What I'm Seeing Now

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Should Drains Go Up Or Down?

Should drains go up or down?

Of course you know the answer to that. 

I expect most elementary school children know that drains go down.

Now, this photo is the end of a long drain line.

It begins at a newly-installed "kitchen" in a basement.  From there it travels a good 20' to finally attach to this drain stack.

For most of the drain the horizontal tube is angled upward. 

And where it attaches to the stack the fitting is upside down!  The angle of the connection should be pointing down, of course!

The installer had a 50/50 shot at getting it right and chose poorly.

And does the white PVC plastic seal well when it is glued to the black ABS tubing?  Not really.  They each expand and contract at different rates, and the glue used for one does not work well with the glue for the other.  These connections sometimes leak.  But this comment is an aside.

So what do we have?  A basement "kitchen" installed without a permit, with a sink that drains upward, uses the wrong materials, connects to the drain in the wrong direction, and glugs when the water is turned on in the sink.  Why?  Because air bubbles go UP!

Yes, physics works every time.

My recommendation:  if your client is really excited there is a new kitchen in the basement, check to see if there was a permit pulled and closed for the work.  And you might also want to bring an elementary-school child with you to see if the angle on the drain is, um, downward.  Because, after all, drains do best when they go DOWN.

 

 

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 10 commentsJay Markanich • July 24 2016 03:08AM

Comments

  We see this often...no permits for the finished lower level...and yicks what that can mean !

Posted by Sally K. & David L. Hanson, WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce (EXP Realty 414-525-0563) about 2 years ago

LOL - I think my cat even gets this.  Yes, too many homeowners do things without permits and with cheap "contractors" who are usually unlicensed and often incompetent.

Posted by Debbie Gartner, The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers (The Flooring Girl) about 2 years ago

Jay, I assume ( and you what I mean ) everyone understand everything plumbing rolls down hill. 

Posted by Frank Rubi, FrankRubiRealEstate.com (Frank Rubi Real Estate, LLC) about 2 years ago

That is a big issue around here S&D.  And when the county finds out it can be a big can of worms.

Cheap and quick Debbie.  Too bad that seems to be closer to the norm.

No Frank.  Whatever do you mean?  What, oh what?

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 2 years ago

Good morning Jay Markanich too often, real estate agents who list property fail to ask if permits were pulled for work done....and buyer agents should be doing their due diligence and researching in the building dept. to get copies of permits.... 

Posted by Barbara Todaro, "Franklin MA Homes" (RE/MAX Executive Realty ) about 2 years ago

That sounds like a lot of work, Barbara.  Isn't it easier just to blame it on the home inspector who "kills the deal?"

 

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 2 years ago

People, wake up... Uncle Bob is NOT a plumber!!

Posted by Fred Hernden, CMI, Albuquerque area Master Inspector (Superior Home Inspections - Greater Albuquerque Area) about 2 years ago

In this case I think it was Tio Boberto, Fred.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 2 years ago

Billy - I think that T connection is upside down!

Tio - No comprende...

Posted by Fred Hernden, CMI, Albuquerque area Master Inspector (Superior Home Inspections - Greater Albuquerque Area) about 2 years ago

FredBilly Jays  probably knows that's true.  I said the installer had a 50/50 shot at getting it right and he, um, did not!  Of course, the Tio has never seen such stuff before and just thought Elmer's glue and a fit here and there would work.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 2 years ago

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