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Venting issue with plumbing

Posted by jacqmar (My Page) on
Wed, Jul 30, 14 at 12:30

Almost a year ago, we had a new modular home brought in. It's a 16x80 sitting on a full basement. This home has given us a lot of problems but here I only want to discuss the vent issue. Each time the washing machine drains, we hear the gurgling in the kitchen sink. The piping distance from the sink to the WM drain is approx. 16ft, with two elbows. The dealer has had a plumber (same one that installed the plumbing) in, he's failed each time. I talked to the dealer recently and they will be coming out to do some fixing/repairs, etc in a couple weeks. They don't have a clue what to do about the gurgling. So here I am, does anyone know how to fix this? I would be grateful because I don't want them doing a hodge podge fix. Thanks.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Venting issue with plumbing

Does the WM have it's own vent? Sounds like it doesn't.
IS the WM on an exterior wall? If so, can you see a vent coming out the roof vertically above/near the WM??

Do you only hear gurgling when the WM drains and not any water closets, shower/bath or bath sinks?


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RE: Venting issue with plumbing

tjdabomb, thanks for replying. I see by your questions I had forgotten to give all details. WM does not have it's own vent, inside nor outside, is not on an exterior wall, the gurgling is only in the kitchen sink. The plumber put a vent under the sink, it didn't stop it, replaced it with another one, still didn't stop it.
What do you think?


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RE: Venting issue with plumbing

Is there a vertical stack that vents this modular home?

The vent that this "plumber" put in, are you speaking of a studor vent a.k.a. an air admittance valve? These aren't code in many areas.


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RE: Venting issue with plumbing

tjdabomb, there is no vertical stack, sorry I forgot to mention that. All I know about the little vent that was put on the pipe underneath the kitchen sink is they cost under $10 from a hardware store. What you describe as an air admittance valve, sounds like what they were.


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RE: Venting issue with plumbing

thats the prob, no vertical vent.

the water that is draining the WM is what I would call, in your instance, a quasi-wet vent (it's wet but is getting "air" from the studor), meaning, the drain leaving your WM IS your vent which is being vented through the studor. given that a portion of the drain (which is acting like a vent) is partially full of water while draining, the venting that is occurring during the rinse is minimalized due to the water being drained.

If you had a vertical vent going through the roof (which is typical in houses, etc.) that vent would never be blocked by water draining, and hence, smooth/er, quiet draining.

wow, no vertical vent in your entire new modular.... not the way I would want it, though, I am no expert when it comes to modulars, though, it would seem the same best practices/codes would exist. but what do i know....

Good luck!


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RE: Venting issue with plumbing

Does anyone have any ideas on what can be done? Putting in a vertical vent doable without tearing up the house? I'm at a loss here, I need some input before they show up.


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RE: Venting issue with plumbing

Does anyone have any ideas on what can be done? If a vertical vent has to be put in, how much work would have to be done. This home was passed by the State as to conforming to state codes. There is that metal stamp showing the state code etc placed next to the fuse box. I called a plumber in the area and he said that he uses those air valves/vents and never had a problem. Anyone here have those?


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RE: Venting issue with plumbing

Please, I would like to know if another air vent is used and doesn't work like the previous ones, what are my options? The thought of having a vertical vent through the roof scares me, it's the workmanship.


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RE: Venting issue with plumbing

jacqmar - I'm not being hateful, but I'm again going to say the same thing I posted on the Manufactured Home forum. Please get in touch with the manufacturer of your home and get some answers to the various questions and problems you are having with the home. You have to start at the origination point when you have as many issues and questions as you are having. Once you have the information from the manufacturer then it can be determine if there was a problem with the manufacturing of your home and have them correct it if that is the case.

As to the post-manufacturing installation of a vertical vent - they can be done quite well if you have a true quality workmanship driven licensed professional plumber do the job. Hiring a licensed plumber gives you the ability to have recourse through the state licensing board if the workmanship is shoddy. They can't make the plumber redo the work, but if you let the plumber know that you are going to report shoddy or unacceptable work, then you will usually either have a plumber who doesn't want the job or they will do the work correctly.

jacqmar, I really wish you would let us know what state you are in (we don't care about the county), because that makes a lot of difference in the laws that you are protected by. We sort of have our hands tied behind our backs in trying to give you the best advice we can without knowing your state of residence.

