DIY Home Improvement, Remodeling & Repair Forum

DIY Home Improvement, Remodeling & Repair Forum (
-   Plumbing Forum (
-   -   Laundry Sink Won't Drain (

noviceliz 02-03-2014 02:23 PM

Laundry Sink Won't Drain
Occasionally my sink in the laundry room won't drain after washing the laundry, the house is old and some of the pipes underneath the sink are original to the house. I have replaced the elbow joint and lower piping with plastic piping, though. This is about the extent of my plumbing knowledge. Right now it won't drain and I've taken the elbow joint off to try to clear up the problem. I was able to drain the water that way but when I replace the pipe and try running the water again it backs up again. I have a metal strainer in the drain itself and have recently cleaned that out as well as underneath it. My husband thinks the pipes might be frozen as we have had a number of snow storms here is PA. Any thoughts on what to try to get it to drain again? Is there anything I can do to unfreeze a pipe if it is frozen? I'd rather exhaust all avenues before having to call an expensive plumber! Thanks!

nealtw 02-03-2014 02:58 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Welcome to the site. It's always better to start a new thread with a new question. If it is frozen, that would indicate other problems. More likely a vent problem, for the drain to work proberly there has to be water behind the water. Without venting the water will either drain really slow or suck the water out of the trap. The vent should go out thru the roof and covered with snow. If that might be the problem and getting to the roof is not possible, adding a cheeter valve to allow air in the system is a cheap and easy fix. It allows air in the system and then reseals to stop gasses from coming into the house.
See the white thing in the back above the level of the trap.

CallMeVilla 02-03-2014 03:03 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Follow the advice you received ... Don't call a plumber ... call a drain cleaning service. Get your system scoped with a video unit. Then get it cleared to the main in the street. You may have tree roots which your dinky snakes cannot clear.

Face it ... sometimes, you have to call the pros when specialty tools and skills are required. STOP pouring DRANO in your system because the problem is bigger than you imagine.

CallMeVilla 02-03-2014 08:43 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Oh, BTW, the air admittance valve (aka "Cheater Valve") is a great device for introducing vent air into a difficult situation. Neal, as usual, is quite right.

Where you install them is crucial (higher than the p-trap) and maintenance access is required. I have used these in several situations where no convenient vent access was available and they work really well.

SewerRatz 02-16-2014 11:16 AM

Before using an AAV (Air Admittance Valve) make sure it meets your local and state codes. Here in Illinois they are not allowed at all.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 05:33 AM.