unjustified clogs of toilet and sink

wildeyesOctober 25, 2010

We just moved into a fully-gutted and rehabbed home. Everything is new except the wood floors and exterior walls. We are having plumbing issues, specifically, the master bath toilet is repeatedly getting clogged and requiring plunging to flush even in the absence of any solids, and the kitchen double sinks are clogging and both sides fill with dirty drainwater that won't disperse when the disposal is used with very little solid matter being disposed, and that situation doesn't clear without vigorous plunging. I also can't figure out why all the sinks and other showers get plenty of hot water, on all 3 floors, except the water in the master shower on the 2nd floor doesn't ever get very hot.

I know zilch about plumbing, but it seems to me that there may be something amiss with the plumbing system overall. The plumbing contractor had made a number of goofs that were caught during inspections, so it wouldn't suprise me if he was just generally incompetent. For example, one of the pipes in the basement to the outside was to slope downward but sloped upward, the jacuzzi in the masterbath was installed improperly so that water leaked through the ceiling below during an inspection run, and the floor in the huge walk-shower in the master bath peaks in the center, while there is a drain at only one end of the shower (so that water from only that half of the shower drains; the rest pools at the other end - that hasn't been fixed yet, but the builder/seller says he will take care of it). The sewer-line camera during the inspections showed that the exterior sewer line was blocked about 40 or 50 feet from the house in the middle of the driveway, but that was supposedly then cleared completely. And I'm not sure if that is relevant to the current problems. Also, there were no traps in the drains in the basement floor, but that too was corrected after the inspections. Any thoughts about the ongoing clog issues? Thanks so much

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Was this gut-and-rehab job fully permitted and inspected by the AHJ? Was this a licensed plumber? It doesn't seem so from your description.
I'd start by checking with the county/city building permit office. I'd also require the seller to pay for an independant inspection, and pay for the repairs. A professional in the trade, not a home inspector. There may be future problems that can be identified now.
The drain issues may be related to inadequate, or lack of, venting. The master bath water temp could be a number of things, including the route that the supply lines take to get there.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2010 at 7:14PM
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Just one toilet is a problem? Remove the toilet and see if there's an obstruction stuck in the bottom of it.

Snake the kitchen drain line.

Make a lot of noise about getting that shower floor fixed. What a bunch of knuckleheads.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2010 at 8:36PM
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Excuse me.....you had "plumbers" and "inspectors" involved with this?

I would be in both of their faces with licenses and requirements to maintain licensure dangling from my pissed-off little fingers. If you had problems and knew it and chose to accept them, that's your business. I'm sure it would have been reflected in the price you paid. However, If I'm reading you right, you've been deceived about the condition of this property by licensed professionals.

First step is to put them on notice and allow them the opportunity to correct. They may help you. If they are unresponsive don't hesitate to get nasty.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2010 at 8:57PM
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Hi, OP here. Thanks for the replies. The seller/rehab company is seemingly being very responsive, and there's been no need for me to be threatening. I believe all municipal inspections were passed. But, that doesn't mean the plumbing contractor they used wasn't an idiot. They are going to try to address these problems, but I want as much knowledge on the subjects as I can get so that i'm not snowed and ask the right questions. They've said they will rip and up and replace so much of the shower floor as is needed to get the slope right (though I think 2 drains probably should have been installed). As for the clogs, the GC who the seller/rehab co. had used refuses have his plumber look at it, so the seller/rehab co. is going to bring in another plumber at his expense. Of course, I'm still tempted to bring in my own plumber to second guess what they say.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2010 at 9:08PM
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