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  • Water backing-up

    Disclaimer: I'm new to this forum and do not have any plumbing knowledge

    Water is backing-up into the kitchen and laundry room sinks when the washer drains. The sinks drain immediately thereafter but I would like to do something about it because I do not think it is hygenic for dirty laundry water to even be in the kitchen sink. My question to the experts is, what do you recommend I do?
    Should I rent a snake and figure out if there is blockage in the main line that the kitchen sink, dishwasher and washer drain into? If so, what kind do you recommend I rent? Are there tools out there that will detect and remove/break-up the clog, if any?
    Or, should I just go ahead and call a plumber? If so, would you have any good recommendations for plumbers in the greater Memphis area? And what kinds of questions should I ask the plumber?

    Many thanks,

  • #2
    Re: Water backing-up

    Originally posted by travelbug73 View Post
    Disclaimer: I'm new to this forum and do not have any plumbing knowledge

    Water is backing-up into the kitchen and laundry room sinks when the washer drains. The sinks drain immediately thereafter but I would like to do something about it because I do not think it is hygenic for dirty laundry water to even be in the kitchen sink. My question to the experts is, what do you recommend I do?
    Should I rent a snake and figure out if there is blockage in the main line that the kitchen sink, dishwasher and washer drain into? If so, what kind do you recommend I rent? Are there tools out there that will detect and remove/break-up the clog, if any?
    Or, should I just go ahead and call a plumber? If so, would you have any good recommendations for plumbers in the greater Memphis area? And what kinds of questions should I ask the plumber?

    Many thanks,
    Your not completely stopped up yet because as you stated, the water goes down, you have a partial stoppage and it is located between the main drain which will be 3" or 4", and where the two fixtures tie toghether, which should be 2". do you have a c/o on this line? It will be off the kitchen sink drain or the washing machine line, If you have a c/o, you can run a 3/8" cable machine through the c/o and then run water afterwards to test. you should solve your problems then. As far as tools, we have cameras that can access the line, but for this, it really isn't necassary, unless you have a constant problem, try snaking it first. If you feel the least bit uncomfortable, or do not have a c/o, please call a plumber, do not use chemicals, ask the plumber to first look for a c/o.
    Last edited by westcoastplumber; 06-27-2007, 11:14 AM.
    sigpic

    Robert

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    • #3
      Re: Water backing-up

      If your kinda handy around the house, you could rent a machine to run down the vent on the roof. weather and roof permitting. just tell the rental place what your plan is, and they should set you up with the right machine. Or If you don't feel like doing this job, call several plumbing shops. they should tell you what it will cost to do the job with there commercial equipment.

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      • #4
        Re: Water backing-up

        as you stated, you don't have plumbing knowledge.

        the last thing ou want to do is rent a snake.

        a snake can be tricky to use and the smaller the snake, the faster it will kink

        check with your neighbors and friends for a good local recommended plumber or drain cleaning co.

        do not look in the yellow pages

        typically out here the kitchen and laundry are close to each other and share the same common 2'' line. unfortunatly the kitchen is the worst fixture and laundry is second. combination of food, grease, soap , lint, and old pipe.

        snaking will work, jetting is typically better, but more costly. snake it with the proper size snake and cutters. run plenty of water and fill the sink and laundry to test. i wouldn't jet at this point on a first time issue.

        most experienced plumbers, drain cleaners should be able to give you an exact price or a pretty close estimate.

        if there is a cleanout, it will take less than 1 hour. no cleanout will require a little more time, possibly from the roof vent. also can be snaked from the laundry stand pipe or by removing the sink trap. object is to run the largest cable and cutter combination to properly clean the line.

        stay away from the yellow pages

        rick.
        phoebe it is

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        • #5
          Re: Water backing-up

          Don't be scared away by ricks advise on trying this on your own. It's not rocket science. If you can run cable down through the roof vent, this will be an easy, and fairly clean job for you to do. You will not need to take any pipes apart to cable the drain. As far as the yellow pages, call several and they should be able to give you a idea over the phone about price. I would run away from the low price guy. Cheap job just won't last before you need it done again

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          • #6
            Re: Water backing-up

            Listen to Rick.
            Buy cheap, buy twice.

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            • #7
              Re: Water backing-up

              Everyone has given good advise. However from your post, you yourself said you have no plumbing knowledge. Most plumbers don't charge that much for a drain cleaning. So I would call a pro. If you can get a referral great if not then call several local plumbing shops. Use the white pages, yellow pages, news paper, or even check on line with who ever your local phone service provider is. The service will probably run somewhere between 69.00 and 185.00 depending on the company. If you cannot afford this then , you can try it yourself. However there is always the possibility of damaging the snake or even worse injury. If you don't have experience then it can be difficult depending on the drain(the way it is run,or accessibility).
              THE GLASS IS ALWAYS HALF FULL

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              • #8
                Re: Water backing-up

                I'm with Rick.

                Here are a few observations after doing this type of work over the last 35-years or so. Many plumbers after their first few years in the business stop cleaning drains from the roof due to the dangers involved. Our shop would only snake from the roof one time and after that if the owner had not installed a CO we would not return for drain cleanings.

                Keep in mind most plumbers own professional equipment which is well maintained. At the same time most Rental Yards rent equipment which is used by the rental community. The rental equipment is often poor quality equipment which is poorly maintained. If many plumbers avoid the roof with their good equipment why would it be safe to put an inexperienced owner on the roof with rental equipment?

                Mark
                "Somewhere a Village is Missing Twelve Idiots!" - Casey Anthony

                I never lost a cent on the jobs I didn't get!

