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Old 10-13-2011, 11:12 AM   #1
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Kitchen sink not draining, is it the vent?


Hey guys, here's the situation (and thanks in advance for any help, this one really has me stumped).

A couple of days ago the basement kitchen sink stopped draining properly. I removed all the pipes connecting it to the sewer in the wall, cleaned them out and didn't find any real blockage (just some standard gunk that had built up). Connected it all back together and it's still not draining. I then snaked the sewer drain down two feet or so, at first it wasn't going down but I eventually broke through some stuff and the snake moved freely as far as it would go (3-4 feet). This is where it gets weird...

Hooked everything back up and it's still not draining. Also, when I started taking apart the connection at the end of the P-trap a lot of pressure was released (sputtering sound, water coming out mixed with air). At this point I figured it had to be some kind of pressure issue so I checked the vent.

Got up on the roof and ran water down the vent. It didn't ever fill up the vent, but I noticed the water level in the kitchen sink was rising. What really puzzled me is when I ran the hose down the vent and it got stuck at what felt like three or four feet ABOVE the place where the kitchen sink connects to the sewer, which wouldn't explain the water backing up. Should I assume there are two blockages? The hose seemed like it was hitting something pretty solid that wouldn't move from dropping the hose on it several times or blasting it with some water. Am I just hitting a corner or something and the only blockage is below the connection?

Thanks for the help!

Really not wanting to resort to a plumber here, but if that's what needs to happen....

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Old 10-13-2011, 11:46 AM   #2
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Kitchen sink not draining, is it the vent?


Is renting a camera a option for you? to go in beyond the kitchen sink wall?
When you were on the roof did you run the water in the issued sink and listen for the water running at top of the pipe on roof?

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Old 10-13-2011, 12:46 PM   #3
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Kitchen sink not draining, is it the vent?


Camera is an option, although I'd probably be more willing to give my home warranty company a call at that point (I believe they would cover something like this with a pretty hefty kick in the face "nominal fee").

I didn't run the sink since it was already backed up (or would have backed up by the time I got on the roof ) But I could hear the water coming down the vent behind the sink, and that combined with the water backing up in the sink makes me confident I'm working with the right vent. Is that what you were getting at?
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Old 10-13-2011, 01:06 PM   #4
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Kitchen sink not draining, is it the vent?


Obviously the vent is clear but the drain is blocked---I thing a small power rodder is needed here.
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Old 10-13-2011, 01:12 PM   #5
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Kitchen sink not draining, is it the vent?


Okay, would that also account for the pressure at the P-trap as well? It seemed like if the vent was clear there wouldn't have been any build-up of pressure because the air would get released upward.
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Old 10-13-2011, 01:25 PM   #6
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Kitchen sink not draining, is it the vent?


Water will fill the vent pipe to the height of the sink --was the sink drained completely when you opened the P -trap?
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Old 10-13-2011, 01:30 PM   #7
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Kitchen sink not draining, is it the vent?


I opened the P-trap a few times (cleaning it out initially, then cleaning out all the pipes below the sink, then snaking the sewer as far as I could reach). Each time there was water in it there was definitely pressure.
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Old 10-13-2011, 01:33 PM   #8
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Kitchen sink not draining, is it the vent?


Is this a two story house?

Some piping above the sink pipe is using that drain also--
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Old 10-13-2011, 01:36 PM   #9
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Kitchen sink not draining, is it the vent?


Yes, it's a two story house with a separate apt upstairs (single family home w/ basement converted to a duplex). I'll check the bathroom upstairs which is right above the kitchen, what should I look for?
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Old 10-13-2011, 01:41 PM   #10
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Kitchen sink not draining, is it the vent?


You don't need to check upstairs----you have a blockage--Below your sink---the upstairs is now draining into your place because there is a blockage BELOW your sink---if your toilet flushes fine then the blockage is inside the house ---between the toilet (main sewer) and that sink--

Use a power rodder long enough to go from the sink to the main sewer.
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Old 10-13-2011, 01:42 PM   #11
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Kitchen sink not draining, is it the vent?


Quote:
Originally Posted by gdav
Yes, it's a two story house with a separate apt upstairs (single family home w/ basement converted to a duplex). I'll check the bathroom upstairs which is right above the kitchen, what should I look for?
Look for all water going down with no problem.
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Old 10-13-2011, 02:08 PM   #12
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Kitchen sink not draining, is it the vent?


Okay, thanks a bunch for the help!
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Old 10-13-2011, 02:10 PM   #13
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Kitchen sink not draining, is it the vent?


Quote:
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Look for all water going down with no problem.
If he's getting water out of the drain after the P-trap is pulled off---the upstairs water IS going down-----to the kitchen below!!
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Old 10-13-2011, 02:12 PM   #14
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Kitchen sink not draining, is it the vent?


Alan would know the answer --But he jumped off his roof the other day and I haven't heard from him since.
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Old 10-13-2011, 02:19 PM   #15
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Kitchen sink not draining, is it the vent?


FWIW I don't know for sure that upstairs water is backing up into the sink, except that the bathroom sink upstairs is probably connected, and running water down the vent definitely backed up so it's all the same - I just didn't have enough water coming from the upstairs to make it back up.

And that was almost me yesterday... roofs are pretty steep on these old homes.

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