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Top water slow; bottom water clogged


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#21 Ophiolite

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Posted 19 January 2017 - 04:52 PM

And still you miss the point. While some PhD's are also a dab hand at carpentry and plumbing and car mechanics, many are completely inept, yet brilliant in their own field. I hired skilled tradespeople to repair my roof, rewire the electrics, install a new kitchen, plaster some walls and lay carpet. But not one of them - and I doubt any current member - could adequately recommend a specific bit and associated drilling parameters for any oil and gas well on the planet.

 

No one is disputing the different skill sets and knowledge bases possessed by individuals and groups. You seem to think some here are. You are mistaken.

 

I notice you have failed to respond to my suggestion you consider the two words empirical and theoretical. Scared?


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#22 StringJunky

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Posted 19 January 2017 - 05:10 PM

and I doubt any current member - could adequately recommend a specific bit and associated drilling parameters for any oil and gas well on the planet.

I could... I would ring my uncle. :-p  :-) He was in your game.


Edited by StringJunky, 19 January 2017 - 05:16 PM.

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#23 studiot

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Posted 19 January 2017 - 05:54 PM

I'm having the strangest problem with my kitchen sink ... one that seems to defy the laws of physics!

My pipes are clogged. Normally, I can take the pipes apart by unscrewing them and simply scooping out the crud in the pipes with a spoon. But this time, the clog seems to be so far down that I can't reach it. I've tried liquid clog remover, but that doesn't work.

But here's the weirdest part: If I put water in my sink, it will take about 10 minutes to go down the drain. That's slow, but at least it gets the job done.

But when I took the pipes apart to attempt (in vein) to scoop out the crud, I noticed that the water in the bottom pipe (the only pipe I can't unscrew) just doesn't want to go down. At all. I can leave it there overnight, and the water in the bottom pipe is still there!

Now that's the part I don't get! If the clog is so strong that the water doesn't drain at all, then how can the top water still drain? If anything, shouldn't the weight of the top water press down on the bottom water and push it through? After all, that's how water towers work!

http://mentalfloss.c...ter-towers-work

But the water in the top pipe still drains ... slowly, but still drains ... while the bottom pipe is totally clogged! If anything, shouldn't it be the other way around?! The top water still has to go through the bottom pipe, and if there's a veeeeery small opening in the clog, then shouldn't the bottom water also slowly seep down too? Or is this just magical flying water?

I'm about to call my landlord for help. But this is weird! Does anyone have an explanation as to how this could possibly be happening?

 

 

I think the folks have nailed the reason for your 'bottom water'

Perhaps if you had posted some photos and/or sketches more complete advice could have been forthcoming.

Thanks to Acme for the diagram of a P trap.

 

However it is quite likely to be a bottle trap rather than an S or P trap.

These are favoured by builders as they are smaller, cheaper and easier to fit.

They do unfortunately clog up more easily than pipe type traps since the fluid path is not smooth.and regular.

 

Please note on the bottom of Acme's diagram a 'cleaning eye' is shown as a bump.

 

You should find out the type of trap and check youtube for cleaning and maintenance instructions.


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#24 RiceAWay

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Posted 19 January 2017 - 06:39 PM

 

 

I think the folks have nailed the reason for your 'bottom water'

Perhaps if you had posted some photos and/or sketches more complete advice could have been forthcoming.

Thanks to Acme for the diagram of a P trap.

 

However it is quite likely to be a bottle trap rather than an S or P trap.

These are favoured by builders as they are smaller, cheaper and easier to fit.

They do unfortunately clog up more easily than pipe type traps since the fluid path is not smooth.and regular.

 

Please note on the bottom of Acme's diagram a 'cleaning eye' is shown as a bump.

 

You should find out the type of trap and check youtube for cleaning and maintenance instructions.

 

Although bottle traps are better if you keep them cleaned out (and no one ever does outside of a laboratory) I have never seen one of these in a residence since they are illegal in most areas in residences. Even S traps have been illegal for quite some time and they only allow original installations to remain. P traps are supposed to be the standard.


