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Any plumber experts out there?

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Mikebits

Well-Known Member
Okay, here's the thing. I live in a building with 4 floors, I am on the second floor. Whenever my upstair neighbor runs the garbage disposal my sink starts to back up and fill with water. Why is this? are my pipes clogged? I want to call a plumber, but since I am in a condo, if the problem is common to both units, then I am not the responsible party as far as repair bill. So what could be causing this back wash debacle?

Thanks
 

Leftyretro

New Member
Okay, here's the thing. I live in a building with 4 floors, I am on the second floor. Whenever my upstair neighbor runs the garbage disposal my sink starts to back up and fill with water. Why is this? are my pipes clogged? I want to call a plumber, but since I am in a condo, if the problem is common to both units, then I am not the responsible party as far as repair bill. So what could be causing this back wash debacle?

Thanks
Not a plumber either but it would seem to me that there must be some kind of check valve you could install that would not allow backward flow into your sink.

Lefty
 

confounded

New Member
Is your main stack external? If it is look to see where your sink waste pipe joins the stack. It could be that the waste pipe of your neighbours sinks joins opposite yours and so is discharging into your pipe.

How much water do you get?
 

picbits

Well-Known Member
Sounds like a blockage or partial blockage below your sink drainage level.
 
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Andy1845c

Active Member
Whenever my upstair neighbor runs the garbage disposal my sink starts to back up and fill with water.

Thanks
Yum! I guess its good incentive to keep the dishes washed and put away.:D

Does the guy on the 1st floor also have a backup problem? Does your bathtub back up too?

Is it only when he runs the disposal? That seems odd. I would think it would happen more so when there was a massive amount of water in the pipes. Possibly when both 3rd floor guy and 4th floor guy are both discharging their washing machine, flushing the toilet and draining the bathtub all at once.

Has it always happened or is it getting worse?
 

HiTech

Well-Known Member
Don't call a plumber, call your landlord first. Ther's no point in paying for plumber services if the problem could first be from outside your apartment. At worst the landlord will then say that the issue is from within your own plumbing and then you call a plumber... even then the landlord may want to use someone that he trusts or has used in the past.
 

Mike_2545

Super Moderator
A garbage disposal forces water (and chopped food bits) down the drain. If his and your sink drain pipes are sharing a common line before discharging into the larger soil stack, and there is a partial blockage in the line below your sink, then the forced effluent coming from your neighbors sink will back up in yours.

Don't wait to get tis fixed, should the line become fully blocked you will be on the recieving end of all his sink goodness, even when he is not running the disposal.

It makes one wonder how the rest of these units are plumbed? Toilets, bathtubs, etc...
 

Mikebits

Well-Known Member
Don't call a plumber, call your landlord first. Ther's no point in paying for plumber services if the problem could first be from outside your apartment. At worst the landlord will then say that the issue is from within your own plumbing and then you call a plumber... even then the landlord may want to use someone that he trusts or has used in the past.
There is no landlord. I own my condo unit. So anything in my unit is my responsibility. Anything common to all units is the condo associations responsibility, but in cases like this it is hard to get the association to do anything, so I most likely will have to get the plumber out, and have him make the determination if it in the common area or not. A pain really...
 

confounded

New Member
Have you looked to see how the waste pipes are arranged?
If your neighbours sink pipe joins yours and then together they join the main stack it is likely to be a partial blockage.
If your neighbours sink waste joins oppostite where your sink waste joins the main stack it could be discharging across into your waste as i said before.
If your neighbours sink waste joins the main stack at least a few foot above your sink waste and you are only getting a small amount of water backing up you could be suffering from compression.
Basically the force of water being discharged from above compresses the air in the main stack and so the water in your trap is forced out. The solution is to attach a smaller pipe to the main stack which runs from bottom to top to equalize pressures.
Also its likely that theres a rodding eye on your sink waste pipe (look for a screw on cap), unscrew the cap and you can clean it yourself if it is a blockage.
If Americas wastepipework is similar to UKs you really dont need a plumber, waste pipework is unpleasant to deal with but simple.
 

killivolt

Well-Known Member
Okay, here's the thing. I live in a building with 4 floors, I am on the second floor. Whenever my upstair neighbor runs the garbage disposal my sink starts to back up and fill with water. Why is this? are my pipes clogged? I want to call a plumber, but since I am in a condo, if the problem is common to both units, then I am not the responsible party as far as repair bill. So what could be causing this back wash debacle?

Thanks
It could be a clogged vent. The allows air in and pressure to circumvent syphoning. It may be partially clogged all vents in each section should be cleaned either by you or a company who has the equipment.

This would be one of my first conclusions if you've never done it. Grease builds up and can be forced upward under certain conditions.


I manage apartments and their is only 2 floors but the sewer pipe leaving the building will develop roots inside the pipe and will also cause a slowing of flow out to the street.

Good Luck.


kv
 

Andy1845c

Active Member
I think it almost has to be some sort of blockage.

I took a commercail disposal apart once. All it really did was grind up food. I don't remember it having any means to pump the water or otherwise force it down the pipes. Maybe some are different?

If it was roots outside the 1st floor guy should be flooded if Mike is getting water up his sink on the second floor. Roots seem to be more of a problem with the old cast iron sewer line then with the new plastic lines from my experiance, but I am no plumber.

Can you see any of the lines? Is there one main line that runs streight up and connects to the drain outputs of all 4 condos in your "stack"? Maybe you could have a comany that cleans drains with the high pressure waterjet system come and jet the stack all the way up. Maybe you can talk your neigbors into a 4 way cost split, since it may save them trouble in the future. 1st floor guy should be all for that, since hes gonna be screwed if it plugs up between him and the main line in the street!:eek:
 
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