Unplug a Bath Tub Drain Trap

First, remove the overflow trim. Then, insert a water hose down overflow. Stop up tub drain and open water hose. It will flush out the trap. It works great.

Jack Aucoin
4642 Elizabeth Street
Napoleonville, Louisiana, 70390



Here’s a Tool Tip I use on 1 1/2-inch galvanized nipples. I mainly use this to clean the threads when replacing the waste and overflow on a tub because of the tight confines usually associated with slab tubs.

I take a 1 1/2-inch brass nut and cut through the threads at 12, 3, 6 and 9 o’clock with a small saw. Don’t cut all the way through the nut, just the threads. I spray some WD-40 and work the threads with the nut until clean. 

Basically, I make a die without the weight, size or awkwardness of a die. Don’t get me wrong: I’m not making new threads. I’m cleaning the junk out of the old threads for a clean install.

Dana Drew
Beacon Plumbing
Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.

P.S. Here are a few other things I do:

  • I cut off the handles of used copper-cleaning brushes and stick them in my power drill to clean paint off pipes.
  • I use my old motor oil for cutting oil.
  • I keep the used rags from applying tire protectant to wipe down extension cords and certain tools to make them clean and shine.


Send Us Your Tool Tips

If you have an idea that has saved you time and money, Plumbing & Mechanical would like to share your tip with our readers. The first-place winner each month will receive a Kinetic Water Ram from General Pipe Cleaners with a retail value of $325. Read here for more details