What I'm Seeing Now

head_left_image

This Sink Guy Was No Trap-Ease Artist

I love watching the athletes do their performances on the trapeze, but this sink guy was no trap-ease artist.

Water can't be expected to flow up.  It will with pressure from one end when forced.  But not in a drain situation.  Drainage will only go down to the level the weight of the water will settle to and stay.

But not up from there!

According to the feature list this is a "New Dishwasher, Disposal and Kitchen Sink!"  (happy dance)

This drain arrangement expects the water to flow up from the lower red dot to the upper red dot!

That blue line represents the level at which the water settles and stays.

So, there is always water in the disposal.

When you look into the sink drain you can see the water sitting in the disposal.

The amount of water sitting in that drain now is the same amount that always stays.

When water is running into the disposal only as much as goes in will go out.

My client asked, "What does that mean?"

It means water will back up into the sink on the other side.

To answer I said, "Watch what happens when I force the dishwasher to discharge its water.  See how the dishwasher drain tube goes right into the disposal?"

So, pushing the 'Cancel' button on the dishwasher, we just watched.

As the dishwasher let go of its full load, the sink on the left side filled up with some very interesting stuff.

"Imagine what this will look like when you are living in the house and food stuff is going down the disposal and coming out of the dishwasher.  And, imagine what kind of yum-yum is always sitting in your disposal and drain waiting for the next time you turn the water on or run the dishwasher.  What do you think that will begin to smell like soon?"

Her response was what I expected, "Oh, yuck!"

Then, thinking further, "Will I smell sewer gas?"

So, we sat down together in front of the sink and with flashlight and finger I explained how this had to be completely reconfigured so that the disposal discharges into the drain higher than the convenient second trap.

"Properly done you won't smell sewer gases."

That red dot is the same place as the high red dot on the first photo.  So a proper trap arrangement is possible.

She felt better knowing that.  "What does the drain need now?" 

"A professional plumber..."  Always a Best Practice.

My recommendation:  traps want water to easily flow, and downward.  Hopefully what remains is clean water!  Sometimes I can look under a sink and predict what will happen.  That's always a great object lesson for my clients.  It can get yucky, to be sure, but it's a really fun class!

 

 

Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC  

Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.

Office (703) 330-6388   Cell (703) 585-7560

www.jaymarinspect.com


Comment balloon 37 commentsJay Markanich • April 28 2014 03:20AM
This Sink Guy Was No Trap-Ease Artist
share
I love watching the athletes do their performances on the trapeze, but this sink guy was no trap-ease artist. Water can't be expected to flow up. It will with pressure from one end when forced. But not in a drain situation. Drainage will… more
How To Tell The New Windows Weren't Insulated Properly When Installed
share
One of the most common things seen on older homes is the installation of new windows and this is how to tell the new windows weren't insulated properly when installed. The Best Practice on new construction is to foam around windows and doors… more
The 1850 Structure Of A House Resting On A Single Point
share
It is always interesting to see how things are done in former times and I found the 1850 structure of a house resting on a single point. The house was built in a way I have never seen. Literally the foundation and supportive locations… more
Discovery Of Footprints In The Hardwood Flooring Finish Coat
share
Not much more saddening in new construction could be the discovery of footprints in the hardwood flooring finish coat. Silly and disconcerting. Uncaring and disappointing. Unbelievable and dishonorable. DISPLAYING THIS AS THE "… more
Is Pre-drilling Screw Holes On Doors Really That Important?
share
This is brand new construction - is pre-drilling screw holes on doors really that important? Most of the doors in the house were like this. They are cracked at the strike plate. On the door of a double door, and on the side wall of the… more
Cedar Shake Roof - Was It Repaired, Or Not?
share
Just driving up to a house, even from a distance, I can often look and say to myself - cedar shake roof - was it repaired or not? This particular roof was said by the seller to have been inspected, had dozens of bad shakes replaced, other… more
A Camera Can Sometimes See Where The Home Inspector Can't!
share
If spaces are impossible to get to and not visible to the home inspector, a camera can sometimes see where the home inspector can't! On a recent flip I noticed the upper room of a Cape Cod, which in this house was divided into two "… more
This Is What You And I See. And This Is What A Thermal Camera Sees!
share
This is what you and I see. A pretty basement wall, in a flip, with new drywall, new receptacles, new floor molding and new carpeting. This is what my clients saw on line. Along with a couple dozen other photos. All of the… more
Is This How Builders Will Be Attaching Front Porch Roofs Now?
share
On each of my last three pre-drywall inspections in Northern Virginia, I have wondered -- is this how builders will be attaching front porch roofs now? I have been astounded. Contacting an architect friend of mine with photos, I asked… more
As For Me And My House, This Window Install Would Bother Me Terribly!
share
As for me and my house, this window install would bother me terribly! It is not close to plumb and level! This is the small window in the master bathroom, in the toilet closet and beside the toilet. Not large, from left to right… more