Plumbing Question - Sinks won't drain

7 Replies

Hi All,

This may be bit off topic, but I know the experience in the room will have answers.

We're almost at the end of a flip rehab and just realized that the master bath sinks (dual vanity) won't drain - rather, fill quickly and drain VERY slowly. Maybe an inch an hour. Meanwhile, the tub and toilet, which are about 6-8 feet away both function perfectly. Both vanity sinks have the same problem, and they appear to "T" in the wall, though I haven't opened it up, as the cabinets are painted, granite is in, etc. Unfortunately, the p-trap is glued PVC, not screw in, so even opening that will be a bit more of a pain. Anyway, we snaked both sinks 15' from the drain and found nothing. The only vent stack in this bathroom goes directly to the toilet, so unless they're all connected in the bulkhead, (I have not yet dug through the attic insulation) the sink may not have a vent.

That's where this goes above my head.  

My concern is there may be a break in the sewer line somewhere under the slab, but it would seem that would cause other symptoms besides just these sinks. I'm about 24 hours from calling a plumber, so I'm hoping the fine folks of BP have a solution.

 More info: It's a late 70s build on slab in Texas. Not F&J, but a step or 2 above. 2000 sft brick, beds/baths on one side - kitchen on other. No side cleanout on this side of house, but one by kitchen.  I think 2 cleanouts in front yard by curb.

Any help on this is greatly appreciated!

Hair and muck. 

If you've snaked out 15' and the toilet and tub function properly right next to it, you may need a studor vent.  It attaches near/to the trap and allows air in without letting water out.  They're about $20.  I may go look at one at Home Depot or Lowe's and try and ask if it may help.  I'd try that long before a plumber starts opening walls @Geode Pratt !

I didn't follow how you were able to snake out line without a vent stack or removing p-trap.  I would look on roof right above sinks if there is a 1 1/2 " to 2" vent stack then that needs to be snaked.  If there is not remove p-trap and run snake down line.  If you pull out hair GREAT if you pull out roots and dirt there is a break in line. 

Hopefully it won't look like this.

I think you'll have to call a plumber if you can't snake it further yourself. 

Did you have any foundation work done?  If so did you do a static test afterwards?

One thing I've done a few times is get on angies list and finding some one with a drain inspection/cleaning for reasonable price when i couldn't get my regular plumber out there fast enough.  I see them listed for McKinney for anywhere from $79-200.  I personally used a angies list deal on Ben Franklin plumbing when my normal guy couldn't get out and they unclogged a drain.  It was surprisingly quick and easy.

I would not use that same person to do the repair if there is an underslab issue.  If your bathroom is on the side of the house, you may be pretty lucky.  I just had one that had 3 breaks but the bathroom was on the side so they could get to it from the outside and not have to tear up the insides.

One thing to do in the future, when I buy a house, I run the water a long time... like an hour, and I flush the toilets like a crazy man.  that way I know going in where my problems lie.  I have not found a way to test the clothes washer drain line yet, and I've gotten hit by that once twice now.  Also make sure your workers are washing out their grout sponges in the sink.  I've had issue with the grout building up in the drain lines.  Have them watch them out in buckets.

Wow! Great responses. Thank you.

Looks like the next step is to cut off those p-traps and run a longer snake from there. Since we're doing that, I'll put in the tutor valve as well. Hopefully that will solve the problem. If not, Ben Franklin it is! 

What an appropriate name for a plumber.

Ben Franklin is the name of your plumber?  Just thought you meant "out come the c-notes!" Funny.

Unless I missed something above; I'll bet the issue is 12-18 inches from each sink. Before you cut, grab a $2 plastic drain clearing tool from any big box store. It looks like a saw fish nose ;)

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