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Trapped Goop - The Oft-Told Tale Of Accordion Plastic Drain Lines

Uh oh - trapped goop - the oft-told tale of accordion plastic drain lines.

In this "Newly Remodeled Kitchen," or so the MLS and "Special Features" list stated, there was a very old disposal, which was rusted and stuck, and a drain that was very slow.

The drain was VERY slow.

A drain should always be made of approved, smooth material so what it is flushing moves freely. 

Whether the fixture is a toilet, tub/shower, or sink, you want whatever is being drained to move freely!

And the codes concerning drains, and drain material, all say the same thing - "smooth"  material.

P3201.1 Design of traps.
Traps shall be of standard design, shall have smooth uniform internal waterways, shall be self-cleaning and shall not have interior partitions except where integral with the fixture.

That is the actual code verbiage.

The codes even specify what rating agencies test and approve the materials, with such acronym names as ASME and ANSI.  Any approved plumbing fixtures you would buy at the store would be stamped as conforming with such rating approvals.

Can you explain to me why, therefore, I see this all the time?  The accordion plastic traps and drains!

And, since it that drain material is not code approved, why do they even sell it in the stores?

I know why.  Because homeowners and other plumbing non-professionals buy it!  They buy it and use it because when things get changed and moved and plumbing doesn't align the way it used to, they have to fudge it! 

And what better way to fudge it and make it align then with a movable, plastic drain!  Solid PVC material is hard to bend and align.

It's difficult to see in the photos above, but this trap was actually made with two accordion-style drains, coupled together at the bottom.  See where the code above states there should be no "interior partitions?"  This coupling would be an interior partition.

And this drain was slow!  And could be clogged anywhere.

The dishwasher drain tubing was done wrong too, but that is another tale for another post!

My recommendation:  wrong is wrong.  And, as in this case, the market may accommodate wrong.  So long as people buy and use this sort of thing it will be sold.  So, when you see it, know it is an improper, and amateur, installation.  And get it done right.

 

 

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 15 commentsJay Markanich • October 26 2015 12:35AM

Comments

 Good Monday morning Jay. Just because you can purchase an item in a home improvement store, does not make it legal.

Posted by TeamCHI - Complete Home Inspections, Inc., Home Inspectons - Nashville, TN area - 615.661.029 (Complete Home Inspections, Inc.) almost 3 years ago

My daughter is real good at shooting trap, Michael.  Lenn Harley taught her.  Maybe she should consider shooting this one?

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 3 years ago

Good morning Jay. Never seen that before and looking forward to not seeing it in the future! Enjoy your day!

Posted by Wayne Martin, Real Estate Broker (Wayne M Martin) almost 3 years ago

That's a new one on me Jay Markanich but if you see it all the time then the hardware "super stores" must have it as a kit in their plumbing section. Must be all the rage in China!

Posted by Bob "RealMan" Timm, Bob Timm, Broker Associate, Alliance Real Estate (Alliance Real Estate - Minot) almost 3 years ago

Wayne - it is all too common for  my taste!

Bob - I don't know where they are made, but the China connection would be expected!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 3 years ago

Jay Markanich You are 100% correct on this post. Anytime I see corrugated anything in plumbing, it is a 'red flag' to look for more shortcuts that will be needing attention by a qualified plumber.

Posted by Sandy Padula and Norm Padula, JD, GRI, Presence, Persistence & Perseverance (Realty National) almost 3 years ago

This is good information to share with home owners. Thanks for your explanation and your photographs.

Posted by Roy Kelley, Roy and Dolores Kelley Photographs (Realty Group Referrals) almost 3 years ago

This has "flip house" written all over it. Trapped goop... yummy!

Posted by Fred Hernden, CMI, Albuquerque area Master Inspector (Superior Home Inspections - Greater Albuquerque Area) almost 3 years ago

Good grief!!!

The owner/seller had to know that drainage was poor.  Why didn't they fix the dang thing.

WHAT'S THE MATTER WITH PEOPLE???

Posted by Lenn Harley, Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland (Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate) almost 3 years ago

Plumbing is the last thing I want to fudge. Water damage due to a clogged drain line can wreak absolute havoc. Why risk long term damage for a short term fix?

Posted by Nicole Doty - Gilbert Real Estate Expert, Broker/Owner of Zion Realty ZionRealtyAZ.com (Zion Realty) almost 3 years ago

And the picture on the right shows water, not under pressure, would have to go  UP  to get out of the flex tube at 90 degree angles.   Ain't gonna' happen.   That stuff is gonna' sit in that tube and  S T I N K  up the kitchen.

Posted by DEANNA EARLY - ( NMLS #268590 ), Virginia Mortgage Loan Originator (American National Bank and Trust) almost 3 years ago

S&N - you are right about that - it's never good stuff.  And very temporary.

Anytime Roy.  I'll be here for a while!

Fred - that wasn't the only stuff with the Official Flipper stamp on it.

Lenn - they are simply hoping someone else will buy it and fix it.  Inspection?  Nobody gets an inspection these days...

 

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 3 years ago

Agreed Nicole.  I only do the most simple plumbing things for myself.

Deanna - this is a mess all around.  And you are right about the stink!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 3 years ago

So where is the p-trap on that drain?

Posted by Stephen Weakley (Nationwide Mortgage Services) almost 3 years ago

It's there!  The round curl on the bottom, Stephen!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 3 years ago

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