I believe that your warranty is almost up, so you need to take action soon if you are going to be able to get any help from the manufacturer.


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RE: Venting issue with plumbing

gmatx, I know you are right about contacting the manufacturer, what I did was fill out the card they send out to new owners. I gave each question the lowest score. If I don't hear from them soon, I will call. I'm here in rural Iowa and from I could find we don't have many codes, no where to go for answers. I came to these forums for some idea of what to say to the dealer, I don't want this to go to court. I contacted an attorney, only recourse I have is small claims court. We have been so very busy here, we still have piles of dirt from the basement, no one wants to come to get free dirt. I have so many complaints about this home, it's stress big time. Did I mention we are retired and we wanted this to be our last home? Nothing seems to have gone right. I was advised by the mortgage broker to go to a charity group, we aren't poor, just not wealthy, I want to say this is a Fairmont home. Dealer said 3 wks ago they would be out in 2 wks. I had told them their plumber will not be allowed back in my home, he is responsible for a lot of plumbing issues and the heating issues, plus he never cleaned up his messes, disgusting.


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RE: Venting issue with plumbing

The terminology may need clarification. A modular is built to the same code as stick built houses and the various sections are "married" as they are set. They have no permanent steel frame under them.
A 16 x 80 is almost certain to be a HUD Code dwelling which is built on a steel frame that is an integral part of the unit(s).
HUD code is far less stringent than the IPC or similar plumbing codes.
Based on your posts, it appears that the people involved are either dishonest or incompetent -- or both.
Waiting for them to act is likely to consume the remainder of your life.
A competent local plumber is your best bet. His fee is probably going to be for you to pay.
Wish I had better news.


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RE: Venting issue with plumbing

Looks like I'm going to have to make the call to Fairmont Homes in Indiana.

By the way, our home is 28x60, the county assessor calls it a double wide as in manufactured. Whatever. I do know it is cheaply made,


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RE: Venting issue with plumbing

Jacqmar, please keep us posted. I would suggest you write up a list of all your concerns before you call Fairmont Homes, so you will have a ready reference. You might also want to print out your posts to this forum and the Manufactured Homes forum so you can have easy access to the information you have given about your issues that have and have not been addressed by your dealer. I believe that you should absolutely make the manufacturer aware of the shoddy manner of treatment and lack of concern your dealer has exhibited toward you and your justified concerns.

Yes, please call Fairmont Homes before your warranty expires. As I have said earlier, inferior materials and shoddy workmanship is not acceptable, even if your home is a "low end modular".

I totally agree with bus_driver's comment that "Waiting for them to act is likely to consume the remainder of your life". Remember the old saying of "The squeaky wheel gets the grease"? Believe you me, it is true and you have to be the squeaky wheel!

Jacqmar, one of the reasons I have continued to encourage you to get in touch with the manufacture before your warranty runs out is because you did tell us that you and your wife are retired. It really pushes my buttons when people try to take advantage of "senior citizens". You have spent a given amount of money buying a new home that you expect to be safe, comfortable, and to last you for the rest of your life with reasonable routine maintenance.

Oh yes, I am also a "senior citizen" who does not tolerate abuse or disrespect from our suppliers/real estate agents/home inspectors/property owners/code enforcement inspectors/etc. And I will fire anyone who works for us if they ever treat others with disrespect or are abusive in any of their interactions with the public. Decent behavior by one person toward another cannot change everyone, but it's eye-opening as to how many respond positively when treated with respect. You have not been treated with respect by your dealer, and as far as I can tell from your posts, you have done nothing to cause you not to receive respectful treatment (in other words, the problems fixed!)

As my first sentence says, please keep us posted. Best of luck.

Edited to add - Sorry for the long post....

