Trying to fix a major mess in the kitchen.

Discussion in 'Remodel Forum & Blog' started by Sharky, Jul 31, 2007.

  1. Sharky

    Sharky New Member

    Messages:
    22
    I am currently remodeling and am trying to fix what was done by the previous homeowner. At this point I'm trying to figure out what my options are. I have a "U" shaped kitchen. It has a sink straight ahead (on the bottom of the U). The range and fridge are on one side and a dishwasher is on the other side of the U.

    The previous owner installed a dishwasher after putting the kitchen in. The tricky part is that they didn't put it next to the sink, they put it to the left of the sink around the corner (on a side of the U). The water for the dishwasher doesn't come from the sink, it comes up through the floor from the basement where it has its own little line running off of the water that goes to the clothes washing machine. The drain for the dishwasher runs through the floor and goes to the same drain as the clothes washer in the basement.

    Of course I know that I need to relocate these to under the sink, which is my plan. I was also going to try to move the dishwasher so that it is on the same part of the kitchen as the sink (directly next to the sink cabinet). As far as I can tell, the reason they didn't put the dishwasher next to the sink is because when it was originally built the drain line for the sink ran through the first cabinet (where you would ideally see a dishwasher).

    So, now I am wondering..... is there any way I can get that drain relocated to directly under the sink? I would of course pay a plumber to do that kind of work, but I don't want to have somebody come out and tell me it is next to impossible or cost prohibitive. I am also considering putting in entirely new cabinets, and am wondering if this is the way to go considering the mess that the plumbing currently is. I am on a budget though and just want things to look nice and work properly. The cabinets that are in now are ugly old dark wood and are not in that good of shape as it is. We were considering painting them, but are having second thoughts on that plan.

    Any words of sage advice? Thanks for your time.
  2. statjunk

    statjunk DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    542
    Pictures are worth a thousand words. Tough to say given your description. Would need to know more about your set up.

    Tom
  3. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,015
    Location:
    New England
    Is the sink on an outside wall, inside wall, do you have access to the celing below? Can you see where the pipe runs now once it goes down? Can you see anywhere that a pipe goes up from the one you can see (a vent)?

    I've got a small U-shaped kitchen, and I've got a corner sink on the bottom, and the DW on the opposite leg, with the door open, there is enough room to stand at the sink and dump things into the DW, but it is about an 8' plumbing run to get water and drain to it. Right next to the sink isn't necessarily the best location, although it is common.

    Not sure about the best way to attach the drain line...wait for a pro if you aren't going to run it over to the sink. SOme DW can handle a fairly long run.
  4. Sharky

    Sharky New Member

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    22
    I'll take some pictures tonight and post them. As you walk straight in you see the sink in front of you. It is against an outside wall with a window directly above it. On your right is the range and fridge. On your left is the dishwasher. It will make more sense when I put pictures up.

    Yes, I have access to the pipe from the basement. I have no idea why they did it this way, but I guess they must have had their reasons. :)
  5. Sharky

    Sharky New Member

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    22
    Ok, here are pictures. As you can see, it is the world's ugliest kitchen (hence the remodel). We also have junk out everywhere as we are moving things hither and thither trying to get everything remodeled in the whole house at once.

    The first picture is of the drain pipe running down through a cabinet into the basement. It runs straight down to the floor. The next pictures show where that cabinet is in relation to the sink (to the left of it) and then the others show where the dishwasher is.
    [​IMG]
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2007
  6. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,349
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    Seems to me you're going at this somewhat backwards. If you are going to replace the cabinets, then gut the room, stud to stud. Then use a scale drawing to fit your new cabinets in. That will tell you where the drain and vent need to go and you will have the elbow room you need to run the pipes.
  7. Sharky

    Sharky New Member

    Messages:
    22
    That's what I'm thinking about doing. Kind of my worry is that I rip out all of the cabinets and then find that I have a major headache even getting new ones to fit, and that my dishwasher still has to stay off to the left there. In that case I might as well just sand the cabinets down, repaint them, and put some new hardware on. The real benefit to ripping them out would be if it was even possible to move the drain line out of the way so that I could place the dishwasher in that space.

