What I'm Seeing Now


We All Know What Flows Downhill

Dare I say it?  We all know what flows downhill.

The is a remodeled, two-bedroom, two-bath condo on the basement level of a four story building.

This unit opens up to the outdoors, but the building sits on a hill so the back side of the subject condo faces the stairwell and is underground.

In such buildings the plumbing is usually stacked, meaning bathrooms are over bathrooms, and kitchens over kitchens.  As such there would be shared main vertical drain stacks, probably three, into which each condo would drain horizontally.  The drainage materials in this 1967 building could be anything - copper, cast iron, cement asbestos, polyolefin, and maybe PVC, who knows.

But all codes, in every era, specify the minimum slope per foot.  No matter the size of the drain line, there should be a slope AWAY from the fixture and DOWN.

So when I looked under this sink and saw the drain arrangement, it did not take long to notice that the horizontal portion of the drain was draining UP, and not down.

Surely you can see what else got my attention.

Yes, it seems something dark and foreboding is indeed flowing downhill.  I have to wonder if odors come from this bathroom sink from time to time.  Yummie.

My recommendation:  when you have a remodeled house, by a Flipper, or "the bank," or just your everyday homeowner, be sure to check things carefully.  Invite over a home inspector!  You never know just what might be found.  If sometimes the inspector might, per chance, sort of say that a certain installation really stinks, well, that might just be the case!  Says he, with a wink.     ; >)



Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC  

Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.

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


Comment balloon 10 commentsJay Markanich • March 12 2016 03:09AM
We All Know What Flows Downhill
Dare I say it? We all know what flows downhill. The is a remodeled, two-bedroom, two-bath condo on the basement level of a four story building. This unit opens up to the outdoors, but the building sits on a hill so the back side of the subject… more
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