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Kitchen flat flooded from backflow - Help!

Postby cynic » Sun Feb 22, 2009 3:06 am


I'm a newbie and have trawled the site but can see my little drama on here. So i'm hoping some of you guys can shed some light and help me.

-I live on the ground floor of a 3 storey block of flats (shared ownership)
-my kitchen floor and underneath kitchen sink is being flooded by dirty looking water (but often discover it in the morning when I've not been using anything at night)!!

-I unscrewed all fittings and pipes under sink that were'nt sealed and there is no obvious blockage
-had a handyman around (he ahhhed and ummmed)
-had my dad inspect

-kitchen floor and under sink often soaking wet in AM
-this happened once 6mths ago and I just thought my mate had buggered something up in kitchen
-last weds it did it again, then this morning
-the w/m tube is connected to a vertical plastic pipe (looks like the weak link)
-have put soda crystals down sink and ran washing machine on a rinse with them in which flooded my kitchen from backflow up vertical w/m pipe
-also water bubbled and erupted into both sinks
-no major probs with my toilet

-near the end of the machine cycle (10mins to go on a 30min wash) there was vibration in w/m vertical pipe and the water erupted from the top of the hose (which is only in partially as it has 'two hands' to fix it )
-my piping is like this ... 2 sinks main and sml on left
-piping straight under main sink with D shape connection pipe too
-then main foot long horizontal pipe
-that connects the u bend that links the vertical pipe to w/m hose
(I can post pics if that helps?!)

I also opened both viewing chambers outside and 2 side of flat. Worked out which was mine and they both looked clear (big long chimney type things with 3 tunnels at bottom )

-today discovered that if my upstairs neighbour runs water into her sink it comes out of my left hand side pipe (discovered as Dad was trying to screw it back on when it happened)
-defo looks like it's not a blockage in my sink

-could it be that the waste pipe to the main drain to me is blocked and that is why i'm getting backflow?
-i'm really worried that if all the peo in my block use the w/m at night i'll wake up afloat on my bed!
-rang housing association (I part own property) and they really seem not bothered
-I've stressed it just happens to be me that has the problem but I suspect it's somewhere in external pipes as the backflow when I used the washing machine was long in coming
-my next door ground floor neighbour has no probs
- I do use calgon to reduce limescale in wash machine
-i've put a sign up in flats asking anyone else to say if their having a prob too so we can ambush the housing association to investigate (e.g I can't get dynarod etc in as it's not my external property to go routing around)
-if so what is the solution? (there's no way to see where pipes are going they go to left into wall leading to communal hall I think and disappear in a wall)?

It's a 4 year new build Bellway property in London

Any advice? Sound like a common problem? relatively easy to fix?
My reponsibility or water board??

Any thoughts or questions v welcome as I'm getting worried all the flat's waste is coming back up into my kitchen

ta :?
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Postby nitro23456 » Sun Feb 22, 2009 4:20 pm

I am a little confused with your issue I'm affraid. So this is just a problem with your washing machine stand pipe as you said the sinks and toilets are fine?

If this is the case it may blocked

Also why is you neighbours waste pipe routed through your property?! can you explain the left hand pipe and what this is.

Have you got any pictures?
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Postby cynic » Tue Feb 24, 2009 12:14 am

Yep - more info.

Housing assoc contractor drain team finally came out. Then called their Director out on sunday. They attempted to blast all the nearby viewing stack pipes outside property. Ended up flooding someone elses bathroom.

After they left it's worse. Now my dish water v v slow draining away. Any water my 2 upstairs same side neighbours pour down their sinks (or washing machines) is gurgling and coming back up into my 2 sinks and bursing out of standpipe where the w/m flexi cable is lodged in top. The force of backflow causes it to leak.

here's some pics. The contractors now want to hack into my cupboards and walls (sometime later this week....??!!) to blast down there.

I'd rather we have plans of drains/ plumbing for and flats so we know what leads where and use cameras and tracers 1st.

Any ideas ...I suspect it is major works but housing assoc is liable as shared area (pipes and drains) are their prob.

Luckily neighbours have been kind and are holding off using their washing machines and pouring water down their sink as long as poss but I think this needs a really speedy resolution. It's a health and safety issue - we can't basically wash up or clean clothes and I have dirty water in sink and floor.

Any ideas? I'm thinking underground plumbing never correctly fitted or a soil sack has folded ?

I did a mini survery of all other ground floor flats and they've all had odd probs at one time (2yrs ago) or more recently.

All v worrying....

Pics added where poss (I like to take evidence - the contracters are v Clint Eastwood!!).

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