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Another day at the beach...

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  • Another day at the beach...

    Got back from vacation and a property manager called with a real catastrophe. 3" CI kitchen stack serving 42 year old 6 story condo building completely backed up. The kicker is no one has occupied the bottom unit for months; which is where everything wound up coming out with no one the wiser about it. When they finally found out, the unit was destroyed. They told everyone on that stack not to use it until I came to fix it, so in that sense it was an emergency. Not a real rush in the sense that the damage to the 1st floor was already done. When I went into the unit for pics, the smell was overpowering from the mold. What I first though was flowery wallpaper, turned out to be mold so I got out of there quick. (See pics) Went under the building and removed the CI cleanout leading to the sweep 90 into the horizontal. You can see from the picture it was solid black grease. Jetted the stack with 1/4" line, then the horizontal. Re-connected everything with new bands and schedule 40 PVC. What a mess!!
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  • #2
    Re: Another day at the beach...

    had a similar issue today. that line HAD to be slow for a long time...yet no one said anything. the bubbling and gurgling...there had to be some indication of a problem.

    mine was a 2nd floor toilet that was replaced 2 years ago. it leaked. but no one thought that the floor being rotted was any issue... the apt below is unoccupied and the 2 lavatories are stacked (1st floor lines up with 2nd floor). the ceiling collapsed. the floor below is rotted, the walls moldy, the toilet on the 1st floor now rests on a rotted floor. the 2nd floor tenant said, 'oh yeah, it gurgled and backed up lots of times. i thought that was normal'


    ... it was plumbed by Ray Charles and his helper Stevie Wonder


    • #3
      Re: Another day at the beach...

      You're right. That kind of grease doesn't happen overnight, it took years to build up to that level. The president of the building was concerned about the rest of the kitchen stacks in that building. Most are shared(back to back) and have been "broken" at the bottom, meaning that someone disbanded the cast fittings under the building and replaced them with PVC; hopefully during a cleaning process. The stack at the opposite end of this building, was never replaced. To prevent a similar mess, they had me come back yesterday to open and clean the stack on the other end. The 90 and horizontal were almost 1/2 way filled with grease on the bottom; not as bad. BUT, when I sent my jetter up that stack, it poured chunks of black grease for over 20 minutes! I wear a disposable Tyvek suit when doing this, it's a real mess! I like doing that cleaning with the pipe disconnected and a hole in the sand; I really don't want to attempt to flush all that solid into the 42 year old CI sewer; that would probably just create a problem there. I've got to set up a youtube account or post videos on my website to see what you guys think of the jetter I built.


      • #4
        Re: Another day at the beach...

        What a mess,
        Push sticks/blocks Save Fingers
        "The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good."
        attributed to Samuel Johnson
        PUBLIC NOTICE: Due to recent budget cuts, the rising cost of electricity, gas, and the current state of the economy............the light at the end of the tunnel, has been turned off.