kitchen sink draining very slowly


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Old 06-04-11, 08:15 PM
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kitchen sink draining very slowly

I am looking for some helpful ideas. Here is the situation. We've just remodeled our kitchen, which included getting a new sink. The new sink is quite a bit lower than the old one. In addition, we also installed an RO water system (don't know if that matters). Ever since, we've been having problems with the sink draining very slowly. Never had this problem before remodeling. I had a plumber in, and he used a power snake and a water pressure hose, which helped but only for a couple of weeks. There is also a garbage disposal in the setup, but we had it before remodeling too. We're very careful with what goes down the drain, and almost never use the disposal (there is no need to).

The plumber claims that our drain pipe (which runs about 25 feet from one end of the house to another) must not be pitched enough. We can't see the pipe since it's between the floor and the basement ceiling, but he claims that could be the only reason, and there can't possibly be enough room for a proper pitch for such a long run. In addition, we apparently don't have a proper vent, so we've always (before and after remodeling) had an AAV. (Actually, there is a vent on the roof just above the kitchen, but it appears that it might've been disconnected at some point by previous owners -- is there a way to check that?) It does sound plausible, but the pitch of the pipe was no different before remodeling (we didn't touch it) -- how come it worked fine for years then?

I don't want yet to be opening the basement ceiling to see what's going on with the pipe. Is there anything else that could be done? Any ideas, why after getting a new sink we would be having this problem?

Thank you in advance!

David
 
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Old 06-04-11, 08:34 PM
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Hi.

From what you describe I could think of a few things.

1. If the drain of the sink was lower then the discharge in the wall, then the plumber might have cheated and piped a kind of hard trap. You may see more standing water in the disposal, because when you do that more water sits in the line. It like a reagular trap but the exit is raised so water will sit up in the tail piese, and just at the exit point of the trap. It hard to explain but alot of plumbers cant figure it out. The correct way was to go in the wall and lower the waster arm to match the sink.

2. With regards to #1 above a trick is to use a straight tailpiece out of the disposal, instead of the curved piece that came with it. Then a trap adapter right to the trap. You gain 6" or so. This may make the diffence.

3. To check the vent, run a hose down the vent and run water. Open a clean out outside the house and see if water runs. Be careful. If it is disconnected you do not want a flood, so listen carefully. Or diconnect the trap at the sink and run a snake down the vent. If you can hear the snake go past the sink, then stop. Hook the sink up, and run water. Pull the snake and see if its wet.

4. The RO ties into the waste line for drainage and should not affect anything.

5. Whe the water runs slow turn on the disposal. Does the water flow wuth the disposal on? Sometime the rubber is new in the drain and restricts flow. Plus little food bits get in there and restrict the flow. Run the disposal once in awhile.

6. I doubt the pipe has an issue if you never had it before.


Let us know what you find.

Mike NJ
 
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Old 06-05-11, 06:53 AM
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Thanks, Mike. The plumber did say that the contractor should've gone into the wall and lowered the drain pipe when the old cabinets were removed, but it's too late now -- the cabinets and countertops have already been installed.

When I turn the disposal on, the water does go down for no longer than a split second, but then comes right back up.

David
 
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Old 06-05-11, 07:00 AM
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Is the discharge arm in the wall higher then the levelof the bottom of the sink?


If you can take pics it would help.


Mike NJ
 
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Old 06-05-11, 09:05 AM
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Here is a picture:

[IMG]C:\Documents and Settings\Administrator\My Documents\My Pictures\Adobe\Digital Camera Photos\2011-06-05-1044-40\P1000733.JPG[/IMG]
 
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Old 06-05-11, 09:08 AM
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You need to post to a web based image hosting site like photobucket. Its free. Then post the link back here.

Mike NJ
 
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Old 06-05-11, 09:20 AM
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Sorry, I guess I need more time to figure this out.
 
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Old 06-05-11, 09:27 AM
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Old 06-05-11, 01:10 PM
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I'm afraid you will have trouble with that connection until you bite the bullet and go into the wall and lower the connection. Since it will be at the back of the cabinet it doesn't have to be a perfect patch job on the wall and/or cabinet back.

I think that any "plumber" (he's no plumber in my book) that would pipe a drain like that should be shot.
 
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Old 06-05-11, 01:58 PM
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It does not look bad. He got the height by glueing the GD elbow into the trap. The pitch looks fine.

