PVC drain pipes driving me crazy


  #1  
Old 04-23-06, 11:22 PM
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Question PVC drain pipes driving me crazy

Hi,
I am going crazy trying to keep my kitchen drainage piping together. It is a double bowl sink with PVC pipes and they keep springing leaks at the joints. I have been trying to unplug the drain because it is backing up and pouring hot water seems to have caused the joints to leak like crazy. Is there a compound I can use to make the connections more secure? Just hand tightening the connectors doesn't seem to do the job. I did try plumber's putty on one joint, PVC cement on a second and silicone sealer on another to see if any of them would do the job.
No luck. All of the joints leak no matter what I use or don't use.
Unfortunately, my house was designed by a madman. The plumbing is a nightmare and the electric is even worse.
The upstairs kitchen sinks and downstairs are all connected together so if the dishwasher spews out too much solid material, all sinks back up. That is what happened here. I woke up with a flooded downstairs and both bowls of the sink overflowing because my wife ran the dishwasher upstairs.
Both sets of drain pipes are leaking and I am totally frustrated as to what to do.
Normally, drains don't carry much pressure. But when both sets of sinks are on one line, the pressure from the upstairs drains is added to the downstairs drains and that seems to be what is causing the downstairs joints to separate.
Or am I wrong?
Any help would be appreciated.

 
  #2  
Old 04-24-06, 09:38 AM
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Thread tape?

Hey there,

The blind leading the blind here, but it sounds like what you're really after is thread tape--you just wind it around the male end of the joint (several times), and then tighten the nut.

Hope that helps.

Kate
 
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Old 04-25-06, 05:38 PM
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Hi, Do you have PVC under the sink, Are the pipes long enough, do you have the washers mounted in the right direction (Flat End toward the nut). If yes to all then try to get tappered rubber washers. when I use them I can't pull the pipes apart. When all that is done I suspect you have a blocked line that drains slow that would back up in the lower sink.
Good Luck Woodbutcher
 
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Old 04-25-06, 06:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Krick
sounds like what you're really after is thread tape
Not relevant to drains.
Joint compound is used for tapered threads.
 
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Old 04-25-06, 07:00 PM
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Originally Posted by ChiTownDale
pouring hot water seems to have caused the joints to leak like crazy.
Hot oil is worse.

> Is there a compound I can use to make the connections more secure?

Sure, if the installation is otherwise correct.

> I did try plumber's putty on one joint,
That's silly.

> PVC cement on a second
Threaded joints weren't made to be glued.

> silicone sealer
Tubes must be clean and cut to the correct length.


> All the joints leak no matter what I use or don't use.
I've never seen an installation the didn't hold if properly installed.


> The plumbing is a nightmare and the electric is even worse.
Get it all re-done.


> if the dishwasher spews out too much solid material
How do you get solid material out of the dishwasher?

A dishwasher is not a garbage disposer!


> But when both sets of sinks are on one line, the pressure from the
> upstairs drains is added to the downstairs drains and that seems
> to be what is causing the downstairs joints to separate.

If the water had somewhere to go, there would actually be a little negative pressure.


> Or am I wrong?
Hard to say.
 
  #6  
Old 04-26-06, 05:50 PM
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Originally Posted by ChiTownDale
Hi,
I am going crazy trying to keep my kitchen drainage piping together. It is a double bowl sink with PVC pipes and they keep springing leaks at the joints. I have been trying to unplug the drain because it is backing up and pouring hot water seems to have caused the joints to leak like crazy. Is there a compound I can use to make the connections more secure? Just hand tightening the connectors doesn't seem to do the job. I did try plumber's putty on one joint, PVC cement on a second and silicone sealer on another to see if any of them would do the job.
No luck. All of the joints leak no matter what I use or don't use.
Unfortunately, my house was designed by a madman. The plumbing is a nightmare and the electric is even worse.
The upstairs kitchen sinks and downstairs are all connected together so if the dishwasher spews out too much solid material, all sinks back up. That is what happened here. I woke up with a flooded downstairs and both bowls of the sink overflowing because my wife ran the dishwasher upstairs.
Both sets of drain pipes are leaking and I am totally frustrated as to what to do.
Normally, drains don't carry much pressure. But when both sets of sinks are on one line, the pressure from the upstairs drains is added to the downstairs drains and that seems to be what is causing the downstairs joints to separate.
Or am I wrong?
Any help would be appreciated.

