Help please. Issue with basement sink pumps.

Discussion in 'General Plumbing Help' started by Btseagle98, Aug 16, 2019 at 2:39 AM.

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  1. Aug 16, 2019 at 2:39 AM #1

    Btseagle98

    Btseagle98

    Btseagle98

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    I have two sinks in my basement. Each of them are plumbed into separate pumps which send waste into the homes main drain.

    The hallway kitchenette sink is connected to its own pump located in the adjacent closet. That closet smells HORRIBLE and is actually causing the entire basement to stink.

    Across the hallway I have a restroom. The fixtures in that restroom are connected to their own, larger, submersed pump in another closet.

    When you turn on the water to the hallway kitchenette sink you hear the pump turn on as it’s working, but then, within a minute or less, the restroom sink across the hall turns into a geyser and some very foul smelling water is being splashed out onto the floor/wall. The water quickly drains from that sink with no further issue once you turn the kitchenette sink off across the hall.

    No other sinks/showers in the house seem to be affected.

    I can run the restroom sink and shower as long as I want with no issues at all. The geyser only occurs in the restroom sink (not shower) when you turn the kitchenette sink across the hallway on.

    Any thoughts or suggestions?

    I made a video and took photos to try and attach to this post but I cannot figure out how I get that feature to work.
     
  2. Aug 16, 2019 at 5:54 PM #2

    Jeff Handy

    Jeff Handy

    Jeff Handy

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    I think you need lots of pics.
    And you probably need to tell this story again, with a better, more precise description of your issues, current plumbing layout, and cause and effect.
    I could not follow all of it in my head, it seems too rambling of a tale.
    Maybe the sink that is shooting water needs a check valve, somewhere in its drain line, but I can’t picture your whole arrangement with your current description.
     
  3. Aug 16, 2019 at 5:57 PM #3

    Jeff Handy

    Jeff Handy

    Jeff Handy

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    There should be a button at the bottom of the frame, under your post, to “upload a file”, which you can select from your phone.
     
  4. Aug 17, 2019 at 1:59 AM #4

    Diehard

    Diehard

    Diehard

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    Agree that a clearer depiction of exactly what is going on and how things are piped(to the best of your knowledge) would be necessary to help solve the potential problem(s).

    Did these problems just start recently and did they start together?

    It kind of sounds like maybe a partial blockage and/or a pump discharge rate too great for pipe sizes. But if you're getting a restroom sink that turns into a geyser that relies on it drainage to be pumped to the sanitary, it would imply that there is no check valve on the pump discharge.
    Also, in the case of the kitchenette sink causing a HORRIBLE smell. Again, this relies on a pump that is connected to the sanitary system, so something is obviously wrong here. Please indicate if sink is trapped or just flows to a sump with a pump. Is the pump operation controlled with a float and is the sump vented?
    In other words you should try to describe and take pictures of everything you are aware of with the piping and pumps related to both locations and if these pumps are separately connected to the gravity drainage system or are piped together prior to connecting to the gravity system.
     
  5. Aug 17, 2019 at 7:41 PM #5

    Btseagle98

    Btseagle98

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    Ok, attached are a bunch of photos.
    1. Hall/kitchenette sink
    2. The kitchenette sink pump in adjacent closet.
    3 & 4 Photos of where that pumps discharge and vent go up into basement ceiling and across hallway.
    5. Restroom sink across hallway. This sink, toilet and shower sre plumbed into the foundation which then drain into the main basement sump pump pictured in photo number 6.
    6. Main basement sump pump.
    7. Main sump pump discharge and vent.
    8. Photo of main pumps discharge set up.

    Issue:
    When you turn on the kitchenette sink in photo 1, and subsequently when the pump in photo 2 turns on, water then gurgles/shoots up into the sink pictured in photo number 5.

    Independently, the sink in photo number 5 can run as long as you want with zero issues. It drains into the main pump then gets pumped out with no issue.

    The restroom in photo 5, is connected to the basement plumbing that was studded when the house was built.

    Best I can determine is that the dishcharge line from the kitchenette/pump, installed after the House was finished when the basement was finished, is being fed into the drainage line for the sink in the restroom instead of being tapped into the main drain.