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                • #9
                  Re: Water backing-up

                  Point worth mention...so far it looks like it's assumed the problem is recent.
                  If this has been ongoing...you could have a vent problem.
                  If you drains aren't vented, they'll drain slower...also it's a big problem with sewer gas (ONLY if there is no vent, if so, you may have noticed the occasional smell).
                  IF this turns out to be the case, depending on your local code you have two courses of action.
                  1 - Install a vent through to the attic and connect to your main stack there, or out the roof seperate.
                  2 - Studor vent, ot mechanical vent...they are not legal in every state (mine for example) , but if they are in yours ther are MUCH easier to install than the first option.
                  This is ONLY if it turns out to not be stoppage in the actual drain.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Water backing-up

                    Thank you all for your input. I believe, there is a clean-out plug, therefore, going through the roof might not be necessary. Anyway, I shall take a look at it this evening and make a decision. Yes, it is a more recent problem, of course, we have had this house only for 9 months now and the previous owner said she did not have this problem.

                    Thank you

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                    • #11
                      Re: Water backing-up

                      Rick ,I am starting to take offense at your yellow pages **** .I am moving my business in 2 weeks , going to the city and I am going to be in the yellow pages , I don"t know anyone in the community , how the hell else do you expect me to gain cust. ,I am also pavement pounding and meeting people . I guaran-frickin-tee that my work is as good yours . I'm your same age , so give it a break.........................

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                      • #12
                        Re: Water backing-up

                        Originally posted by apf View Post
                        Rick ,I am starting to take offense at your yellow pages **** .I am moving my business in 2 weeks , going to the city and I am going to be in the yellow pages , I don"t know anyone in the community , how the hell else do you expect me to gain cust. ,I am also pavement pounding and meeting people . I guaran-frickin-tee that my work is as good yours . I'm your same age , so give it a break.........................
                        apf, i'm not taking a shot at you personally.

                        out here in los angeles, just in the local book, not the whole city but very local there are over 40 pages of ads just for plumbers.

                        there is not 1 ad that i would recommend to anyone. the ads that are there are of companies that are out to get you 1 time.

                        as far as you moving your company, unfortunately that's a very difficult decision. i don't care how good of a plumber you or i or anyone else is. if you don't know anyone it's going to take time to build up your reputation. the best way is like you've already done. going door to door and meeting potential customers. i would start in my local new neighborhood.

                        don't know what you spent on your ad, but i hope you actually get a good response. any new business has a breaking in period with the local community.

                        do you know anyone in the new community? referrals are the best form of advertising.

                        rick.
                        phoebe it is

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                        • #13
                          Re: Water backing-up

                          In your case it sounds like grease from the kitchen tying up with lent from the washer and blocking your pipe. Its good you have a clean out as this makes it much easer to get at your problem. It doesn't sound like a vent problem and I would stay off the roof. It's hard to tell how tough a job it will be to clean out the pipe. I have seen it open with just a small snake 3/8" cable or on real tough jobs it could take a 3/4" cable and cutter. If you could borrow 3/8" snake with power of a drill and run cold water while snaking it out that might work seeing as it is still partly open. But most likely you are better off calling a drain cleaning or plummer to open it up as the cost of renting a big enough machine, mess, problems and time just isn't worth it.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Water backing-up

                            Now this whole yellow pages thing brings up a point.....when calling from the yellow pages, which company can be semi-trusted more, the company that asks questions over the phone and then gives a ballpark figure on what it might cost to do the job(being a small job like drain cleaning, toilet repair, and so on), or the company that says they won't give a price until they are on site and can see the problem(even if it's a small job like drain cleaning, toilet repair and so on) which sometimes if not often times leads to a trip charge? I've worked for both kinds of companies and I'll tell you the first kind was much busier and the closing rate was 100%, whereas the second kind was much higher priced, slower, the closing rate was around 54-57% for the shop, and the trip charge was on top of the service/repair charge. I can see things wrong with the second kind that might alleviate some problems with closing jobs but if a person absolutely had to call from the yellow pages what would be some things to listen for to determine if this company was out to get you 1 time or if this company wanted your business for life? Giving prices over the phone can be dangerous sometimes but not giving a ballpark figure can be detrimental in the same way. With the price of gas and time is money, you sure don't want to drive around all day for free estimates but if you have to charge a trip charge shouldn't it be figured into the price if the customer accepts the job? I, myself, ask alot of questions and then give a ballpark with nothing set in stone until I see it and it seems to be working good right now. I have been told that giving prices over the phone is unprofessional though and I was just wondering what you guys thought. Do questions and giving roundabout prices over the phone make a company more trustworthy?

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                            • #15
                              Re: Water backing-up

                              Advertising in the yellow pages , on line , or other forms of print ad and media are just fine. If you are happy growing your business slow and don't want to drive a Ferrari. Then just go door to door . While your at it put on some bib overalls and chew some tobacco. If you want to work the rest of your life 65 to 75 and live middle income then not advertising will get you there and there nothing wrong with that.

                              However if you want to own several homes, businesses and travel plus put your kids through school. Then I would advertise. Don't get me wrong I am not saying there aren't exception to the rule, in both cases. Just look around you every company advertises and gives incentives to use there business. I just think it is absurd to suggest that company's that advertise are bad or more expensive.

                              Is there seriously any of us who have never bought or used a service based on advertisements. Rick, although I respect your opinion it goes against every business model or practice prescribe by business professionals. At this point we should all strip our trucks of there lettering and logos in order to be purist. Not advertising thats just ridiculous.
                              THE GLASS IS ALWAYS HALF FULL

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