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#25 Klaynos

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Posted 19 January 2017 - 06:56 PM

 
Although bottle traps are better if you keep them cleaned out (and no one ever does outside of a laboratory) I have never seen one of these in a residence since they are illegal in most areas in residences. Even S traps have been illegal for quite some time and they only allow original installations to remain. P traps are supposed to be the standard.


In what jurisdiction are they illegal? Because they're not where I live.
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#26 Mordred

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Posted 19 January 2017 - 07:34 PM

http://structuretech...mer-on-s-traps/

This site mentions Minnesota. I don't know the regulations in the States though. I glanced through the Canadian plumbing code and didn't see a specific regulation against though my copy is out of date lol.

I could ask my oldest son though as he's a journeyman

Edited by Mordred, 19 January 2017 - 07:40 PM.

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#27 HB of CJ

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Posted 19 January 2017 - 08:07 PM

I did not read all the helpful answers.  A couple of quick questions.  On the West Coast we have vent pipes that usually extend up through the roof.  They are called soil stacks.  Sometimes other names.  Do you occasionally get foul smelling bubbles coming up through the drain when you release a bowl full or water? Or does the water just drain out slowly no matter how many times you clean out the assessable pipes?

 

You might have a clogged up or restricted soil stack.  Having trees over the roof will do this over time with leaf debris.  Also sometimes wasps will take up residence in the pipes and clog up things.  Sometimes other insects will attempt to make such pipes their home.  If you can, try running a plumbing snake down through the soil stacks.  This will have to be done from the roof.  Sometimes this fixes things.  Hope this helps.

 

"No matter how complicated they make the plumbing ... the easier it becomes to stop up the pipes!"  (Scotty to Bones ... stealing the NCC 1701 Enterprise)  :)


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#28 Acme

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Posted 19 January 2017 - 08:37 PM

In what jurisdiction are they illegal? Because they're not where I live.

State of Minnesota for example.
Illegal Plumbing Products in Minnesota
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#29 Bender

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Posted 19 January 2017 - 10:36 PM

How is private plumbing any business of Minnesota? Does anyone know why they would regulate something like that?

 

I have several bottle traps, which I installed myself. I had to replace a bottle trap installed by the previous owner, but the main reason was that the pipe leaving the trap went uphill, trapping water (and dirt) in that pipe.

The bath tub and shower came with their own variations of bottle traps (installed by a plumber). I like that, because that way the hair gets stuck in the trap rather than somewhere down the pipe, as my bottle traps are all very easy to clean without having to disassemble any pipes. In modern showers there is simply no room for a P-trap.

 

Btw, I don't live in Minnesota.

 

I understand the need to regulate the electric circuit, because of the health risk, and the fresh water circuit, to prevent contamination. I even understand the need to regulate outdoor draining pipes for environmental purposes or to be able to connect to the sewer. But if home owners choose to mess up their indoor drainage, who cares?


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#30 Strange

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Posted 19 January 2017 - 10:39 PM

How is private plumbing any business of Minnesota? Does anyone know why they would regulate something like that?

 

 

Building regulations. Almost everywhere has them.


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#31 Endy0816

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Posted 19 January 2017 - 10:57 PM

Methane can come up if the trap fails. Not restricted everywhere though.
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#32 Bender

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Posted 19 January 2017 - 11:11 PM

Methane can come up if the trap fails. Not restricted everywhere though.

If the trap fails, the stench is unbearable. I don't see why an S-trap or a bottle trap would fail sooner than a P-trap.

 

But, like I said, I understand the regulations for the systems I mentioned. Last year I renovated all my outdoor water drainage, according to regulation, but I cannot find a single rule for indoor systems. There are rules for not causing discomfort for your neighbours, including stench, and I think that should suffice.


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#33 studiot

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Posted 19 January 2017 - 11:34 PM

Thank you again Acme, now that the tone of the discussion has definitely taken a turn for the better.

 

I was not aware of such rules about traps in your part of the world.

 

The UK does not actually specify the physical details of the trap only the depths of the water seal for different purposes.

 

If you think about it, both P and bottle traps must eventually become elongated S traps unless the connection is to a larger diameter pipe.

 

We usually consider a P trap for a horizontal outlet and an S trap for one that goes down.

Sometimes the geometry of the construction constrains what connections are possible.