Vents are really for the siphon effect on the line. So the trap water does not siphon out from other fixtures.

The pitch on the pipe at 25 ft should be 6". I would think you have enough pitch if nothing changed with that 25 ft run.

I think its may be isolated at the GD.

Answer this. When you run the sink does it fill up, like its clogged? If you try the sink after no use overnight, does it take awhile before the sink starts backing up? This will tell you the issue is down the line.

To rule out the vent issue, put a bucket under the AAV and remove it. It unscrews, Run the sink. How does it flow?

These are things you need to try to find the root cause.

Mike NJ
 
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Old 06-05-11, 04:21 PM
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You don't need to pull the cabinet out to get into that wall. You can cut a hole large enough in the back of the cabinet to access the wall and then insert a panel to cover it up when finished. This plumber didn't want to the right thing. Wanted to keep it easy for himself and is dodging making it right. If he isn't capable of such work, he should have informed you that it needs to be done in order to work correctly.
 
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Old 06-05-11, 04:59 PM
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Am I seeing the same connection as everyone else. Theres nothing wrong that I can see. The line looks fine to me.

Mike NJ
 
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Old 06-05-11, 07:55 PM
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Thanks, guys. In defense of the plumber, I must say that he came up with this contraption trying to fix the problem that was already there after our kitchen contractor reconnected the sink. And he did say that the right thing to do was to go into the wall and lower the pipe, but we had just installed the cabinets and countertops, so didn't really want to do that. Obviously it should've been done before the cabinets were installed, but no one thought of it.

If I run the sink for a couple of minutes, it will start backing up. It doesn't seem to make a difference whether it's during the day or in the morning after no use overnight. When I dump a relatively large amount of water into the sink at once, there is quite a bit of gurgling going on -- a vent issue?

We did try without the vent, and that didn't seem to make a difference either. And you're right, Mike, the only reason he used the glue was to get the height.

If I were to get rid of the disposal altogther, would that help? My wife really wants to keep it -- maybe we can find one with a higher discharge point?

And two weeks ago (when the plumber came up with that contraption) he did run the power snake, which didn't help, and then some kind of a power water jet down that line, which seemed to have taken care of the problem and the sink was draining fine for a few days, but in just over a week the problem came back.
 
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Old 06-05-11, 09:15 PM
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How far did he run the snake? Did he run it all the way to the main line? What did he pull out on the snake? Ususally you could tell by looking at the snake cable.

Now I know your going to say you do not pour grease down the drain, but it is a kitchen sink. This is the hub of the house. Also all the things you wash in the DW probably have grease of some sort. Plus at 140f dw temps the grease melts and goes down the drain. It solidifies as it cools. Where? At the end of the 25 ft run. Also in your Garbage disposal manual, it says to use cold water when running. This way the grease stays solidified and gets flushed out the drain to the street.

Now in my experiece gurgling means clog. Very rarley are flow issues cause by venting. And I mean rarely. You can believe me or not, but water will flow with out a vent. Most flow issues regarding a vent is because debris fell in the vent, and cloggs where the vent and flow meet at the tee.

OK. I would suggest jetting the line. There are small cart type jetters that I used. 3000 psi. This cost about the same as snaking the line. The snake is probably just moving the grease around and not getting it down.

Sometimes in the plumbing field, there are plumbers, and there are drain cleaners. There is a difference between the two. You need to understand whats in the line and how to get it out. Most plumbers only think in terms of a single blockage being somewhere in the line.

Just my two cents. I could be way off, but even if your 25 ft line was level or had slight backpitch the water will flow. The weight of the water in the higher appliance will push it. Water seaps its level. The pitch helps keep the pipe clear. With the correct pitch the water has a swirling effect, like when your toilet bowl flushes. This keeps the clear. If too much pitch the water flows on the bottom of the pipe only. With level, bellys, or back pitch the water will sit in the line intil the next use. Standing sink water grows all type of stuff that will build up and clogg your line.

Good luck. Let us know what you may chose to do, and or how you make out.

Mike NJ
 

Last edited by lawrosa; 06-05-11 at 10:04 PM.
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Old 06-05-11, 09:56 PM
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Thanks, Mike. He did run the snake all the way to the main line. There really wasn't anything on it when he pulled it out; he also suggested it may've been grease and the snake just went right through it.

