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    Jkesgirl's Avatar
    Jkesgirl Posts: 4, Reputation: 1
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    #1

    Aug 27, 2008, 10:48 AM
    Vented vs. Nonvented Sink
    I live in a condo unit. It is all on 1 floor and has 2 bathrooms. The sink in the one bathroom is vented and drains fine. The sink in the other bathroom is not vented and takes hours to drain.

    I have found out that the condo is not vented and therefore the sinks have to be. Is there a way to vent the nonvented sink or do I need to replace it? If I need to replace it, where can I find a vented sink? Lowe's is telling me that they don't carry vented sinks because new houses are vented.
    ballengerb1's Avatar
    ballengerb1 Posts: 27,379, Reputation: 2280
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    #2

    Aug 27, 2008, 11:12 AM
    The vent is actually a pipe that normally goes up through the roof line and is open to the air. It lets air in and out of the drain lines. Turn a bottle of soda upside down with your thumb over the opening. Take your thumb of the bottle and that chugging is how a sewer would operate without a vent. Do you own or rent, this is important to help us determine which way to go. A sink can be vented with an air admittance valve (AAV) but it may not be code in your area. Do you know what building code you are required to follow? Not sure, call the local city building inspector and ask.
    speedball1's Avatar
    speedball1 Posts: 29,301, Reputation: 1939
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    #3

    Aug 28, 2008, 06:23 AM
    I have found out that the condo is not vented and therefore the sinks have to be. Is there a way to vent the nonvented sink or do I need to replace it?
    Yes there is a way to vent your sick.. You may install a AAV,(air admittance vent, see below) just downstream from the trap. Good luck, Tom
    ballengerb1's Avatar
    ballengerb1 Posts: 27,379, Reputation: 2280
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    #4

    Aug 28, 2008, 08:02 AM
    I am pretty sure the condo is vented somewhere for at least some traps. Who/what gave you the impression that you place has no vents at all?
    Jkesgirl's Avatar
    Jkesgirl Posts: 4, Reputation: 1
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    #5

    Aug 28, 2008, 10:59 AM
    I found out that the building code that I am required to follow is National Standard Plumbing Code Illustrated 2006 and National Fuel Gas Code NSPA 54-2006.

    I am trying to get an answer from the Plumbing Inspector whether an AAV is code or not. Is the AAV hard to install and do I need to drill a hole in the sink bowl?

    I'm not sure about whether the entire place has no vents or just the bathroom sinks. I've had this problem for about 2 years now and I'm just now doing something about it. About a year ago, I explained the situation to a friend's husband (now ex-husband) who is a plumber. I told him the one sink is old (1980) with the hole in the back and how the other bathroom has a new sink with no hole in the back and how it wasn't draining. I never thought the hole mattered... I thought it was like an overflow emergency drain. He told me that the hole did matter, that it was actually a vent and was used when there was no vent in the house. I don't know much about plumbing, but the kitchen sink must have a vent because my kitchen sink doesn't have that hole in the back of the sink. All I know is that the one with the hole works fine and the one without it doesn't drain.

    I appreciate all your help and advice!!
    ballengerb1's Avatar
    ballengerb1 Posts: 27,379, Reputation: 2280
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    #6

    Aug 28, 2008, 11:16 AM
    The hole is actually both, an over flow and a vent. An AAV is fairly easy to install. Llok at Tom's post #3. The AAV goes onto the short pipe going straight up and down. You do not cuurently have that T shaped pipe so it would need to be purchased and installed, usually no tools will bw required if this is white PVC.
    Jkesgirl's Avatar
    Jkesgirl Posts: 4, Reputation: 1
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    #7

    Aug 28, 2008, 11:21 AM
    What prevents water from shooting out of the top of the AAV? Is the AAV similar to the R2-D2 silver thing on some kitchen countertops by the sink that the dishwasher uses somehow to drain?
    Jkesgirl's Avatar
    Jkesgirl Posts: 4, Reputation: 1
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    #8

    Aug 29, 2008, 09:57 AM
    I heard back from the plumbing inspector and an AAV violates code where I live. He said it has to be a physical vent. Any other solutions besides buying a new vented sink?
    ballengerb1's Avatar
    ballengerb1 Posts: 27,379, Reputation: 2280
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    #9

    Aug 29, 2008, 10:04 AM
    I reread your 1st post and I'm not sure you have a vent problem from what you say. If you can do the work yourself start by removing the trap. Put a bucket unedr the trap since it will dump about 3 cups of water when you pull it. Use a 1/4" snake to rod out your drain line going into the wall. You will hit a 90 degree elbow about 8" inside the wall so turning the snake while pushing in and out should get you through it. Rod as far as you can. Inspect the trap and clear any debris.
    hkstroud's Avatar
    hkstroud Posts: 11,929, Reputation: 899
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    #10

    Aug 29, 2008, 12:56 PM
    I agree with Bob. You have a drain blockage problem, not a venting problem. Also like to add that by most condo rules the problem is the problem of the condo association once it leaves the perimiter of you unit. I have to disagree with Bob that the overflow hole is also a vent, at least in the sense that we are speaking. I also believe who ever told you the building was not vented was misinformed.
    ballengerb1's Avatar
    ballengerb1 Posts: 27,379, Reputation: 2280
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    #11

    Aug 29, 2008, 01:00 PM
    Harold is correct regarding most condo HOA bylaws. Once you are beyond the surface of the interior pain you don't actuallly own anything and are not responsible for repair. Your by-laws could be different regarding plumbing but most are the same. Ask the HOA or management company if there is one.
    hkstroud's Avatar
    hkstroud Posts: 11,929, Reputation: 899
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    #12

    Aug 29, 2008, 01:07 PM
    To Whom It May Concern

    Bob agreed with my post while I was editing it to disagree with one of his points. Sorry Bob, but thanks for the greenie anyway. All this is to say is, remove the trap, then snake the line as far as you can with a small hand snake, then call condo association. A sink with an overflow opening won't solve the problem.

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