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Thread: Sink backing up - wit's end has come and gone!!!

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  1. #1

    Default Sink backing up - wit's end has come and gone!!!

    Hi Everyone!

    I'm totally confused, and I'm hoping someone on here can help me please!

    Have done a total kitchen remodel. Everything worked great at first (like for a day!) but now my sink backs up. If I run the water it is fine for about a minute and then water starts to back up - which would suggest a blockage quite a way down the pipe somewhere right?

    If I leave the sink for 10 minutes and come back the water will have drained. If when it's backed up I have the disposal on water actually shoots out of the top of the disposal a little back into the sink.

    The kitchen is above the garage and I have a clean out down there about 10 ft below teh sink. I have opened that and stuck a hose in. There was no back-up so everything appears fine from the clean out downwards.

    I then snaked from the sink to the clean out. It was very nasty (50 years of gunk). It wasn't blocked before the remodel and and I cleaned stuff out and it seems fine. Still sink is backing up.

    Pipes from disposal to wall are all new.

    So Im now thinking it must be an air/gravity thing right? So I get on the roof and check the vent stack. That is all ok.

    What can it be? One thought I have had it that my new sink is much deeper than the old one and my new disposal is much bigger than the old one. This mean that now the drain from the diposal is about level with the wall T.

    Now I'm sure that's not ideal and have only just realized it was the case but it can't be causing the problem right? Water would still drain out of the sink as that is still higer than the wall T. And if it was a problem water wouldn't drain at all right? As I say right now it takes about 10 minutes for the water to drain.

    Did I miss something with the snake????? Please help! I've attached some pictures from under my sink just in case they help. You'll see my photography skills are about on par with my plumbing!!


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  2. #2
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Yakima WA


    Chances are that the sink drain is clogged before the clean out. The small homeowner snakes are not large enough to remove badly clogged drain, often they just make the clog tighter. It is likely that debris, perhaps sheet rock mud, got into the drain during the remodel. At any rate, you need plumber with professional drain cleaning equiment to clear the clog. Don't try dumping chemicals in there, it won't clear the clog and will produce a hazard for the plumber.

  3. #3


    Hmmm, I didn't realise that. I think maybe it is just clogged after all and the drain height issue is just a distraction.

    Didn't really change the drywall by the tee or do any mudding but thinking about it the new disposal is huge (evolution excel) and I bet probably chews stuff up and dumps it out at a way higher rate than the old disposal. That might have been enough to block the drain.

    So calling a pro it is!

    On my first point - does anyone think that the disposal drain being the same height as the wall tee will be a problem?


  4. #4
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Yakima WA


    Same height might squeak by. Too high and the sink will only drain to that level. It might be a good idea to have the plumber look at it. He can lower the drain if necessary. Now would be the time to do it if it has to be done.

  5. #5
    Master Plumber Redwood's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007


    It looks like you made an extra deep trap because the drain in the wall is too high...

    Also, If you spin that disposer around so the out let is on the other side, you can eliminate a bunch of that "Extra Piping"\

    The Insinkerator Evolution Compact might have been a better choice for fit...

    Where the drainpipe goes into the wall...
    Could it be too long and is stuffed into the back of a tee or an elbow closing off the frow down the drain?

  6. #6


    Thanks Redwood but still not fixed

    Thought of one more check I could do. Went up on my roof and put a hose down the vent stack. Thought if drain was blocked it would flow out the top of the vent stack. Obvisouly didn't think that all the way through...water just started to fill the sink. I think this rules out possibility that the drainpipe going into the wall is too long and blocking the downspout.

    Strange thing is I put my ear to waste pipe by the clean out in the garage (below the kitchen) and could hear some water flowing through for sure.

    So I'm thinking plumbing is adequate (I didn't say pefect!) and like Gary originally said I just have a partial blockage of the pipe between the wall t and the cleanout and my snake didn't do the job.

    I was trying to avoid it but I guess I will need to pay for professional unblocking.


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