Places You Don’t Want to Hear Water

I was excited for Friday last week, as I had the day off work, and I was looking forward to getting closer to having the house all ready to go for Thanksgiving. I got up and got some chores out of the way, and I was just getting ready to get down to some cleaning when I heard it.


Not just trickling, really. More of a “constant flow of water falling.” That’s a beautiful noise out in nature. Calm. Peaceful. But in your house, where you don’t have any water features installed? It’s not exactly a noise that brings a spring to your step. MC had been having a bath in our new tub, so I thought perhaps there was just something strange about the way it drained. A new noise I wasn’t familiar with.

I followed the sound all the way to the basement, where I discovered a steady flow of water coming out from my crawlspace into the main part of my basement. Thankfully I have a sump pump there, so the water wasn’t accumulating too much, but it definitely wasn’t designed to be coming from the crawlspace. I took out my phone (for its flashlight) and clambered down into the depths of the area below my kitchen and bathroom.

It didn’t take long to discover the problem. The drain pipe from the kitchen sink to the main drain had come unattached. And the drain from the tub to the main drain wasn’t venting the right way, which made it so all the water from the tub was flowing up through the pipes (instead of down through them) and out that detached pipe and into my crawlspace. It must have been doing that for a while. I have no idea how long.

This is why doing your own plumbing can come with some . . . risks.

On the plus side, I knew how to fix this, more or less. It involved a trip to the hardware store for some more PVC glue, as well as some PVC supports to make sure the problem doesn’t happen again. (I had failed to properly support that pipe, and I think it came detached at some point when I was monkeying around with everything down there.)

Of course, once I had that glued together properly, I discovered that the drain area of the tub was also leaking. I had helpfully put a bunch of spray foam around there, so I had to scrape all of that out, which ended up being the problem: the spray foam was pushing up against the tub and loosening the seal that was supposed to be there.

In any case, the leaks are fixed, and this evening I’m going to tackle the venting issue to make sure the drains all do what they’re supposed to do. And all it’s taken is 4 hours or so of my life. Kind of like The Machine in the Princess Bride, except dirtier.

Here’s hoping the venting goes more smoothly . . .


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