Backup in downstairs sink

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Old 12-04-12, 08:13 AM
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Backup in downstairs sink

Hi diy-ers - haven't been here in a while. That's good news, I guess!

I live in a 50-year-old two story townhouse condo with a half basement. It is one of four condos in a row in the same building, and our water lines are common to all four units.

Every so often I find what looks like dried dirt in my downstairs bathroom sink. Recently I finally saw what happens while I was there. I heard "glug glug glug" and water backed up in the sink, then drained out leaving dirty remains. I was not using the sink at the time and there was no odor.

Am I correct that this is some sort of occasional backup from the basement sewer? So - is it serious? Why does it happen? What do I need to do about it?

Thanks for your help and advice!!
 
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Old 12-04-12, 03:28 PM
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Did you mention the fact that the "water lines are common" because it's happening in the other units as well? If so, it's a main drain problem. If you don't know, if there is a problem, in the other units, ask! If it's only your sink, remove the trap & see what there.
 
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Old 12-04-12, 05:04 PM
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No one else is having the problem. If you mean the trap in the sink, there doesn't appear to be any blockage in the sink itself. Water drains well. And the backup happens independent of whether I used the sink recently.

I'm trying to give as much information as I know and to explain this the best I can. Thanks.
 
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Old 12-04-12, 06:19 PM
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Does the backup occur after using one of the upstairs sinks? Or does it happen when nothing is being used in your house?
 
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Old 12-04-12, 06:35 PM
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Any backup in a fixture as you describe is a blockage. The key is to find where it is... Main line of branch. Condos are tricky. Minimal is a plumber with a snake and camera. Don't settle for just snaking....You must camera....
 
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Old 12-04-12, 07:14 PM
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From what you are saying, the backup is in your apartment. You can call a plumber if you want. I would try some Liquid Fire, from Ace Hardware first. Having said that, I'll hide since there will be some disagreement.
 
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Old 12-04-12, 08:16 PM
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I cannot recommend advice from Pulpo...But its your house....Be careful please.



Liquid Fire Drain Opener and Liquid Lightning Drain Opener Facts
 
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Old 12-05-12, 07:22 AM
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zorfdt: I don't think it's related to other use, but it's not something that would have occurred to me to check since the backup is infrequent. I'll try to watch out for a connection now. Thanks.

lawrosa: Thanks for the reply and THANK YOU for the warning!!

I'll have to do some further investigating and perhaps talk to my friendly plumber.

Thanks again.
 
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