    The gurgling/geyser in the restroom sink only occurs once the kitchenette pump activates. The water fills up the restroom sink and then drains with no issue.

    I think it’s just being pumped way to hard/fast for the current configuration so the discharge water is taking the path of least resistance into the restroom sink. Then draining once the kitchennte pump turns off.

    So, Ive determined that I have two options:
    Live with it and not use the kitchenette sink or use it and cleaning up the mess across the hall.

    Option 2...redirect the kitchenette pump discharge into the main drain.

    Your thoughts?


    Also...I’ve noticed a slight difference in the way the two pumps are set up. See photo numbers 2 and 8. The main pump, and every other basement/laundry pump I’ve ever seen has a Ball Valve after the Check Valve.

    The kitchenette pump in photo 2 has no such valve.

    Is that the problem? Would installing the ball valve to slow down the discharge solve the issue? Is it really just an oversight of the installation and that easy of a fix?

    I’m now thinking the best solution would be doing both. Re-route the kitchenette drainage AND install the ball valve.
     

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    Last edited: Aug 17, 2019 at 8:23 PM
  6. Aug 17, 2019 at 9:50 PM #6

    Jeff Handy

    Jeff Handy

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    Your first pic looks to be a sewage or ejector pump setup. Not a sump pump intended to pump ground water or rain water.
    The discharge line is 2”, so this is normal for handling basement bathroom toilet, sink, shower.

    So there might be another regular sump pump down there someplace, but some houses occasionally don’t need one.

    Or they piped the foundation drain into the ejector pump pit, which would be a no-no in my experience.
     
  7. Aug 18, 2019 at 3:00 AM #7

    Diehard

    Diehard

    Diehard

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    Just saw this before getting ready for bed.
    The problem seems pretty obvious to be, "the dishcharge line from the kitchenette/pump, installed after the House was finished when the basement was finished, is being fed into the drainage line for the sink in the restroom instead of being tapped into the main drain."

    As previously asked, "Did these problems just start recently and did they start together?"

    EDIT: If it had been working fine, and no changes were made to the pump capacities, you may have a slight blockage in that line that the Kitchenette pump connects to. And/or something has changed with the rest room sump pump being able to handle that sudden flow from the Kitchenette unit.
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2019 at 3:08 AM
  8. Aug 18, 2019 at 3:24 AM #8

    Btseagle98

    Btseagle98

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    "Did these problems just start recently and did they start together?"

    Honestly...i don’t know.
    I’ve had the house for a year and I honestly think this is the second time I’ve run that sink long enough for the pump to kick in. It may have happened before but I don’t know.

    The only other time I’ve personally run the kitchenette sink is a couple of weeks ago when I turned off and subsequently turned on the main water supply to the house in order to sweat some pipes and install a couple of shut off valves in a separate part of the house. I chalked it up to an anomaly caused by the rush of water when I turned the water back on. I know now that was not correct.

    Then, a couple of nights ago, the smell of stagnant water/sewer gas coming from the kitchenette pump was horrible so i letbthe water run for a minute. That sink is NEVER used.

    That’s when I noticed the gurgling in the restroom sink.

    Then I realized something was not right.

    So, now that we have that out of the way...

    Do you think a ball valve on the kitchenette sink pump dishcharge, to lessen the flow of dishcharge, would help?

    I know tapping the discharge into the main drain will resolve it. That involves removing a lot of the drop ceiling, and aggravation. The actual monetary cost would be about the same.

    Should I do both?

    I’ve honestly never seen one of those pumps set up without a ball valve to regulate the flow of discharge or to shut off the backflow if water in the event of having to repair/replace the pump.
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2019 at 5:18 AM
  9. Aug 18, 2019 at 2:46 PM #9

    wood4d

    wood4d

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    did they put a trap on the kitchenette sink? you shouldnt have any smell unless it went dry. The ball valves are not meant to regulate flow, they should be wide open. The gurgling in the bathroom sink could be because its not vented properly. Seen guys use the pump as the vent if its close enough to the lav.
     

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