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aziamaiza

Water backing up in kitchen sink

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Hi fellow 5th wheelers

This has been bugging me for days so perhaps someone can see the bleeding obvious as I've reached my paygrade on this problem:

The sink water had been draining increasingly slowly since last summer but, after picking up our trailer (Cedar Creek 2008 37RDTS) from the body shop a couple of days back after an absence of over two months, it has completely backed up.

My first port of call in this situation is the old vinegar and baking soda trick. That didn't work so I had to move on to step two in my plumbing arsenal and remove the trap which proved to be pretty clean.

Still no joy so I snaked the line and again, it seemed clear and clean. After putting it all together,I ran some water and very quickly it backed up.

The next step involved unscrewing the cap on the cheater valve. That wasn't such a smart move as a bunch of water poured out the top of the pipe, much to my wife's disgust.

I have three valves and a main one through which everything exits. The galley valve we leave permanently open. It has a little give in it but I don't think the cable is loose.The tank is sealed so there's no drain plug visible to me.

Fwiw, the sensors show all tanks full.

 

It seems to me that there is a vacuum in the line and my current thinking is that there is a valve somewhere that is stuck either in the vent or outside the tank or maybe some kind of blockage in the tank.

 

I'm at a loss. I've managed to schedule a plumber for next Wednesday, which is the earliest I can get - seems to be RV plumbing gravy time as us snowbirds start heading north.

Am I missing something terribly obvious?

 

Marc

 

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Marc, you said you took the cap of of the "cheater valve".  Did you take the valve itself off or was your line capped where the valve should have been?   The other place I would tear into is where you galley line drains into the main line and check that blade valve there.  Don't trust the feel of the cable.  Get to the valve and put vice grips on the blade and pull it.    Good luck.

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 I would second getting to the valve itself to make sure it is opening.

 

 I have found a way to clean some clogged drains by putting a cup or so of Simple green into the drain from the sink. Letting it sit for a day. This is for the sink to the gray tank. I do use this treatment once or so a year for prevention. I have done a test on gray water scum and real black water to watch how Simple green reacts over several days. It does dissolve a fair amount of the fiscal solids.

 

 But what you are saying I think is that it is open to the tank. Now I have had toilets seem open to the tank with a snake. But the snake went trough the plug sorta easy and then when removed the plug closed up again.

 

 You may have a blockage after the valve before it enters the 3" discharge line.

 

 Just a thought ,.     Vern

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1 hour ago, Pat & Pete said:

Try a plunger .

Sounds like things are WAY beyond that stage.

It really sounds like it is a vent issue.  Sometimes there is a vent that is used and placed in the wall.  Not sure if so in this case, but if hidden, you wont know its there.  Have you tried the snake through the roof vent?  Although that usually goes to the tank, not the drains, but might me an item to check.

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47 minutes ago, rpsinc said:

Sounds like things are WAY beyond that stage.

It really sounds like it is a vent issue.  Sometimes there is a vent that is used and placed in the wall.  Not sure if so in this case, but if hidden, you wont know its there.  Have you tried the snake through the roof vent?  Although that usually goes to the tank, not the drains, but might me an item to check.

A plunger would have been my first step and likely solved the problem in record time .

Nothing I've read in this thread tells me it's a vent problem .

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To recap:

Yes, the plunger in a dual sink did make a bit of a mess but didn't uncover or unblock anything. Words to the wise - there is a time for a softly softly approach and this was it.

Yes, I did remove the cheater valve itself. In fact I bought another one out of sheer blind hope.

On Monday I've scheduled a tank cleaning so maybe, just maybe, the little camera thingummybob will uncover something. At least I'll be able to trust the sensor readings for a couple of weeks 😉

 

Marc

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2 hours ago, Darryl&Rita said:

Plunger in a dual sink, like a kitchen sink, requires some finesse to avoid a bath. 

Sorry , I thought that was a given ( plug one side while plunging the other ). Didn't mean for any messes to be made . 

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On 4/13/2019 at 7:07 AM, Pat & Pete said:

Try a plunger .

Already did...I'm pretty confident that whatever blockage there is - if there is - is way beyond the sink.

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Problem solved. There was a build up of crud in one of the hair pin bends of the flexi plumb lines.  The plumber managed to access the entry point to the tank which was an adventure in itself. He said that my use of the snake might well have compacted it rather than breaking it up.

 

Lesson learned: Be very careful with what goes down the sink. Food particles, no matter how small, eventually  build up. Add a little grease to compound the issue and eventually you have a blockage. Murphy's law applies here - any blockage will be found in the most difficult place to access.

Thankfully we have flow now. Moving on....

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19 hours ago, aziamaiza said:

Lesson learned: Be very careful with what goes down the sink. Food particles, no matter how small, eventually  build up. Add a little grease to compound the issue and eventually you have a blockage. Murphy's law applies here - any blockage will be found in the most difficult place to access.

Glad you got your problem solved.

In addition to wiping dishes & pans before washing, stainless steel sink strainers will really help to keep food particles from going down the drain.  Used in the shower drain, it also helps keep hair from going down the drain.

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Yes, I feel it's important to leave a happy ending. I've waded through enough tech forums looking for answers only to find none and sometimes ending up even more confused than I started.

 

And yes, we do use the strainer but micro bits still get through. Perhaps the previous owner ate a lot of Kentucky fried chicken 😉

 

M

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