Announcement Announcement Module
Collapse
No announcement yet.
Basement Plumbing Issues Page Title Module
Move Remove Collapse
X
Conversation Detail Module
Collapse
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Basement Plumbing Issues

    A month or so ago I posted a question on the site regarding waste from my kitchen sink(located on the first floor of the home) backing up into the sink in my basement bathroom. We have found that if we avoid filling our kitchen sink (very deep) full of water, we don't have problems with the basement bathroom.

    We are in the process of adding a kitchenette to our basement and are planning to locate a small (13") sink on a wall immediately adjacent to our laundry closet, with the sink draining into the washing machine drain.

    For the purposes of the project, I took the drywall down in the laundry closet and am concerned with what I found. The drain for the washing machine is just one piece of PVC that runs down into the concrete slab below. It does not appear to be vented (the PVC pipe doesn't run up the wall at all) and I am not sure there is a trap

    Obviously the basement is a concrete slab and the contractor who remodeled the house before we bought it indicated that he had to cut a trench in the concrete to install the laundry room and basement bathroom. We have never had trouble with the washing machine draining and the sink, toilet and shower in the basement bathroom operate just fine. The only plumbing problem we've had is the one I mentioned previously. We also do not have any trouble with odor or anything.

    So, I am concerned about the quality of the work that was done prior to our purchasing the home. Any thoughts on the situation would be much appreciated. Particularly, 1) does this sound like a major problem? 2) Is there anyway to tell if the washing machine drain is trapped, perhaps below the concrete slab? 3) Should I plan on adding a studor valve to the washing machine? what about to the kitchenette sink?

    I will be having all work done by a plumber, but I wanted to understand the problem first before calling anyone in. Would pictures help at all? Basically it would show a white PVC tube running from about midway up the all, straight into the cement slab, not much else.

    Thanks!

  • #2
    Re: Basement Plumbing Issues


    WE NEED TO SEE AS MUCH OF THE PLUMBING AS YOU CAN EXPOSE TO GET IDEAL OF THE WAY
    IT "MIGHT" BE TIED TOGETHER ?
    OF COURSE ONE WAY FOR SURE WOULD BE TO HAVE A PLUMBER COME OUT AND CAMERA THE DRAINS AND DO LOCATING ON THE TIE-INS
    JERRYMAC
    E-MAILJERRYMAC777@GMAIL.COM
    CALIF. LIC. PLBG,HEAT,DRAINS,ELECTRIC,WATER HEATER, BOILER, POOL AND SPA HEATER
    FIRE SPRINKLER CONTRACTOR,
    SINCE JAN. 1989

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Basement Plumbing Issues

      Jerry,

      Thanks so much. I will post some photos tonight when I get home, but seriously, you can't see much at all, just a PVC pipe running straight down into a concrete slab. The pipe starts at one of those washing machine wall boxes (that come with the water hookups and a place for the drain). I am sure if I tore apart the walls of the bathroom it would get MUCH more interesting, but I'd prefer not to do that at this point.

      It looks like, under the cement, it ties into the shower drain, but at this point I am not even sure if that is properly vented/trapped. I am now seriously suspect of the work done by the previous owner of the home.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Basement Plumbing Issues

        Regerding your original problem; as I understand it, if a large volume of water is let out through the kitchen sink it backs up into the sink downstairs. If this is correct, and it was not always this way, I'd recommend having the line jetted.

        Washing machine drains are typically trapped in the wall before they go into the slab. If you have one, it should be obvious if you have the wall removed. It should be trapped. There may be a trap in the slab, though this is unusual in my experience. You can tell by calling someone and having it cameraed. Alternatively, if there is no trap you sould be able to hear the noise of a toilet flush in the washer drain; remove the drain hose, lean your ear over the top of the pipe, and have someone flush.

        A vent is likely required. A studor vent may or may not satisfy the requirement. I have yet to see a lack of venting cause a problem in function of a drain, though I won't say it can't happen. I have seen several failed studor vents cause smell problems.

        You should verify the existance/non-existance of a trap in the slab if you intend to tie the kitchenette sink into the washer drain. If there is a trap in the slab, you will end up double trapping the sink, which I believe will cause problems as well as being out of code. Need for a studor or other vent will be determined by your code. If possible, find another venting solution than studor vents; they fail and let stink out.
        This is my reminder to myself that no good will ever come from discussing politics or religion with anyone, ever.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Basement Plumbing Issues

          Thanks guys!

          We just moved into the house about 2 months ago. The house had been vacant for 5 years and then remodeled/flipped, before it was put on the market. We had it inspected by two different inspectors and they were pleased with the work that had been done, but clearly did not check everything. Running a proper vent in this instance just isn't possible as it is a two story rowhouse with a basement, so the vent would need to be run from the basement up through the roof and the laundry closet is against a brick wall we share with the neighbor.

          I have heard that you can check for a trap by putting a wooden stick/dowel down the drain to see if there is standing water? Has anyone ever head of this?

          Let's assume the washer is not trapped below the cement slab, I imagine a plumber can add a trap in pretty easily, right? In that case, would we simply be able to run the sink drain in below the washer trap? Then we'd avoid having the double trap, right?


          If the washer is trapped below the cement slab, what options do we have for the kitchenette sink? Can we do the sink without a trap, given that the drain itself is trapped?

