing, but with the drain, it can become complicated. Fortunately, a slow drain isn’t always complicated and can be fixed by a homeowner. Sometimes, it is too complicated and the need to call a professional plumber is necessary.

There are many mysteries with the bathtub and all those components of the bathtub, and there are many questions too. Like if the bathtub drain can’t be unclogged, “can bathtub drain be replaced? and others that will educate and inform a homeowner that isn’t knowledgeable in plumbing matters.

How do bathtub drains work?

There are two legs to a bathtub drain, one being the main drain and one being the overflow drain.  It keeps water from draining in two ways: pop-up drains work by a linkage forcing a rocker arm to move the drain stopper down and up. Then there is the hollow plunger-type internally that slides down and up inside the assembly and seal the opening.

Do you need an overflow on a bath?

For your homeowner’s insurance, they may require you to have an overflow on your bathtub. So, do you “need” an overflow on your bathtub? Not really, but if you have children in the house, or you’re one to fall asleep while soaking in the bathtub while the water is running, then it would be a good idea.

Does a bathtub need a vent?

Every shower, sink, toilet, and especially the bathtub needs a vent. Each of these carry water out and toward the sewage treatment. Without a vent or an improperly installed vent, you could experience any of these things:

  • Slow draining
  • Gurgling noises
  • Sewer smell
  • Methane gas smell

Not only is having a vent necessary, but the size of the vent is important. For example, sinks need vent pipe size between 1-1/4″ to 1-1/2″, with most professional plumbers using the 1-1/2” size because it is less expensive. It isn’t necessary to install a vent on each fixture like the bathtub, sink, or shower. Sometimes, venting can be combined when using a wet vent installation process.

Vent location also matters in proper drainage. For example, the vent for a 1-1/2” sink drain cannot be any further than 5 feet away from the trap, nor can there be any bends in the pipe more than 135 degrees. Toilet vents can be up to 10 feet away with a 225-degree bend before the vent.

How do you fix a slow draining tub?

When the bathtub drain is slow or isn’t draining at all, there could be two reasons. A common problem is dirt and other things have accumulated in the drainpipe.  A professional plumber will open that drain, but it isn’t always necessary. Here are a few DIY things you can try before calling the plumber:

  1. Pour a half a cup of baking soda, then 1 cup white vinegar into the drain, then let that sit for 5 minutes. You may see it foaming, don’t panic That’s a sign that it is cleaning and deodorizing while loosening minor blockages. After that 5 minutes, run hot water in the bathtub drain for 30 seconds and if it is still draining slow, try the next step.
  2. Using a basic household plunger, place the head of over the bathtub drain and plunge 4 to 5 times, then run hot water in the drain. If the drain is still slow, repeat the plunging process 2 or 3 more times to clear the blockage. If that doesn’t work, try the next step.
  3. If the above actions did not open the drain, you may have a heavier blockage that needs more help. Purchase a household plumbing snake from the local retail store. Remove the cover from the drain, some will lift out and others require you to remove 2 screws from the overflow panel.

With disposable or rubber glove on your hands, push the plumbing snake down the drain opening or through the overflow opening. Pushing until you feel it hit the blockage, then vigorously push and pull vigorously until the blockage breaks free. Then put the drain cover or the overflow panel back together.

If none of these steps work, or you aren’t comfortable doing this yourself, call an experienced local plumber. They will have the experience, expertise, and equipment to get your bathtub drain clearing again.

Standing Tub

Why is my bathtub faucet leaking?

One of the most annoying sounds you can have is a bathtub faucet dripping, even worse, a slow trickling. Just as annoying as the sound of water dripping or running is the sound of the money it is costing.

The most common cause of this annoyance and costly non-stop drip or trickling from your bathtub faucet is the small washers inside the knob. You can often fix this yourself by removing the knobs and replacing the washers at the end of the stem.

If you can’t do this repair yourself, or it doesn’t stop the dripping or trickling, call a professional plumber. Remember, the longer you allow this drip or trickle to continue from your bathtub faucet, the more it is costing you in water every month. Left unattended too long, it could be damaging the internal part of the faucet handles, which will be an even more costly expense.  Sooner is better than later!

Your bathroom is you and your family use the one-room every day. Having all the components working properly is more than just a convenience. It is better for your home and the plumbing system. To get quality plumbing for your bathtub, call 708-934-4115 today!