Plumbing Artistic bathroom sinks

Published on June 18th, 2017 | by Henri


Sinks not draining

Q.  Our home is 5 years old and when we built it we had bathroom vanity basins made by a potter. They are single walled and as a result do not have an overflow for drainage near the top of the basin. Two of the three basins collect running water and only drain after the water is turned off and the standing water sits until conditions change allowing the water to drain. How can I resolve this issue? Thank you.

A.  You didn’t mention what the conditions are that allow drainage, but it sounds as if you are having venting problems. Is it possible that the two sinks have what is called cheater vents installed under the sinks instead of regular venting?

Most of these cheater vents are illegal in residential or commercial applications, but are used nevertheless in areas where plumbing inspections are not required. They are cheap and only intended  for use in recreational vehicles and mobile homes. More expensive cheater vent units are approved under the plumbing codes under limited circumstances.

An illegal vent can be dangerous and allow sewer gases to enter the building. In several cases, fatalities have occurred. Consider having a licensed plumbing contractor investigate and determine what is wrong with the venting problem and how to fix it.

And while I’m guessing that your pottery basins may be beautiful, the absence of an overflow on your sinks is also of concern, as a risk of flooding in case someone turn a faucet on and leaves the room.

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