Where exactly are these leaks springing from? Are they were the pvc nuts are? Do you have those 1 1/2 inch plastic ring gaskets in there and turned the right direction? When installed right, no tape or sealants are needed. For some reason, and I'm not sure what it is...but some people just aren't cut out to do plumbing.

If you have downstairs pvc drain joints separating/leaking when upstairs plumbing fixtures are drained, then you have a clog in your waste line downstream of even the downstairs fixture, allowing back up and water weight to stay in those drain sections and their connections. You need to plunge away on the downstairs sink and maybe run a snake down the line, to make sure you don't have water from upstairs fixtures trying to get into downstairs fixtures.

Bolide,

I got a kick out of your post.
 
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Old 05-01-06, 01:50 AM
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Update on my problem

First, I have to agree that some people are not cut out to work on plumbing and I am one of them. I am pretty handy but plumbing is and always has been a nightmare for me.

But, I didn't do the plumbing. It was already there and installed.
So I assume (bad thing to do) that it was installed correctly in the first place.

It is all PVC piping for the drains and it all appears to be cut to the correct lengths.

The only thing I did notice is that the cross pipe from the right hand bowl to the left hand bowl on the downstairs sink doesn't look to be completely round. I don't know if it is wear or it was always like that but it just looks slightly flatter and the pipeway looks thinner at the top of the pipe than the rest of the circle does. So looking end-on, it looks like a circle but slightly flat and thin at the top of the circle.

So I am thinking that at a minimum, I should remove that piece and take it over to the hardware store and have a new one cut. I am also thinking that perhaps I ought to have them cut it 1/8 or 3/16 longer because it looks like it is a touch short and the additional length will let it seat better.

As to where it is leaking, it is at the connecting nut for the crossing pipe where it is connecting to the left hand drain structure on the downstairs one (the left hand side is where it connects into the overall sewer system) and the dishwasher connector on the top floor sink. The dishwasher connects to the righthand drain structure with the left hand structure hooking into the sewer system.

I agree that the dishwasher is not a garbage disposal but can't seem to convince my wife of this. When I do dishes, there is no food on them when they go into the dishwasher, but obviously not when she does it. About the only cure for that is a divorce .

As to the washers, they are all pointed in the correct direction, flat side toward the nut so that the tapered side goes into the joint.

As to the massive backup, after trying several types of unblocking fluids, I gave up and bought a new snake. Snaked it out and now it flows fairly well. Not perfect because the pipes are so old, but at least it drains/ Except when the dishwasher is used because the water volume is too much for the pipes, so it still backs up into the downstairs sinks but not to the point of overflowing.

I am using and organic drain cleaner now to try to further widen the pipes out but that will take a month of treatments before I know if it is effective or not.

So bottom line is that I think that the crossover pipe is out of round and that is why it is still leaking. Not a lot like before but maybe a half cup of fluid a day. I will try getting a new crossover pipe and see if that cures the downstairs leak.

Then I can concentrate on why the upstairs leak is still happening. I don't know if it is the pressure from the dishwasher or not. If so, maybe I need a larger circumference connection from the dishwasher to the drain? But they all appear to be standard sized when I look at them in the Hardware store.
Will keep you all posted about this ongoing saga.

Thanks for all of the suggestions. If nothing else, maybe it will make me a lousy plumber instead of a terrible one .
 
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Old 05-01-06, 06:15 PM
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Your long reply post deserved a look and a reply...so here it is.

Good luck. I have faith in you by all the stuff you brought up. And you just may make a good plumber yet.
 
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Old 05-01-06, 07:16 PM
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One more thing to check is the vent pipe going out the roof. Since you have your snake, if you feel comfortable doing it, go up on the roof and snake down the vent pipe. I usually use a garden hose for this, since its diameter is larger and will move more stuff out of the way. You may be experiencing the "soda straw" effect, since you appear not to have any negative pressure on your system, and you have cleaned the drains. Just one more thing for you to do.
 
 

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