Clearing a Bathroom Drain Clog
LESLIE: Richard in Texas has a sink that has issues. Hopefully, we can get to the bottom of that. What’s going on?
RICHARD: I’ve never seen a problem like this. In my house, in the master bathroom – it’s on an exterior wall – the drain always seems to clog up with some black – I don’t want to say – it’s tarry-looking but it’s not tar; it’s more like sludge – black sludge.
TOM: Yeah. Is this the bathroom, Richard, that you guys use all the time?
RICHARD: No, it’s not.
TOM: Hmm. Because I’ve seen that black sludge that you’re talking about. It usually does get caught in the trap; usually around the area where the lever is to work the stopper. Kind of acts as a … as an obstruction there. And generally, it’s a combination of soap deposits and hair; other things that get trapped in the drain. It’s sort of …
LESLIE: That sounds gross.
TOM: Yeah, it’s pretty gross. It feeds on itself. And every once in a while – I know with sinks that I’ve seen this happen to – you have to take the lever out that operates the stopper and you have to clean it out. So it’s not an uncommon condition. You may just be seeing it for the first time, Richard, but I’ve seen this condition many, many times. It is generally soap scum that causes it.
RICHARD: So by taking the trap off, cleaning it and the lever for the stopper, that should get it to stop?
TOM: Yep. That’s going to get it … yeah, you’ve got to clean it properly, probably once a year, then it’ll stop building up.