I'm not going to say we don't pour grease down that sink. We do sometimes; not often and nothing major. However, we've been having this problem only for the last three weeks or so since we installed the new sink. We used to pour just as much grease down the old sink, and had no problems in years (I would say that we're better than most families in that respect,watching what goes down that drain.)

Actually, the day the contractor installed the sink and connected the plumbing, he tried it out and noticed slow drain himself. And everything had been disconnected for two weeks prior. Of course, maybe something hardened somewhere in the pipe after two weeks of no use.

By the way, I'm not sure I understand what you mean by using cold water when running the dishwasher?
 
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Old 06-05-11, 10:03 PM
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By the way, I'm not sure I understand what you mean by using cold water when running the dishwasher?
I think I put GD. Garbage disposal. Disposal instructions always say run cold water.

Plus from your post, if the line ran good after he water cannoned the line, and or snake, what happened??? Seems he cleared something. A vent issue would not fix itself, correct?

Mike NJ

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Old 06-05-11, 10:36 PM
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Oops, sorry, you did say GD; don't know where I saw DW. And we always run cold water with the disposal.

You're right. The line seemed good for a few days after he water cannoned it; then, we began noticing the slowdown again. That's what's so puzzling -- as I've said, we're pretty good with how we use the sink, and especially after the recent experience were extra careful. So, why would it go bad again so soon?
 
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Old 06-06-11, 08:11 AM
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Snaking lines is a art somewhat. He probably just punched a hole in the clogg and it closed back up some. I would jet the line. Then you can rule out that the line is the issue if it does not work. I bet the farm it will work and thats your issue.

Mike NJ
 
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Old 06-06-11, 03:22 PM
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So, if we jet the line, and after that the sink drains normally, what would that actually mean? This is what happened two weeks ago --the plumber jetted the line, the sink drained fine for a few days after that, but is acting up now again.
 
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Old 06-06-11, 03:35 PM
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You said he used a snake and a water cannon?????

A jetter sends a hose down the line with a high pressure head. It clears the whole line.

The machine should have looked like this.



Mike NJ
 
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Old 06-07-11, 08:50 AM
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No, he didn't have a machine. He was just using a regular hose with some kind of a power attachment at the end that expands. That seemingly cleared the pipe, but the problem came back in a few days.

Actually, I tried a little experiment this morning -- put a regular garden hose into the trap opening in the wall, bypassing GD and all that piping under the sink, and after less than a minute the water started to come back at me. It was still going down the pipe too, but at a very slow trickle. I guess that clearly indicates the pipe. I just don't understand why we never had any problems before the new sink, and have been having this problem since the new sink.
 
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Old 06-07-11, 09:42 AM
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I would have it properly jetted. Then you can rule that out if it dont work. Otherwise your only guessing. Who knows??? Its often Murphys law at work. But from a scientific point of view, you need to do things in a complete and thorough way. Like if you snake the pipe, you may say " well it should be clear". But jetting will actually clean the line completely.

Just make sure whoever does it, does it properly.

Example: If that other vent is still connected, ( from your statment, your not sure ) the snake could have went up the vent and accomplished nothing. same for the jetter. You need to listen at the main stack to be sure its going the correct way. Also that hose and water ballon/cannon will not work well if there is a vent on the line. There will be reduced backpressure to push the crude out.

Hey, its just my two cents.

Mike NJ
 
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Old 06-07-11, 12:26 PM
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Did you read this thread:

http://www.doityourself.com/forum/pl...ink-blues.html


Like you, mine worked fine for years then just plugged, not sure why.

1) get a good plunger

2) duct tape the vents closed

3) fill the sinks with water

4) plunge like crazy

It took a while but then just let go. The suction you get with a good plunger is amazing. You could suck a golf ball out of there.

Good Luck
 
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Old 06-07-11, 01:22 PM
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A drain cleaning "bladder", the thing that expands inside the pipe, shoots a strong stream of water down the center of the pipe. It doesn't do a thing to clean the sides of the pipe. Same thing with a standard sewer snake unless the operator has a cutting head sized to the inside diameter of the pipe. Neither a bladder or a standard snake will properly clean a drain.

