slow or no drainage ....

Discussion in 'Drain Cleaning' started by fsteyer, Sep 8, 2006.

  1. fsteyer

    fsteyer Member

    Messages:
    32
    Location:
    Vermont
    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. Cass

    Cass Plumber

    Messages:
    5,980
    Location:
    Ohio
    How old is this home?
  3. fsteyer

    fsteyer Member

    Messages:
    32
    Location:
    Vermont
    don't know for sure ... but I'd say 30 years or so.
    thanks ....
  4. Cass

    Cass Plumber

    Messages:
    5,980
    Location:
    Ohio
    Is all the drain pipe PVC and what size snake did you use?
  5. fsteyer

    fsteyer Member

    Messages:
    32
    Location:
    Vermont
    all drain pipes are 1 1/2 " PVC ..... my snake is just a standard 1/2" rollup.

    thanks again ........
  6. plumber1

    plumber1 Plumber

    Messages:
    1,423
    Location:
    Florida
    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. fsteyer

    fsteyer Member

    Messages:
    32
    Location:
    Vermont
    thanks ... looks like it is a clog. I just have to deal with it now.
  8. plumber1

    plumber1 Plumber

    Messages:
    1,423
    Location:
    Florida
    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. fsteyer

    fsteyer Member

    Messages:
    32
    Location:
    Vermont
    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.
    [​IMG]

    Thanks again.
  10. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,183
    Location:
    New England
    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.
  11. fsteyer

    fsteyer Member

    Messages:
    32
    Location:
    Vermont
    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. plumber1

    plumber1 Plumber

    Messages:
    1,423
    Location:
    Florida
    drain

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

    fsteyer Member

    Messages:
    32
    Location:
    Vermont
    thank you ... but would that solve my problem?
  14. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,183
    Location:
    New England
    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.
  15. fsteyer

    fsteyer Member

    Messages:
    32
    Location:
    Vermont
    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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