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Old 01-21-2013, 03:21 PM   #1
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Separating Adjoining Kitchen Drain Lines


I live in a DC-area townhouse that was originally built in 1943 as housing for World War II officers and was converted to condos in 1974. As a result of our history, all the units in my neighborhood have strange plumbing, made worse by the tendency of the condo developer to take shortcuts wherever possible.

For example, the drain line for my kitchen sink and that of the adjacent townhouse are joined in a T, which empties into a bigger vertical pipe that is located on my side of our common concrete block wall. Thus, when my neighbor clogs up his sink by cramming food down his garbage disposal, he clogs up my drain line too. But he can't effectively snake the line from his unit because the snake usually just runs straight through the wall across the T into my unit instead of going down into the bigger common line. So the plumber has to come over to my kitchen and dismantle my kitchen plumbing to clear the clog my neighbor created.

Now I am about to completely renovate my kitchen, which involves opening up the walls anyway, and I want to fix this problem for good. It seems to me that a plumber could rearrange the drain pipes for both kitchen sinks so that they no longer join but enter the larger vertical drain pipe in separate places. Any ideas?

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Old 01-21-2013, 04:59 PM   #2
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Separating Adjoining Kitchen Drain Lines


Quote:
It seems to me that a plumber could rearrange the drain pipes for both kitchen sinks so that they no longer join but enter the larger vertical drain pipe in separate places. Any ideas?
Ayuh,.... I agree with yer thoughts on the issue, 'n believe yer on the right track,...
I'd think stacked "T"s rather than a "cross" would work..

I don't think any solid answers can be had, til the wall is opened, 'n the drain elevations are checked...
They both gonna run downhill, within the confines of the area available...

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Old 01-21-2013, 04:59 PM   #3
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Separating Adjoining Kitchen Drain Lines


Maybe not the best way- but the simplest is to stack 2 opposing tees-one for each sink. Your's would end up 3" or 4" lower.
This wouldn't eliminate the back up issue but the plumber could then cable from either side- I feel for your plumber- been there, done that.
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Old 01-21-2013, 09:41 PM   #4
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Separating Adjoining Kitchen Drain Lines


OT: Who paid for the plumber?

By the way, some condominium documents (bylaws, etc.) state that if a pipe or other facility is either situated in common space (between two units' boundary walls) or utilized by more than one unit then that facility is a common element. So the drain pipe that keeps getting clogged is a common element. Check yours (condo documents).

If the condo management does not wish to keep on handling the clogged drain issues, it may want to have the drain pipes rearranged as you described. Yet another way is to have a Y shaped pipe instead of a T shaped pipe where the individual sink drains converge at the vertical drain pipe.
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Old 01-22-2013, 02:21 AM   #5
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Separating Adjoining Kitchen Drain Lines


Yeah I personally would rather see a couple of wyes cut in instead of san-tees,Either way youre going to have to do some reventing of fixtures
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Old 01-22-2013, 07:49 PM   #6
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Separating Adjoining Kitchen Drain Lines


My neighbor has always paid for the plumber because he (or his wife) is the one who clogs up the sink. But he's gotten more careful over the years, or his wife has. He's also willing to share the cost of a permanent plumbing solution, since it's just as much as trouble for him when the pipe clogs. My kitchen renovation is an opportunity for both of us, since the critical plumbing is on my side of the wall.

The condo association leaves it to the co-owners to fix these kitchen clogs, so I don't think it will care. Also, my neighbor is currently on the condo board.

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