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Thread: slow or no drainage ....

  1. #1

    Default slow or no drainage ....

    Hi - I'm doing a remodel for a client's basement bathroom. Part of it I am replacing the toiulet, vanity and shower stall with new items using the existing piping. They are next to each other. All drain pipes are in concrete, but I looks like the sink and shower drain run straight into the main drain pipe ... under concrete so I'm just guessing. I don't see a vent pipe anywhere for the sink and/or shower. There is only one vent pipe for the whole house on the floor above.

    I'm done with the upgrade, now the shower won't drain, the sink drain causes the shower to gurgle . I assume that's because there is no vent pipe? The toilet workrs fine.

    I installed the AAV under the sink, no change. There is even water in the standing drain pipe of the sink. So I figured it had to be a clogged drain. But I ran a snake and there was no obstruction I could feel. Plus the snake head was clean when I pulled it out.

    So I used a plunger on the shower drain. It popped air and water in the sink and made the AAV pop. I saw some small particles come up and eventually the water drained. But still slowly. Could there be a clog I cant feel and lets the snake through? If so what can I use to unclog the pipes?

    Thanks .......

  2. #2
    Plumber Cass's Avatar
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    How old is this home?

  3. #3

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    don't know for sure ... but I'd say 30 years or so.
    thanks ....

  4. #4
    Plumber Cass's Avatar
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    Is all the drain pipe PVC and what size snake did you use?

  5. #5

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    all drain pipes are 1 1/2 " PVC ..... my snake is just a standard 1/2" rollup.

    thanks again ........

  6. #6
    Plumber plumber1's Avatar
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    Put something in there like cable that will flop around as you work it through the obstructed drain. Keep water that you can see on the drain while working on it. Those stiff, thin tapes really don't do anything.

  7. #7

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    thanks ... looks like it is a clog. I just have to deal with it now.

  8. #8
    Plumber plumber1's Avatar
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    You would do yourself a favor if you put a tee wye with a plug in your sink cabinet and were able to run enough water in the drain to see it. When the water starts to leave, you can flush the drain and clean the cable at the same time and you will do a real good cleaning that way.

  9. #9

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    Here are some pics of the setup .... as you can see I added a clean-out to the drain to make things a bit easier.
    Here's whats happening now: the toilet (closest to the main) never had and has a problem and flushes just fine. The sink drains fine as well since I installed the AAV.
    The shower is my problem. It drains VERY slowly until I open the plug on my clean-out. Then I have a nice vortex and the water runs off just fine. When I add the sink to it the shower backs up again. Also when I open the clean-out plug I can hear the air rushing in. Could it be that my AAV is not working? Or co8uld it STILL be a clog???
    Here's a pic of the setup ... sorry for the quality. The AAV is sitting 6" above the drain return.


    Thanks again.

  10. #10
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    How far is the vent from the shower trap arm, and is the drain from it 2"? I think the vent must be within 42" of the trap on a 2" line, but don't quote me. ALso, the AAV can't be the only vent in the system - there must be an atmospheric vent (i.e., one going to the roof) in that system for it to work properly. There has to be a place for the sewer gasses to go; an AAV only lets air in (until it breaks or wears out), not out.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  11. #11

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    the shower trap is about 5' from the AAV .... the shower drain pipe is 1 1/2" .... the trap I put in is 2" ......
    yes, there is regular a vent on the house system.
    thanks .......

  12. #12
    Plumber plumber1's Avatar
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    Default drain

    I'd be quite pleased to clean that drain for you the way you have it.

  13. #13

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    thank you ... but would that solve my problem?

  14. #14
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    You've got several sins you committed. It is never okay to go from bigger to smaller drain pipe on the way down. Code requires a 2" shower drain all the way to something larger. An AAV is a patch, and can't be the only vent in the system. You've got it further from the shower trap than allowed, and EACH fixture should have its own vent, not one for multiple fixtures.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  15. #15

    Default

    thanks .... actually I didn't commit those sins .... I'm just the one who has to deal with them now. The 1 1/2 pipes were/are buried in concrete .... and the new shower pans all have 2" drains. So I really had no choice to go from 2" to the existing 1 1/2" ........ other than busting up the entire concrete floor. By the way, there is a system vent but it only serves the floor above.

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