The jetter is a completely different tool. It has a rotating head that shoots high pressure water on an angle towards the walls of the pipe. There are small homeowner models that connect to a garden hose but the professional models connect to a pressure washer and can use pressures as high as 1500 psi or sometimes more. They have a relatively small hose and the head is small enough to allow it to go down the pipe and through elbows cleaning the entire length of pipe. Down side is that if you have some weak piping the high pressure could actually cause damage and subsequent leaks.

The other thing that I don't think has been mentioned is what material is the hidden piping made? If it is galvanized steel then it could be so corroded from years of service that nothing but replacement will help.
 
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Old 06-08-11, 03:31 PM
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It's a 2" PVC pipe. I'm beginning to think that maybe the pipe is bowed somewhere. (I would have to open the ceiling downstairs to see if that's the case.) Maybe one (or more) of the brackets holding the pipe in place attached to the joists got dislodged when the contractors were removing the old floor tiles, with all the banging and vibration?
 
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Old 06-08-11, 04:35 PM
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Does the line drain okay if you only have a small to medium flow from the faucet running? How about with the faucet running full flow? If the problem is only when dumping a full sink of water it might be a problem of not enough "fall" or a "belly" in the piping but I seriously doubt it.

Code calls for a drop of 1/4 inch per foot on drainage lines and that would translate to 6-1/4 inches of fall over the 25 feet of horizontal piping. Quite honestly, even if the fall was half that, 1/8 inch per foot (3-1/8 inches overall) a two-inch line should handle the flow without problem. It is either that funky connection or the line is seriously plugged. Since it worked fine before installation of the new sink and garbage grinder I doubt that the problem is a plugged line.

This would be a serious hassle (however fairly inexpensive for DIY) but at this point I would recommend removing the garbage grinder and that funky piping and installing a standard basket strainer and piping and see what happens. If the problem disappears then you know what needs to be done.
 
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Old 06-08-11, 07:11 PM
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The line doesn't drain well regardless of the faucet flow. I find it hard to believe that the line is seriously plugged since we've already snaked it (a few times) and used that bladder. We've also tried running water from a garden hose straight into the line, bypassing everything under the sink, and after 20-30 seconds water started to come back at us.

Maybe it's time to get someone to do a video inspection of the line.
 

Last edited by davidm; 06-08-11 at 07:41 PM.
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Old 06-08-11, 08:50 PM
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We've also tried running water from a garden hose straight into the line, bypassing everything under the sink, and after 20-30 seconds water started to come back at us.
I bet the farm your line has a blockage like I been saying all along. Even if the pipe had a belly, the law of pyhsics will allow the line to drain.

20-30 seconds is along time. If that is the actual time, I might lead to believe its in or at the main. To fill a 25 ft 2" line is about 4 gal. And thats the whole line filled solid with water.

2 inch (id) pipe will hold 0.1632 gal per ft.


Those cameras will not get down 2" pipe, unless you can get it in a completely straight run. You will never make the bends.

But until you perform a action to try to correct the problem, again its all speculation. Jetting will eliminate all pipe cloging issues. Like others told you, snaking just restores flow and often just punches a hole in the clogg. It soon cloggs again. The best way to snake is with water running down the line.

I cant offer anymore advice here. Perhaps others will offer. But please let us know the outcome.

Mike NJ
 
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Old 06-10-11, 01:41 PM
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You were right, Mike. I had an expert with a camera at my house today, and the pipe was clogged big time. There was so much junk all over, at times blocking probably 90% of the line. With what I saw I'm surprised it was draining at all. So he jetted it, and it's as good as new.

Of course, then he decided to send the camera down the main line out of the house, and we found out that a 10-foot stretch of pipe just outside the house, under the front porch, is badly corroded and with tree roots going right through it. It just never ends...

Thanks Mike and everyone else for all your advice and ideas!
 
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Old 06-10-11, 03:25 PM
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Good job. Glad I can help. Draining good now????


10-foot stretch of pipe just outside the house, under the front porch, is badly corroded and with tree roots going right through it. It just never ends...
You best bet there is to snake the line with a full pipe size cutting bit to cut the roots. Or some high pressure jetters can cut roots. Once you do that use root X. The warranty you for a yr. It works from my experience. You need to treat every year, and you can keep the roots away. The longer you wait then the pipe can collapse. At that point you will need to dig to repair.

Just digging it up and repairing the section with the roots is a option also.


RootX is the simple, effective and proven solution for sewer root control

Mike NJ
 
 

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