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Thread: Dual kitchen sinks not draining. Filling up both sinks and dishwasher.

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member skeeterflea's Avatar
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    Default Dual kitchen sinks not draining. Filling up both sinks and dishwasher.

    I just moved into a brand new house a week ago. When using the sinks under normal use they work fine. However if we plug one of the sinks and fill it the sink will not drain properly. The filled sink will empty into the sink next to it as well as into the dishwasher. Eventually (hours) the sinks will drain however this usually takes all night. I'm getting ready to contact the builder and plumber for the house, but before I do i was hoping for some advice or tips on what might be happening.

    Essentially I'm 99% positive nothing fell into the sink stopping it up as this happened the first time we filled the sink. UNLESS something fell into the sink when the builder was working in the house. I'm more inclined to think the sinks are not plumbed correctly however I wouldn't rule out a stoppage as well. I'm a complete noob when it comes to plumbing so I'm not sure what a Y connector or vent or any of that stuff is that is required. Attached is a picture of the plumbing.

    Thank you ahead of time for taking a look and offering your opinions!

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  2. #2
    DIY Senior Member dlarrivee's Avatar
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    Well unless it's an illusion you don't have proper slope between the disposal and the trap...

  3. #3
    DIY Junior Member skeeterflea's Avatar
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    I took the picture from the left cabinet. I couldn't get far enough back to take the image straight on with the cabinet divider in the way. But that's a pretty level pipe between the disposal and the trap. I can find a level and shoot a picture of it. Should the disposal be higher I guess?

    *EDIT* Well it's kinda hard to get my 6" level on the pipes but the disposal appears to be a tad higher. Maybe a centimeter or so. What should the proper slope be?
    Last edited by skeeterflea; 02-04-2012 at 05:58 PM.

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    Test, Don't Guess! cacher_chick's Avatar
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    I don't see anything there that would cause one sink to back up into the other. The plumbing there looks good.

    Your clog is in the main 2" line that is going down through the floor.

    If the house has a basement or crawlspace, there might be a cleanout in the piping below the kitchen.

  5. #5
    DIY Junior Member skeeterflea's Avatar
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    Thank you Cacher_Chick. I'll climb down and take a look. Maybe tomorrow. I also found a reply to another forum where someone said to stop up the garbage disposal side and to plunge the other sink. Should I give this a try or could that make the problem worse? Or should I just try to look for a cleanout pipe instead?

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    DIY Senior Member dlarrivee's Avatar
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    All of what you posted is tubular and comes apart quite easily.

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    So this is a brand new house and no one used the disposal to dispose of any food? Just water ah?

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    Test, Don't Guess! cacher_chick's Avatar
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    The vent pipe going up between/behind the sink basin-- is there a cap on the top of it, or does it go into the wall?

    I was assuming there was probably an AAV there, but I shouldn't assume such things.

  9. #9
    DIY Senior Member Hammerlane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeeterflea View Post
    However if we plug one of the sinks and fill it the sink will not drain properly. The filled sink will empty into the sink next to it as well as into the dishwasher. Eventually (hours) the sinks will drain however this usually takes all night.
    If the slow draining occurs with both sinks, odds are it's something in common with both sinks. The common section of the drain is what is indicated in red. Check for clogs either in the trap, trap arm or below the Tee
    Attached Images Attached Images  

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    I would like a pic of whats on top of the vertical pipe in the back of the cabinet.

  11. #11
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    I assume that is an AAV behind the sink, and your drain line may be obstructed, (but is full of standing water for some reason). Slow running water will allow air trapped between the trap and the standing water to escape. When the sink is full of water its weight prevents that from happening and the sink cannot drain. First you have to find out WHY the pipe stays full of water, and then fix it. IF the sink had a proper vent, you would still have the water problem but the sink would drain.
    Licensed residential and commercial plumber

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    DIY Junior Member skeeterflea's Avatar
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    Thank you everyone for your assistance. You all were correct that there was indeed a clog. I want to state for the record that our use of the disposal was minimal in the one week we were here. We've probably used it three times for scraps that were at the bottom of the sink after doing the dishes. In my defense I'm a stickler about scraping off our plates and using the drain catches. I will post a picture of what I found in the sink in a few minutes. Then I will lay out my conspiracy theory...

  13. #13
    DIY Junior Member skeeterflea's Avatar
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    Here is the clog. I found what appears to be hot glue or silicone holding this golf ball size metal bristle clog together. I have no idea where the blue papers and other paper comes from that is stuck to the ball. The clogs started the first time we filled the sink with water to wash dishes. Regular use was not impacted. Only when the sink was filled with dirty dishwater did it clog up.


    Any thoughts on this metal ball of bristles? I'm trying extremely hard not to believe it was planted there as a way to have the sink clog on purpose. Am I reaching too far here? Is it possible that a contractor other than the plumber was working with a metal brush and washed it out in my sink losing about 75 - 100 bristles down my drain? Sure. Is it possible that someone squeezed hot glue or silicone into the drain causing these to clump together and form what appears to be a virus of sink clogging capabilities? Given the bend in the catch I don't see how.


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    DIY Senior Member dlarrivee's Avatar
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    It wasn't placed there on purpose, it was placed there by carelessness.

  15. #15
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Those sort of look like bristles from a brush. They may have broken off the brush, maybe in a bucket, then they dumped it down the sink.

    But, your problem points out one very good reason why in many places, they require an air gap for the dishwasher...your dishwasher filled with essentially sewer water, then drained out. If you hadn't noticed, all of the dishes in there would have become contaminated when you used them after a wash cycle, thinking that they were clean as the clog had eventually let the sinks drain. The high loop did NOT prevent the water getting pushed into the DW in your situation. The DW may have a defective check valve, or may not have one, and, the high loop isn't high enough! You should fix that as soon as possible. Pretty much everywhere, commercial kitchens are required to have an air gap for the drains on their DW, and some local codes require them, but they are good health insurance everywhere.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

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