Drain Pipe is higher than sink. Any thoughts?

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by JamesDixon, Oct 5, 2020.

  1. JamesDixon

    JamesDixon New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2020
    Location:
    Alberta
    Hello everyone.

    Over the weekend I installed a new utility sink in the basement. What I thought would be an easy job turned into a 5 hour long affair with multiple trips to Home Depot.

    Once it was all finished and I was about to have a beer to reward myself, I realized that the sink wasn't draining fully.

    The challenge is, the drain pipe comes out of the wall and it's quite high. The old utility sink had the drain up a bit higher so I suspect it was close, but managed to drain out.

    The new sink is a bit lower.

    I've attached pictures to make things more clear.

    This shows how the pipe comes out of the wall and makes a 90* turn to the left.

    [​IMG]

    I then rigged up the setup below. It then takes a 90* turn down, then another 90* turn, then a short joint and into the P-trap. I had to do it this way as the bottom of the sink was impeding a straight across pipe to the drain, so I had to use the 90* bend down.

    [​IMG]

    The challenge here is, the sink drain sits lower than the drain pipe.

    So this is what the sink looks like after it's drained. Right where my finger is, at the bottom of the drain, is where the water is.

    [​IMG]

    My questions are, is there a concern/ issues having standing water sitting just at the drain where the drain holes are? If there isn't an issue or any potential concerns, I'll leave it as is. I know it's not a great job as far as best practices go, but it's in the basement. However, if there are any implications with having it this way, I'll try my best to solve them. Any suggestions on what I can do, or is it best to call in a professional plumber and have them provide a solution.

    Thanks for your help with this.
    James
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2020
  2. Jeff H Young

    Jeff H Young In the Trades

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    Feb 27, 2020
    Location:
    92346
    lower drain or raise sink youve gone this far you can do it !
     
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  4. JamesDixon

    JamesDixon New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2020
    Location:
    Alberta
    Do you think there are any negative implications with leaving it "as is" and having the water sitting at the top of the sink drain?

    If yes, then I'll have to do some research as to what is involved in lowering the drain but that might be above my skill level. Raising the sink might be easier if I put some wood underneath the legs and then I'll just have to re-do the P-trap. Not sure my wife will love the look of a couple of 2x4's sitting under her new sink :)
     
  5. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2004
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    New England
    As long as it actually drains the sink, it should be okay. It's not ideal, as the sink will likely drain slowly. Functionally, you've now got a really deep trap. You might be able to find some pipe the right diameter, and replace the legs, or maybe make an extender with a coupler to make them longer. I don't think you'd have enough slop to just not seat them fully, but you might be able to remove the legs, put a short plug in the hole and reinsert the leg, but may only catch it with one screw instead of two. That might make the leg less stable, but wouldn't be that hard to check.

    I think as it is, it will be an annoyance you'll either get used to, or it will grow on you until you fix it.

    Lowering the outlet into the pipe in the wall may not be all that bad, but will require tearing out some of the wall covering. If you cut the fitting above and below with enough pipe sticking out of it, you could cut some off the bottom stub, using some banded couplers and move that part you cut off from the bottom to the top and all it would take is a saw, screwdriver, and the new couplers. IT gets a little harder if you want to glue it all together, but not all that much. Banded couplers are code.
     
  6. Jeff H Young

    Jeff H Young In the Trades

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    Feb 27, 2020
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    shouldnt be that bad to open wall and lower it. but your choice i can see the screws in wall covering so it dosent appear to be drywall taped .
     
  7. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2004
    Occupation:
    Plumber
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    If you leave the trap arm high, and it does seem to have a pretty steep slope upwards on it, I would have 45'd over toward the drain and I would lose a couple of those 90's.
    From the U you could have had one 90 pointed at a horizontal 45 to pick up the trap arm.

    Now I see three 90's near the drain
    It could be one 90 and one 45.
     
  8. dw85745

    dw85745 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2004
    Location:
    Tucson, Arizona
    I'm with jadnashua:
    1) I would NOT tear into the wall and try and relocate the drainage. Since a basement, you have no idea what is behind the wall and how it was drained and hence may run into a major job depending on how it was plumbed.
    2) I go for raising the sink. Rather than some 2x4, you might be able to find some stainless steel pipe that matches the sink legs.
    Call your local metal supply house and/or a welding shop and see what they have or can make for you. One idea - not presented - is sleeve the current legs. That is cut a pipe for height needed with a slightly larger diameter to fit the legs, and just slip the pipe over the legs. The sink will rest on the pipe and the legs trapped inside the pipe should provide the stability needed.
    If to much play, try some "O" rings on the legs to take up the extra space.

    My2Cents
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2020
  9. Jeff H Young

    Jeff H Young In the Trades

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    Feb 27, 2020
    Location:
    92346
    ok another thing you can do is not have the dirty arm screaming with grade and you could just adjust the legs and get another inch, and of cource rework the trap and loose the 90s
     
    Reach4 likes this.
  10. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2013
    Location:
    IL
    How about he drills a hole below the wall-elbow with a hole saw. If he drills through a pipe, then he can easily drop the line. If the pipe goes off horizontally, he can see that.

    Fixing that grade alone might drop his water level by 3/8 inch. Just fixing that grade might require opening the wall.

    He has a ~6 inch water seal.
     
  11. JamesDixon

    JamesDixon New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2020
    Location:
    Alberta
    Thank you for all of the replies.

    Would it be reasonable to assume that, the way it sits currently is not going to pose any long term problems with having standing water right at the bottom of the sink drain?

    I definitely want to sort this out, but I'm trying to determine if this is something I need to sort out right away or if it can wait a while until I've got a free weekend to look at it. My concern with the standing water is if things were to start growing and flying around the house :)

    From a repair standpoint, I think it's best that I tackle this first by trying to raise the sink. I like the idea of putting in some shims and then inserting the legs, sleeving the legs or trying to source new legs.

    My confidence level of trying to drop the drain pipe in the wall lower is just not there. It took me many hours to fabricate the plumbing under the sink and, while I had fun learning how to do it and feel quite happy that I got it all to fit together and not leak, I suspect I would bugger something up trying to remove drywall and then hacking into other pipes. If I need to go that route, I'll happily bring in a professional.

    A few of you have suggested trying to clean up the multiple bends that I created and lose the 90* bends. That is something I'm happy to try tackling on my own but I'm having a difficult time visualizing how to do it. I'll try to sketch some ideas on paper and see if I can make it work.

    James
     
  12. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2013
    Location:
    IL
    If you rework, some day, slip joint 1-1/2 inch trap and trap arm under the sink would make it easier to align things
    What is the slope on that horizontal pipe? To measure that, you need a level. The slope is supposed to be 1/4 inch per foot.
     
  13. fitter30

    fitter30 Well-Known Member

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    Feb 2, 2020
    Occupation:
    Retired service tech
    Location:
    Peace valley missouri
    If the legs have adjustable pads on the bottom of the legs just use galvanized bolts.
     
    Jeff H Young likes this.
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