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#1
Old 04-11-2006, 09:46 AM
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Bathroom pipes connected to Kitchen pipes?

My friend at work lives in a high rise condo, it's old, but not that old, probably 1960's. She was out with us when this incident occured. Apparently, her neighbor had a blockage in his bathroom, I'm guessing sink, but from the results, it could have easily been the toilet. The building engineer used a high pressure blast to clear the blockage. This resulted in an explosion in my friend's kitchen. In short, her entire place smells like someone took a monster dump in it. There are chuncks of what she claims is fecal matter all over her kitchen, along with brownish liquid and splatter marks everywhere. She took pictures of it and everything. They cleaned up the apartment last night, but it still smells even with the windows open all night.

So, is this possible? Is the bathroom pipe connected to the kitchen pipes, vice versa? What else could cause that stench and destruction?
#2
Old 04-11-2006, 09:54 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Salt Lake County
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Yes. Drains in the same building all connect. They all go to the same place.

It's more common in a multi-level apartment building to have a common floor plan and all the kitchens lining up to the same vertical drain pipe, ditto all the bathrooms.
#3
Old 04-11-2006, 10:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mazinger_z

So, is this possible? Is the bathroom pipe connected to the kitchen pipes, vice versa? What else could cause that stench and destruction?
Yes. It's common to have the same drain serve both the kitchen and the bathroom.

It's not common to use a high pressure blast (of air, I presume?) to clear drain pipes, as they are not designed to be pressurized. Using a pipe snake from a cleanout is the way to do it.

Man, that would suck. It could only be worse if your friend was standing at the sink when it happened.
#4
Old 04-11-2006, 10:26 AM
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Location: Bedrock
Posts: 26,079
How many weeks is your friend going to let scalding water run through those pipes before using them again?

The condo association owes him/her a bottled water supply for as long as he's/ she's a tennant there.
#5
Old 04-11-2006, 10:37 AM
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Location: Somewhere near Boston
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lieu
How many weeks is your friend going to let scalding water run through those pipes before using them again?

The condo association owes him/her a bottled water supply for as long as he's/ she's a tennant there.
Just in case you're really confused over this, the sewage must have come out of the kitchen drain , not the faucet. Put a blockage downstream of wherever the waste pipes merge, and this is not an unexpected result.

Still, my enthusiasm for using that kitchen would be pretty low.
#6
Old 04-11-2006, 10:44 AM
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Holy crap! (no pun intended) So, it is possible? So, does incoming water use those same pipes, too? I doubt it. Aren't they under pressure, and/or a distinct separate part of the plumbing system?

I don't do civil litigation, and property law was never a specialty/interest of mine, but this should be a condition to break the lease, I would imagine. My friend is super-clean, like OCD clean. She couldn't even sleep at her place last night. Oh, and yes, it was high pressure air blast that was used.
#7
Old 04-11-2006, 10:50 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Wisconsin, Untied States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mazinger_z
Holy crap! (no pun intended) So, it is possible? So, does incoming water use those same pipes, too? I doubt it. Aren't they under pressure, and/or a distinct separate part of the plumbing system?
Have you seen a sink? The water comes out of the thing with the handles on it and the drain is at the bottom of the fixture. Drain and water supply not being connected.
#8
Old 04-11-2006, 10:51 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Lovely Montclair, NJ
Posts: 12,439
The supply pipes and waste pipes are entirely separate systems.

All of the waste pipes have to come together eventually, since you have only one connection to the sewer. Usually, this is done at convenient places in the design, and using connections that minimize backing up into other drains. Introduce a clog, lets say 1ft past a connection, and pump in a bunch of pressure, all the stuff behind the clog will go up the line to the other drain. Stupid, stupid way to get rid of a clog, but fast, which is good for the lazy super.

I once had a clog past a joint, it resulted in kitchen water backing up into my bathtub. The sink and tub shared a wall, so their linkup was pretty close to the drains.
#9
Old 04-11-2006, 10:55 AM
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Location: GA
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You'd be surprised at how bad the gunk in your kitchen sink drain can smell if it gets blown back up into your living space.

-rainy
#10
Old 04-11-2006, 10:55 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: SLC, USA
Posts: 4,086
Quote:
Originally Posted by mazinger_z
Holy crap! (no pun intended) So, it is possible? So, does incoming water use those same pipes, too? I doubt it. Aren't they under pressure, and/or a distinct separate part of the plumbing system?
The incoming water and the drain system are two completely separate systems. They do not interconnect in any way.

What happened in your friend's case (apparently) is that the use of pressure to clear the blockage in another apartment caused sewage and other drain water to come out of the drain pipes in your friend's sink.

The water coming out of the faucets is still clean water (although it would be a good idea to thoroughly wash the faucets themselves).
#11
Old 04-11-2006, 10:50 AM
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Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Bedrock
Posts: 26,079
Ah, obviously I was. Thanks Finagle. Like you say though, I too am not feeling much better about the friend's situation. That building engineer has some explaining to do. Who in their right mind pressurizes unpressurized pipes?
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