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Thread: Drain noise

  1. #1
    Retired Machine Repairman wptski's Avatar
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    Default Drain noise

    I went to see my nephew's newly purchased home yesterday. It had been noticed and mentioned to the home inspector about a bubble up in the lower level bathroom.

    I myself heard a sound from the kitchen sink drain. At first we thought t was when a toilet is flushed but that wasn't it! I don't know for sure but I "think" it's when the sump pump runs.

    Below is a photo taken of the drain header in the basement. After returning home I called and asked for the pictures so I didn't study the system while I was there.

    The vertical PVC is coming from the sump pump. I'm wondering what the short vertical piece is for that I have marked, a clean out? There is only one vent pipe through the roof and it isn't one of the large ones form the header but one of the smaller ones.

    I was wondering if the drain noise and bubble could be caused if the check valve on the sump pump was bad? If not, what else could cause the problem? If and I'm not positive that it only happens during pump operation, could it be a blockage outside to the main? On the other hand, it doesn't happen when a toilet is flushed! Any ideas?

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    Last edited by wptski; 06-19-2013 at 05:49 AM.
    Bill
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  2. #2
    DIY Senior Member kreemoweet's Avatar
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    It looks to me like the red arrow is pointing out where someone has improperly connected a small drain (from a lavatory?) to the
    pressure discharge pipe of the sump pump. Bad news! You're lucky its just air bubbling up out of that drain!
    Last edited by kreemoweet; 06-19-2013 at 07:37 AM.

  3. #3
    Retired Machine Repairman wptski's Avatar
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    I think that's just a cap there but it is a bit hard to tell for sure from the picture.
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  4. #4
    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    I would need a different picture than that.

  5. #5
    Retired Machine Repairman wptski's Avatar
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    I'll see if I can get my photographer to take a better picture of that vertical piece. I really like some comments about drain noise and/or bubbling from the toilet.
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  6. #6
    Retired Machine Repairman wptski's Avatar
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    No comments on what could be the cause of the noise from the sink drain or bubble up from the toilet?
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  7. #7
    DIY Senior Member kreemoweet's Avatar
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    Well, all drains make "noise" to some extent, it's not clear that anything out of the ordinary is happening from your descriptions. If air is actually "bubbling" back into
    the toilets or other traps when the sump pump discharges, that would indicate a build-up of pressure in the drains, either from a clogged main drain just beyond the
    sump discharge, or lack of adequate venting. If you're saying there's only one small 1 1/2 in or 2 in vent exiting the roof, then something's not kosher in Michigan.

  8. #8
    Retired Machine Repairman wptski's Avatar
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    It only happens in the lower level toilet but doesn't happen when the upstairs toilet is flushed. If there was blockage in the main, you'd think that it would also happen when the upstairs toilet is flushed.

    Yes, in my single level home there is a smaller 2" or whatever roof vent pipe on the kitchen and basement wash tubs. A larger 4" roof vent pipe on the upstairs toilet. That one small vent pipe sounds like a bottle neck in the system. As you can see from the pictures, there 4" pipes starting out from the header but stop somewhere or maybe reduced down, who knows.

    This home isn't that much newer than mine but I'm not not sure how the dwelling was originally built as it was enlarged. It's very hilly in that area
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  9. #9
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    IF there's an obstruction in the drain, unless it was complete, it drains down. It is entirely possible that the lower toilet's drain line is full nearby while there's plenty of room in the stack to flush the upper toilet. IOW, it's not at all unheard of for the upper floor's toilet to work fine and to experience problems with the lower ones depending on where the blockage is. Depending on how far away the (partial) blockage is from the lower toilet, it may flush fine, too, unless it were repeatedly flushed, and the line backed up completely...it's a function of volume available in the pipe, and how quickly it drains.
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  10. #10
    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    Normally if you are putting a pumped line into house waste, it would be a larger pipe, 4" preferred, but 3" would be okay too.
    Where you add it makes a difference.

    A single 2" vent will vent four bathrooms sets, as long as the home has other vents through the roof too.

    You may want to take the discharge and move it to it's own fitting to the larger cast. I would not let it share with a kitchen, lav or tub drain.

  11. #11
    Retired Machine Repairman wptski's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Terry View Post
    Normally if you are putting a pumped line into house waste, it would be a larger pipe, 4" preferred, but 3" would be okay too.
    Where you add it makes a difference.

    A single 2" vent will vent four bathrooms sets, as long as the home has other vents through the roof too.

    You may want to take the discharge and move it to it's own fitting to the larger cast. I would not let it share with a kitchen, lav or tub drain.
    By pumped line, you mean a 3"/4" from a sump pump??

    The sump pump discharge is connected to the large pipe, right on the end.

    There is only one 2" roof vent pipe. Since there are 4" pipes on the header, I don't know they didn't go all the way to the roof with that. This issue may have been happening for some time.

    There were two one piece Mansfield's used, both had the slowest tank fill rate I have ever seen. Both had Fluid masters fill valves. A new seal fixed one and the other was plugged so my bro-in-law had to replace the whole valve. There were renters in here and don't know how they lived with those toilets. If one didn't wait, I'm sure they would plug easily.

    BTW-The vertical PVC pipe in the is just that, a capped line for whatever reason .
    Last edited by wptski; 06-22-2013 at 09:08 PM.
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