kitchen sink backs up
Posted by Rena Crispin on April 13, 2003 at 14:52:37:
Hello, the kitchen sink backs up, even though we know the pipes are clear from the kitchen sink to the street. Here is the set up:

Double sink with the garbage disposal on the left, dishwasher to the left of the sink. The hose from the dishwasher comes to a junction on the sink surface (which I will refer to as the "junction thing") and another hose leaves that "junction thing" and joins up with the right-hand pipe, before that pipe joins the garbage disposal pipe.

We have forced water through the pipes using a garden hose attached to the sink faucet, entering the right-hand pipe below the sink, 6 inches past the trap and just before that pipe is joined by the pipe from the garbage disposal side of the sink. We used one of those new balloon devices on the end of the hose to force water and fill the pipe. We get happily running water, can hear it in the basement, and can run it a long time (15 minutes before we get bored with it).

No other drains in the house back up. I never had this problem before until a few months ago. I live in a condo and no one else in my building is having problems.

Here is something interesting:
If we fill both sides of the sink, hold a stopper over the right drain, hold a washcloth over the opening in the "junction thing," and turn on the garbage disposal, the sinks drain and we can run water forever with no problem. If we stop running the water and try again without doing the trick, the sinks fill up.

The "junction thing" seems to be clear because if we don't hold the washcloth over it when we do the acrobatic sink-clearing trick, water spouts out of its opening.

I know this is an easy one for you but I'm stumped. Where do we look for the problem? Thanks, I'm grateful for even the opportunity to describe this problem! Rena

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