09:00AM | 09/06/06
Member Since: 09/05/06
1 lifetime posts
Hi all:

We recently had a problem at our martial arts school. The buidling owners shut off the water for two days looking for a leak. During that time, one of our students turned the sink knob on and left it on. The drain was open, but the water cut back on when no one was around and the school flooded.

My question is given that it wasn't clogged or stopped up, shouldn't the drain have been able to handle the water coming out, even if the spigots were all the way open?

Also, can someone direct me to a link that has a full explaination of the physics behind it--i.e. a rate of water flow for most sinks and the drain rate capacity?


Neil Melancon


04:30PM | 09/06/06
Member Since: 01/24/06
1626 lifetime posts
Me office1
Hi Neil, here is some ammo you can use.

Fixtures are based on fixture units

A FU is the amount of water that can be drained in a minute.

The basin is considered ONE FIXTURE unit which is 7.48 gallons (one cubic foot)

In other words if one should open the faucet and let it run the waste line if clear and not to many fittings on the waste (friction loss) then the fixture should allow one faucet to be open fully open and drain providing the pop up is not restricting the flow.

Forget flow charts just look up your local code unless you want to get into some serious calculations which I can razzle and dazzle you with.

Just remove the stopper /pop up and open the CW full blast and see it flows without reaching the over flow opening

ALSO listen for a gurgling sound as this means either a partical blockage or poor venting and this could cause the sink not to carry away the water as it was designed.

Further more any plumber who shuts water and then turns it back on should listen to make sure it stops OR the very least check the water meter after a few minutes to make sure there was enough time fro the toilet tanks to refill THEN if he/she continues to hear water flowing SHUT THE VALVES and start looking around for an open faucet.

I fired more then one employee for shutting off a building turning on the water and then getting a call about water cascading down the stairwells and ceilings.

I work in a lot of high rise CO-OP's over 27 stories high and can you imagine if I turned off a riser and took it for granted that some tenant did not try the water and say oh well and leave it on and leave that I would not be held partially accountable.

When possible I give the bigger buildings at least a 24 HR notice that water will be shut off and post signs in the elevator and lobby and send a man around to physically knock on every door that is connected to the riser in question.

Common sense plumbing 101 open valve SLOWLY wait till you hear it stop if not find out WHY it is not stopping.


08:24PM | 09/07/06
Member Since: 09/06/06
4 lifetime posts

Why were you & your students occupying a commercial space when there was no working source of potable water and no usable sanitary facilities? Is this not a violation of your state's Health Code and also your local Plumbing Code? If so, I would venture to opine that you as the legal tenant is 100% liable for any and all property damage incurred due to the negligence of your client while you were illegally occupying your lease space. As to your request for further information I would recommend reading the IAPMO Uniform Plumbing Code, ASPE DataBook, The Fluid Mechanics & Dynamics Problem Solver by REA, and also obtain a copy of the Cameron Hydraulic Data book published by Ingersoll Rand.


01:35PM | 09/08/06
Member Since: 01/24/06
1626 lifetime posts
Me office1
Come on Nascar, any plumber who works on a plumbing system (water) that has been off for any length of time would, SHOULD listen as they open the valves slowly to make sure there is nothing open.

Granted folks do open a faucet and seeing nothing coming out often just walk away BUT the final responsibility I would think was the plumber for not listening and checking the meter to make sure there was no continues flow.

Would you just open a gas valve on a riser and take it for granted that no one left a stove or oven on?

This would be a judgement call and I honestly think most LMP's would check to make sure there is nothing left open before leaving the job site.

How about we post it on my list(PIPDL) and see what the responce is
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