          I know that studor vents are less than optimal, but it is the only option we have here, I would be sure to install an access panel by the vent in case we need to replace it in the future. Do studor vents get installed before or after the trap? I am just trying to plan this out in my mind.

          Has anyone ever worked with "hygienic self sealing waste valves" like this one? http://www.tomraperrvparts.com/parts...productid=5878
          Would this be helpful in this situation?

          The laundry closet is immediately adjacent to a full basement bathroom (tub/shower, toilet, sink). When the tub drains, I can absolutely hear it in the laundry closet (they sound connected). Is it possible that the washer is on the same drain and or vent as the bathroom and that the whole bathroom is vented together?

          Thanks to all for everything!

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Basement Plumbing Issues

            Originally posted by stubits View Post
            I will be having all work done by a plumber, but I wanted to understand the problem first before calling anyone in. Would pictures help at all? Basically it would show a white PVC tube running from about midway up the all, straight into the cement slab, not much else.

            Thanks!
            I may know a great plumber in your area

            If you are serious about having a plumber bid on the work let me know

            What part of DC are you in?
            Northeast?
            Northwest?
            Southwest?
            Southeast
            East of the River



            Originally posted by stubits View Post
            Has anyone ever worked with "hygienic self sealing waste valves" like this one? http://www.tomraperrvparts.com/parts...productid=5878
            Would this be helpful in this situation?

            I don't know what that thing is but I'm sure it's not legal here. Leave it in the RV

            The laundry closet is immediately adjacent to a full basement bathroom (tub/shower, toilet, sink). When the tub drains, I can absolutely hear it in the laundry closet (they sound connected). Is it possible that the washer is on the same drain and or vent as the bathroom and that the whole bathroom is vented together?

            Thanks to all for everything!
            Sounds like no trap on the laundry. Most likely boot legged plumbing during the flip. Pretty common in some areas of the DC. Don't open up any more walls than you have to. If the inspector sees some Fly-by-Night plumbing he may make you take it all down and start over.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Basement Plumbing Issues

              We are in Northwest, Petworth area.

              Thanks for the advice, I am framing the walls this weekend, but will be looking for a bit after that, but it is a really small job I think. We'd just need hot and cold water, brought from about 1' away and connect up a drain to the sink.

              What are your thoughts on it? I am VERY confident that the washer is neither trapped nor vented. Would you recommend adding in a trap? How about a Studor valve?

              Thanks!

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Basement Plumbing Issues

                Entire towns have been wiped off the face of the map due to the use of a Studor Vent

                Ok, that's a lie, but if you worked for me and installed one, you'd be looking for a job the next day. We are plumbers. We find solutions to problems.
                sigpic

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Basement Plumbing Issues

                  i dont think id jet it yet--have a plumber snake it first--i dont jet unless its grease--like commercial grease,but i have jetted some kitchen lines also--9 times out of 10 a plumber can snake it and the problem is gone---jetting costs alot more than snaking--also if that house was vacant long, you could have serious hard buildup in that pipe--especially if there is a belly or trap--have a plumber snake it--he will know what to do when he sees the place--

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Basement Plumbing Issues

                    Thanks everyone!

                    Let's bring this back to where we started.

                    I have a untrapped, unvented drain for my washer. I didn't know it was untrapped and unvented until I opened up the wall. I'd like to correct the problem of it being unvented and untrapped as well as tie in a very small bar size sink to the washer standpipe.

                    What does everyone suggest? I do not think adding in a traditional roof vented vent is feasible, as the washer is against a solid brick wall that we share with neighbord(we are in a DC rowhouse) AND we are in the basement and would have to run the pipe up three stories of the house. Any suggestions?

                    As for a trap, I suppose we can just install a p trap into the standpipe, no?

                    Thanks!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Basement Plumbing Issues

                      if absolutely necessary, use an oatey auto air vent--they do work--that solves the vent issue

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Basement Plumbing Issues

                        PlumberJR-

                        Thanks. Do you prefer the Oatey vents to the Studor vent? Any reason? And I can just add a p trap into the washer drain line, right?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Basement Plumbing Issues

                          I've got the same situation with a vent- how do the studor or oatey vents hold-up? Is there any maintenance required for them?

                          Thanks!
                          -Chris

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Basement Plumbing Issues

                            So there is absolutly no way to get an 1 1/2" vent pipe to tie back into the vent system? If I was to come to your house, I could find no possible way?
                            I only ask because we always managed to find a way long before studor vents hit the market. But I suppose this is the world we live in now. Where time and money matter more than quality and longevity.
                            If I decided not to do all those things that are difficult or a pain in the *** I'd spend most of my time on the couch watching Opra.
                            sigpic

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Basement Plumbing Issues

                              NHMaster:

                              I appreciate your position, and would absolutely prefer to do it the "right" way, but money does matter. I have a certain amount that I can afford for this project and not a lot of flexibility in my budget. We just purchased the home for a small fortune(at least for us) and we are getting it ready so that my mother-in-law, ill with cancer, can move in with us. She is unable to go up and down the stairs, so the kitchenette is necessary.

                              The nearest vent is approximately 25 feet from the washing machine. How close does an appliance need to be to the vent for it to be effective? Can the vent run horizontally (ie through the ceiling) or must it run vertically or with some sort of slope.

                              Thanks!

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X