Vaccuum Breaker-Myth or Madness?

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by ictoos, Nov 16, 2004.

  1. ictoos

    ictoos New Member

    Nov 16, 2004

    First let me briefly describe our plumbing set up to make the question easier to envision.

    Using the stream analogy: Our sink, equipped with a disposal, is at the head of the river. Flowing downstream it is joined by the washing machine. The two appliances are at a 90 degree angle to one another. The house was built in 1977. The dishwasher is an older model, the disposal is new within 5 years.

    Problem: Water backs up into the washing machine even when it's not in use.

    Attempts at fixes: 1st Plumber came in-snaked the line. Broke the disposal, fixed the disposal and returned a second time to resnake the line. No effect.

    Second plumber comes in, want's to use an "Electric Snake" to clear the line this time and place a "Vaccuum Breaker" $249 into the sink which has no guarantee of working. If it doesn't oh well I'm out the cash.

    Is this vaccuum breaker the proverbial "Left handed Wrench" for the uninitiated. Am I about to be fleeced?


    Thanks Joe

    This is Joe's wife making an addendum that states verbatum the options for repair written by the plumber. We would appreciate your opinion on the estimates as well for a midwestern midsized town.

    #1 Service fee $39

    #2 Provide all parts, labor, and equipment to install a vacuum braker into the stainless steal sink and connect dishwasher to the disposal via the braker $249

    #3 Provide all labor, and equipment to rerout existing dishwasher line to reduce water backflow from disposal to dishwasher $49

    #4 Provide all parts, labor, and equipment to use an electric eel to cable out sink drain to allow full water flow $149

    He said #3 and #4 may fix the problem but #2 and #4 would definately fix.

    Last edited: Nov 16, 2004
  2. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Aug 31, 2004
    San Diego, CA
    I presume he means an Air Admittance Valve; which means he does not understand the venting system. Even if the sink was inmproperly vented, the problem would be siphoning of traps. When you have water backing up, it is because there is blockage downstream. Adding air will not make it go away.
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  4. LonnythePlumber

    LonnythePlumber Plumber, Contractor, Attorney

    Sep 6, 2004
    Plumber, Contractor, Attorney
    Wichita, Kansas
    Try 3rd Plumber

    Are these plumbers or drain cleaners? Sounds like you just need to have your drain cleaned and it does need to be done with an electric machine.

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