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New plumbing looks awful and sink does not drain.

Posted by corgilvr (My Page) on
Wed, Apr 13, 11 at 5:16

We were finally able to use our bathroom sink after a 7 week renovation project done by a contractor with excellent references. He did not sub any of the work out. The bathroom was gutted down to the studs and all drains and supply lines were to be new from the basement up to the second floor bath. Even the toilet was moved.

We had the expected glitches along the way, but all were resolved. My greatest disappointment came yesterday when the plumbing was finally completed and I could use my bathroom sink. There is no vanity cabinet and all the plumbing is visible, therefore, from Day 1, I stressed that I wanted to upgrade the trap and all supply lines. I did not want to see any flexible tubing. I did not think I needed to stress that the pop up drain should function and that the sink should drain. I can't post a picture, but will try to explain what I see. I did supply the contractor, at the outset, with pictures of what I expected.

The vertical pipe connecting the drain to the p trap is 12 inches long. That length is made up of three pieces of pipe and each of those has a different finish or color. One is a brushed metal finish and the others are polished chrome. The white teflon tape used in one of those connections is visible. The drain line is not centered between the supply lines. I was home when the supply lines to the faucet were being put in and the metal mesh flexible lines were not used. I had to leave before the rest of the work was completed and the water was turned on. Frankly, it looks like something even I could have done. It does not look professional.

When the taps are turned on, the water does not drain efficiently and pools in the bottom of the sink. The pop up drain does not seem to rise high enough from the drain opening in the sink. I haven't tried to use the shower, but the toilet flushes great! I don't want to turn the shower on until the contractor is here. The pipes under the sink are also "sweating".

Is a twelve inch, 3 section vertical pipe considered a normal length? Looking at diagrams, that includes what I think is called the tail piece. The contractor seemed aware enough to suggest I purchase a sink which was also glazed on the underside since it would be visible. Foolishly, I assumed he would use plumbing that met the same standard.

Needless to say, I am very dissapointed with the appearance and function of the sink. The old one, with the old plumbing, drained better. All of these lines exit a newly tiled wall. What should I ask for and what may I resonable expect as resolution?

Thanks in advance for any help or suggestions you may offer. This was not a "budget" job and we welcomed any change orders to make sure the job was done to the standard we expected. I have lots of extra tile!


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: New plumbing looks awful and sink does not drain.

Fortunately for you, most of this is easy to address.

Tell him you need the following:

1) a longer, matching chrome tailpiece (12") to replace the short pieces. Even home depot has them, so getting one is not an issue.
2) pop-up drain needs to be adjusted because water doesn't drain.
3) If you're happy with the steel braided lines, fine. But if it's really bothering you, you can replace with chrome-plated copper supply tubing (with matching steel compression nuts where they connect to the shut-off valves). Smooth and shiny result.

(BTW, centering the drain is not an option at this point.)


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RE: New plumbing looks awful and sink does not drain.

Thanks for your quick reply. It is so helpful to be able to raise these questions to folks who have solutions.

We haven't even tried to use the shower yet, but it is already dripping!


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RE: New plumbing looks awful and sink does not drain.

you *can* have nice looking plumbing underneath.

first, go look at the geometry of the braviken bathroom sink to see if you want to have the P trap be located near the wall.

Here is a link that might be useful: braviken bathroom sink + compact drain pipes


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R3E: New plumbing looks awful and sink does not drain.

if the sink has an overflow hole, it should drain efficiently.
Without an overflow, the sink can drain slowly; water can take a long time to go down the drain. It also depends on the pipe geometry underneath.


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RE: New plumbing looks awful and sink does not drain.

Why does the overflow hole affect draining in ordinary use of the sink?


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RE: New plumbing looks awful and sink does not drain.

it lets a little bit of air move out of the way when gravity pushes water down the drain. This starts the flow of water and helps set up a current (exchange of air and water). Otherwise the drinking straw effect can remain for a long time. In a drinking straw, water is held up on a pillar of air, and the water can only go down the straw if air is removed. In a pipe (much wider than a straw), air and water have to trade places so there needs to be an internal current inside the pipe, where water and air slide past each other on opposing sides (walls) of the pipe. An overflow hole on the side of the pipe an inch below the drain guarantees that air will escape under the pressure of water + gravity. Water, once moving, continues to move; this is momentum, or dynamic inertia. So the moving water forces more air out of the pipe, below the overflow hole.


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RE: New plumbing looks awful and sink does not drain.

So what is the function of the code-mandated venting of the DWV system?


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RE: New plumbing looks awful and sink does not drain.

the long description i gave was for the portion of pipe that is not inside the vented portion of the DWV system . B bus_driver, before asking for even more clarification, wait while you sleep on it. wait a time period while you give it all some thought, and post once you have had time to let it all sink in. No point polluting someone's thread with queries that you could resolve on your own. i mean it IS obvious to one and all that DWV Venting exists only after the P trap, not before. DWV Venting is with sewer gases. In the description above, the air i mentioned as being in the pipe is Room Air, prior to the P trap, and not on the other side of the P trap. Hope this is clear.


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RE: New plumbing looks awful and sink does not drain.

So the overflow aids in venting? The lower end of the overflow intersects the drain system how far below the stopper of the sink?


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