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Old 11-17-2010, 09:52 AM   #1
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DWV minus V = mess?


Okay, I'm just going to put this out there and ask for suggestions on what I should do to make this DWV system right. The only venting is through the stack. This is in a crawlspace, the furnace is in the crawlspace on its side with a humidifier which drains down the pipe that is shown and which has become disconnected before the p-trap.

I suspect this humidifier connection probably allows backflow onto the crawlspace floor when anything else is used.

I'm inclined to run a seperate pipe up to vent everything if I can get through the floor in the knee wall attic, then merge it into the vent stack above the second floor toilet... And replace sections of the stack with PVC, if not the whole thing.

I was also thinking I might need to attach the first floor toilet into the branch with the sink and bathtub so while the first floor is out of service, the second floor can still be used then the first floor can be used while I am replacing stack pipes.

The humidifier... I am thinking either it's as simple as reattaching and solvent welding the pipe where it popped apart, or else something is completely wrong and I should just leave the humidifier off.

There is a cleanout plug on the main stack between the first floor toilet and the branch for the first floor sink and bath tub, located on the side not visible in the main stack.
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Old 11-17-2010, 10:52 AM   #2
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DWV minus V = mess?


System will only backflow through that dehumidifier trap if there is a clog.
Just like a basement floor drain, won't be an issue unless there is a clog.

It,s possible that some of the fixtures are too far from that stack for proper venting, but unless there's an issue, I say leave it alone

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Old 11-17-2010, 12:21 PM   #3
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DWV minus V = mess?


There are DEFINITELY issues, gurgling in the bathtub when anything else is used, and one time the kids started flushing the toilet repeatedly and something was leaking into the crawlspace but I didn't really investigate it any further than hearing water and seeing it on the ground in the crawl space at the time.

I'd be happy to improve the system, but certainly with everything else that needs work I'd be glad to know for now that I can probably leave it as is and possibly resolve the issues by openning the cleanout and possibly clearing an obstruction.
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Old 11-18-2010, 09:24 PM   #4
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DWV minus V = mess?


K, today I had my helpful 5 year old along so I could observe the system and send him up to flush a toilet, sure enough water backflows out of the humidifier past the p-trap.

Is this system really okay as is? I'm inclined to cap off the humidifier because it's so much lower than everything else until I get a better way figured out.

I'm thinking the only thing that HAS to go into the stack as low as the humidifier is the humidifier, so everything else should enter the stack above it so I can attach the humidifier off its own branch... Clearly something is obstructing flow somewhere below it, so obviously that has to be dealt with.

It doesn't matter though does it, if the 4" pipe is blocked below ground, it's coming out the lowest exit, if it isn't it's going to go down the 4" pipe and not backflow... Is that pretty much what I'll get no matter how I set it up then?
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Old 11-18-2010, 09:53 PM   #5
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DWV minus V = mess?


i would put a backwater valve on the trap in the crawlspace. doesn't fix the issues, but saves water damage in a spot you probably don't like to go into
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Old 11-18-2010, 09:57 PM   #6
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DWV minus V = mess?


Definitely needs to be remedied. Is the furnace designed to operate sideways? That sounds like a problem otherwise. Sounds like you need to add more ventilation. The gurgling toilet is a sure sing. The trick is to find the easiest legal path for the added ventilation.
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Old 11-19-2010, 08:24 AM   #7
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DWV minus V = mess?


I was thinking about a backflow preventer, but wasn't sure because I figured whether I did that or capped it off, I'd still have the obstruction and maybe then the backflow would just move somewhere else or the toilets would overflow instead.

I'm just thinking of piping vents onto the 4 fixtures that will come together into a 2" vertical pipe and join that into the 4" stack above the upstairs toilet... 2 questions:

Is that a legal way of going about it (I am guessing there's calculations, but in general principle am I in the right direction - I assume I might be overkilling on ventilation, but I assume there's nothing wrong with that)

When the smaller vent pipe joins into the stack, is it supposed to enter at a downward angle or should it be an upward angle? I'm guessing downward so that rain dropping into the pipe isn't going to go down the vent.
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Old 11-19-2010, 08:28 AM   #8
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DWV minus V = mess?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim F View Post
Definitely needs to be remedied. Is the furnace designed to operate sideways? That sounds like a problem otherwise. Sounds like you need to add more ventilation. The gurgling toilet is a sure sing. The trick is to find the easiest legal path for the added ventilation.
Yes, the furnace is designed to operate sideways. I don't like it personally and it's on my project list to relocate it to a utility room where it can be installed upright - or maybe even get a newer higher efficiency furnace with air conditioning, but for now it's professionally installed and fully functional, so there are plenty of other places for my money and time to go that need the work more at this time.

There's definitely so many of those places I'd have loved to just wipe the slate clean and build a new house if time and money wasn't an object, but of course it is.
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Old 11-19-2010, 08:49 AM   #9
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DWV minus V = mess?


Hardest part of this project would be getting the sink vented. If you can carry the drain on as a vent and get it into the attic or through the roof, the other part is not too bad. Between the 90 for the lower toilet and the 45 by the stack, you have to cut in a 4 x 2 wye. This can pick up the tub and sink, and be to (at least where I live) code.
The humidifier line? Is the humidifier in the crawlspace too? It could get tied into the pipe from the tub to its p-trap. Or if it's too low, small "Little Giant" pumps are common in this situation, and tie it into the same place.
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Old 11-22-2010, 12:15 PM   #10
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DWV minus V = mess?


Okay, just a flollow up. Saturday I used the rented soil pipe cutter to cut out the toilet DWV pipe and the portion of the iron vent stack visible in the pictures. Probably not necessary, but it gave me good access to the underground pipes to see what is going on and try to deal with it. Chemical drain openning efforts from Friday evening did not resolve the issue, I had used the humidifier pipe to pour the chemical in so it did not pour directly through any of the lines I was cutting.

With the pipe cut open, I was able to observe that water was sitting in the pipe about 2-3 feet underground, shortly above a 90 degree turn. I didn't really have any drain snakes on hand, but I was able to shove a cable TV line down to try to estimate the distance to the obstruction and I hit a blockage around 5-6 feet in.

I might otherwise have considered a professional at this point, but with our moving in already in progress and a family in need of working toilets, I didn't have time to wait - and the $57 rental of the mainline auger was bad enough, hiring someone to do this would've been even more beyond what we had available to spend, so I went ahead and rented the auger.

The one we rented came with a starter bit, a spiral hook bit, a grease cutter bit and a root cutter bit - I was instructed to use the start bit first, and the others require more caution. The starter bit really didn't seem to make any progress once it hit a blockage. I tried the spiral hook, and something got hooked but I couldn't pull it out and ended up having to go forwad and reverse until I freed it up to pull the auger back out. Once I ran the root cutter bit, I was able to break through the first blockage, I kept going to about 20 feet in and hit a second blockage at which point the water drained down and fully openned water flow into the sink and bathtub went straight down the pipe without backing up.

I put in new PVC with a clean-out plug located where it can more easily be accessed, plus I added a 4x2 wye into the toilet branch so I can do something later like run a seperate vent from there or put in a cleanout if I decide I don't need the vent. I put a test plug in for now.

With all that done, everything is flowing fine and the bathroom is back to being fully operational with no gurgling. The humidifier will be brought back online when I figure out where to get a new humidifier pad for it.

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