This post was edited by gmatx on Fri, Aug 22, 14 at 22:23


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RE: Venting issue with plumbing

I do not have a copy of the HUD code. I do own a couple of older HUD code dwellings and both have plumbing vents that do extend through and above the roof. I doubt that any subsequent code revision would have eliminated that requirement.
In fact, a study of physics demonstrates that a lack of a vent that can relieve positive (above atmospheric) pressure within the DWV system will result in a system that works slowly and poorly. When waste water is introduced into an empty pipe, the air that is displaced by the water must have some place to go. Without a vent to let that air escape, there will be a pressure buildup in the pipe that will literally push back on the waste water that is trying to be dumped.
Studor vent does not perform that function. The Studor vent opens when negative (below atmospheric-- we call it a vacuum) pressure occurs. The Studor vent, also called an AAV, air admittance valve, admits air into the drain so that the escaping water does not produce a vacuum behind that slug of water that can suction the trap dry.The open roof vent also serves that function.
I did a Google search for Fairmont homes with the added words "reviews", "complaints". Interesting reading. Apparently Fairmont makes both HUD code and "full" code houses. Their website blurs the distinction between the two. If I did not already know the distinction, their website would not be informative for that purpose. I suspect that the vagueness of that is intentional.
By all means, call them. Their response/reaction will instantly reveal a lot about them.

This post was edited by bus_driver on Sat, Aug 23, 14 at 21:55


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RE: Venting issue with plumbing

Do call Fairmont. But I suspect that they may take the position that your dealings are with the local dealer and that they never had any contract with you. But for manufacturing defects, I suspect that the courts would hold Fairmont responsible for those.


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RE: Venting issue with plumbing

Bus_driver, I want to thank you for your input on this and the encouragement to jacqmar to call the manufacturer. Hopefully, he will be able to get all the problems corrected under warranty. As you can tell, it really bothers me when people are taken advantage of. Again, thanks.


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RE: Venting issue with plumbing

I appreciate everyone's support, thank you.


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RE: Venting issue with plumbing

The distance of your piping from sink is too far, 16 ft is great distance. I think your dealer was not able to fix the problem, it would be better if you change that gurgling. You can also show it to professional plumber to fix your problem.

Here is a link that might be useful: septic air pumps

This post was edited by JeromeMoler on Thu, Aug 28, 14 at 3:32


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RE: Venting issue with plumbing

JeromeMoler, the thing of hiring a professional plumber is I don't want to be out that money. The dealer should fix it. My home is still under warranty. The manufacturer will receive a certified letter of complaints, I mailed it today. I can't possibly be the only owner with these problems, can I?


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RE: Venting issue with plumbing

Good for you Jacqmar! Keep us posted as to what the manufacturer has to say. Good thoughts for good results.


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RE: Venting issue with plumbing

JeromeMoler seemingly goes around posting that link and suggesting it is relevant to problems such as low water pressure, venting, etc...


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RE: Venting issue with plumbing

We are on city water and sewer, we have no problems with pressure.


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RE: Venting issue with plumbing

JeromeMoler suggested the length of pipe from the washing machine to the sink was a great distance. After thinking it over, I went down in the basement and measured the PVC (?) pipe from the Y joint under the WM to the elbow point going up to the sink. Measurement was 23 ft. By walking directly from the Y to the elbow is 16 ft. Is this an issue for anyone?


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RE: Venting issue with plumbing

Properly vented, properly sized and sloped, not a problem.
Please realize that some posts do not originate from those who know or who have good intentions. Be discerning.


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RE: Venting issue with plumbing UPDATE

Solution ? maybe. Dealer sent over one of their workers to figure out the venting problem. First he went up in the attic to check for a direct vent pipe, found one for the washing machine, it's just horizontal and then vertical through the roof. Soooo, school of thought was the sink was drawing the air from the washing machine. Removed the air vent from pipe and covered it with tape, gurgling was reduced quite a bit. Now I'm waiting for them to bring over a proper pipe cover. Not bad service for waiting 11 months.


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RE: Venting issue with plumbing

The posted description as worded does not sound like a proper resolution for the problem.
Reducing the number or cross-sectional area of vents is not the solution to venting problems.
But it was free. In this case, you get what you pay for.
Good luck, this probably is my last post on this thread.

This post was edited by bus_driver on Tue, Sep 9, 14 at 17:22


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RE: Venting issue with plumbing

I now have an Assistant Atty. Gen. working on my case. So far no response from the manufacturer.


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RE: Venting issue with plumbing

Thanks for the update, jacqmar. Hang in there and don't give up.


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