Help, kitchen sink drain problem

kuiporngAugust 18, 2005

Hi Everyone, my parents live in lower floor of a condo. The problem they are facing is sometimes the kitchen sink have water coming out because the main drain for the condo is not able to handle the input, i.e. input bigger than output, it end up overflow in the lower units. This is not happen everyday, but once in a while, and when it happens it is a nightmare, if no body home, the kitchen floor then the living floor will be flood with dirty water. Rather than inactively seeking help from the condo management(which is a messy organization anyway) I would like to take some proactive approach. Does anyone know if there is any switch to let water drain out when you can turn it on and off, i.e. if our parents is going for vacation or somthing, they can shut the drainage which at least eliminate any chance of damage while they are not at the condo. Or even better, is there any switch which allow passage of water in one direction only, i.e. out but not in...

Anyhow, any advice are greatly appreciated.

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The plumbing codes prohibit installing any valves on the drain lines, with the exception of a "backflow preventer" which may be in stalled under some very strict conditions. Basically it may only be installed in a situation where the building drain is equal to or lower than the level of the municipal sewer line.

installing a backflow preventer would be a very expensive undertaking and would involve accessing the main drain for the building, which I am sure would be prohibited by your building rules.

The piping in your condo must be properly sized otherwise they would have never got a certificate of occupancy on the structure, however having the proper size of pipes does not rule out the possibility of a partial clog which reduces the flow capacity.

Servicing or altering drain lines is not something that can be undertaken by a tenant, but it is the responsibility of management to address drainage problems immediately.

You would be well within your rights to send the management a written notice that you have had this problem on numerous occassions (Should provide dates if known) and inform them that you expect the matter to be resolved immediately, otherwise you will have no recourse but to seek civil litagation for property damage and notify the local public health department of the potential risk to public healt.

Beleive me, if you notify the health department they will take action. Contrary to most peoples understanding, the plumbing code is not a building code, it is a health code and failure to meet the standards can result in serious fines or jail time.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2005 at 6:27AM
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Thank you very much for your advice, LazyPup, it should open my eye wider...

    Bookmark   August 19, 2005 at 9:18AM
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