 

Isn't it strange how a particular physical arrangement that works well in one part of the world (and may even be mandatory) can be illegal in another.

 

I have always thought it ironic that in the UK it is illegal to earth (ground) the consumer neutral, but in the US it is illegal not to.


Edited by studiot, 19 January 2017 - 11:35 PM.

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#34 Bender

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Posted 19 January 2017 - 11:40 PM

 

I have always thought it ironic that in the UK it is illegal to earth (ground) the consumer neutral, but in the US it is illegal not to.

I discovered this in the Dutch translation of a physics handbook (Giancoli), which is translated, but not adapted to the difference in grid.


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#35 Endy0816

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Posted 19 January 2017 - 11:51 PM

If the trap fails, the stench is unbearable. I don't see why an S-trap or a bottle trap would fail sooner than a P-trap.

 

But, like I said, I understand the regulations for the systems I mentioned. Last year I renovated all my outdoor water drainage, according to regulation, but I cannot find a single rule for indoor systems. There are rules for not causing discomfort for your neighbours, including stench, and I think that should suffice.

 

The idea seems to be that you could physically tell with the P-Trap. I think it is more about the safety aspect than odor.

 

I don't know, regulations are pretty random across the country and world.


Edited by Endy0816, 19 January 2017 - 11:51 PM.

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#36 StringJunky

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Posted 19 January 2017 - 11:56 PM

 

The idea seems to be that you could physically tell with the P-Trap. I think it is more about the safety aspect than odor.

 

I don't know, regulations are pretty random across the country and world.

Probably, the differences are due to different priorities and conditions.


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#37 Acme

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Posted 20 January 2017 - 12:47 AM

How is private plumbing any business of Minnesota? Does anyone know why they would regulate something like that?
...

Sewer gas can be hazardous. Sewer gas

...Health effects
In most homes, sewer gas may have a slightly unpleasant odor, but does not often pose a significant health hazard.[6] Residential sewer pipes primarily contain the gases found in air (nitrogen, oxygen, carbon dioxide, etc.).[7] Often, methane is the gas of next highest concentration, but typically remains at nontoxic levels, especially in properly vented systems. However, if sewer gas has a distinct rotten egg smell, especially in sewage mains, septic tanks, or other sewage treatment facilities, it may be due to hydrogen sulfide content, which can be detected by human olfactory senses in concentrations as low as parts per billion. Exposure to low levels of this chemical can irritate the eyes, cause a cough or sore throat, shortness of breath, and fluid accumulation in the lungs. Prolonged low-level exposure may cause fatigue, pneumonia, loss of appetite, headaches, irritability, poor memory, and dizziness. High concentrations of hydrogen sulfide (>150 ppm) can produce olfactory fatigue, whereby the scent becomes undetectable. At higher concentrations (>300 ppm), hydrogen sulfide can cause loss of consciousness and death. Very high concentrations (>1000 ppm) can result in immediate collapse, occurring after a single breath.
Explosion risk
If mixed with air, sewer gas may explode. ...


I suspect, but have no evidence, that insurance companies may be responsible for promoting bans on bottle traps. The key complaint from my reading is that bottle traps are not self-scouring and so more prone to failure than P-traps which are self-scouring. Whether the risk is health or property damage related, less risk is better risk from an insurer's point of view.

Thank you again Acme, now that the tone of the discussion has definitely taken a turn for the better.
 ...

My pleasure. :D
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#38 RiceAWay

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Posted 20 January 2017 - 08:17 PM

In what jurisdiction are they illegal? Because they're not where I live.

 

California requires properly installed P traps in all new construction and only allow S traps in old pre-standard days.


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#39 studiot

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Posted 20 January 2017 - 10:04 PM

 

Although bottle traps are better if you keep them cleaned out (and no one ever does outside of a laboratory) I have never seen one of these in a residence since they are illegal in most areas in residences. Even S traps have been illegal for quite some time and they only allow original installations to remain. P traps are supposed to be the standard.

 

RiceAWay I owe you an apology.

I didn't respond to your post#24 because I found the claim hard to believe but it has now been independently verified so I, for one, have learned something.

Thank you.


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