    I would want the sink to stay in that exact same spot as it is directly beneath a window that looks out over the mountains and my wife loves having it there (as do I).
  8. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,349
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    SCALE DRAWING, and be sure to allow for door openings. Ready made cabinets come in many sizes and functions. You can go to a home center and get a grid chart and a brochure showing the many combinations that can be done. They usually have people that can offer advise and suggestions once you bring them the scale drawing. It can be challenging to see how much you can fit into existing space. One thing I used in a somewhat similar remodel was corner base cabinets with lazy Susan shelves. They don't take up much face space but sure give a lot of accessible space on the inside. You can also have a professional designer/builder come to your home and evaluate your situation and make suggestions as well as estimating the cost of custom build cabinets. I'm sure you know that the kitchen is the most expensive room to remodel, followed closely by the bathroom. (I know someone will say the reverse is true, and in some cases it probably is. Regardless, they are both costly undertakings.)
  9. Sharky

    Sharky New Member

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    22
    What do you guys think of the floor? Pretty classy eh? How about my garbage bag that I need to take out? :D
  10. paint only. If the drain works, leave it for now. The DW can stay where it is. Remodel the rest of the house, and wait until you know more about your options before tackling the kitchen. One thing at a time. I see a lot of living going on in those pictures.

    David
  11. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,015
    Location:
    New England
    All fixtures need a vent, and having a sink by the window, while common, makes it a little harder, especially on an outside, load bearing wall. It is easier to run the pipe outside of the wall. It wasn't obvious if that drain was vented. A vent needs to run up from the sink drain, and with the window there, it is a little harder, but again, common.

    If you are going to gut the room, you will want to change the galvanized pipes to either pvc or abs, whichever is more readily available where you live. Since you have access from below, that should be easier.

    What is above this room, since you'll need to be running a vent up somehow at least to the attic (well maybe to a bathroom above somewhere above the height of the sink) to make the vent connection. There are other ways to do this, but they may not meet code where you live, and a normal vent is better when you can do it.

    Like was already said, make a scale drawing of what you want (a kitchen designer will do it for you, even the big box stores) to get an idea of what will fit. Since you have a computer, there are programs you can buy to do it for you once you input your dimmensions, if you don't want someone else. Course, you can do it manually, but they can give you scale and perspective. There are some neat corner cabinets, and lazy susans make them more useful than some other configurations.

    One place I like to look around for bits and pieces is www.rockler.com. it may give you some ideas of options for cabinets before you go shopping.
  12. Sharky

    Sharky New Member

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    22
    A lot of living indeed. We are in the process of remodeling the entire house all at once. My wife and I are both teachers so we are trying to get it all done this summer.

    We have gotten quite a bit done already. We have 2 bathrooms that are set. We are almost done painting. We've redone our entry. We are now ready to put down floors in 90% of the house. We had the electrical redone in our living room and had lighting added where there was none. It is going ok. As you see.... we just let the kitchen go as we are so busy with the other stuff. It has been hectic, but when we are all done I think it will be worth it. Kitchen is the next area we are tackling, so I was going for some advanced planning to make sure we do it right.
  13. frenchie

    frenchie Jack of all trades

    Haven't been around the last few days... just saw this thread.

    Sharky, I only see one picture in your post, a close-up of the pipe.

    ??
  14. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,641
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    dw

    Your problem is not the DW's location, it is the way it is connected. There is no problem running the water and drain under, or through, the cabinets to the sink, as long as the final connections are done properly. Connecting it to the washer in the basement is not the correct way, and usually would not work unless you have an unusual dishwasher.
  15. Sharky

    Sharky New Member

    Messages:
    22
    I took the other pictures down as I am working on taking some better ones. They just showed all of the junk that I had pulled out of the closet in order to get to the attic yesterday to install new lighting.

    Directly above the kitchen is the attic and then the roof. The pipe runs straight to the wall (I believe that then goes up through the wall to a roof vent). Then the pipe also runs straight down to the basement.

    We painted a cabinet last night to see how it looked and it actually turned out pretty nice. The wood is still of good quality. We are just going to paint them and install new hinges and hardware. We are also going to put in a new countertop with a new sink.

    I think the dishwasher is ok where it is as well, but I am definitely going to have a plumber come in and re-do the mess that is there and to run the lines over to the sink (thanks for the tips!). We don't get good pressure from the funky valve that was put in the basement, nor is it a good idea. The old pipe leaked and took out a wall. Now I have the piece of wall down and am using the valve until I can get somebody to come remove that valve entirely. Then I will rebuild the wall in the basement (laundry room).

    If my ideas are stupid then please let me know! I don't want to royally screw this up. This is my one chance to get things fixed up in one shot (I had some money saved up for this).
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