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Plumbed in drain slow problem
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Discussions > Espresso > Machines > Plumbed in drain...  
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jfeniello
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Posted Sat Apr 5, 2014, 5:46am
Subject: Plumbed in drain slow problem
 

Hi,
I just plumbed in my Alex Duetto II.  I'm having some issues with the drain.  I plumbed it in with 1/2" tubing.  It runs out the back of the drip tray catch tray, under the machine, to a hole i cut in the countertop.  Then it runs to the right for about 6 feet, at a slight decline, into a drain tube under the sink.

The problem is the black plastic thing under the drip tray fills up and over flows.  Its not clogged anywhere along.  If i lift the front of the machine 2 or 3 inches, it drains perfectly.  Where the hose attaches to the machine, is the highest point of the hose.  It may have a little issue where it bends to go down into the counter top, then under the countertop where it turns right (issue meaning it may go slightly up hill at that point.  I thought of adding a T where it goes into the counter top with a vent hose sticking straight up, but it doesn't seem like a vent issue since it doesn't garble or anything when lifting the front of the machine.

Any thoughts?

thanks,
-jim
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boar_d_laze
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Posted Sat Apr 5, 2014, 6:43am
Subject: Re: Plumbed in drain slow problem
 

Three things are more probable than not.  It could be something other than one of these, but that's unlikely.  

  1. The problem is internal.  Check to make sure the machine's drain functions properly when the machine is level.  Disconnect the drain line, put the machine up on blocks, set a small dish under the hookup and pour water into the drip tray.  If the water doesn't back up, the problem is with the external drain line installation;    
  2. You have a kink in your line which is straightened out when you lift the machine.  It seems likely that it's at or near the connection point, but anywhere along the line is possible; or most probably
  3. You don't have enough slope.  Since almost any downward slope is enough for the purpose -- if that's the problem -- at some point, your line is not running down hill.  Start by looking for slack in the drain hose which disappears when you lift the machine.  If it's not there, keep looking along the entire length of the line.  Even the shallowest "U" is unacceptable.  

If, after trying the obvious tricks, you still can't isolate the cause of your misery, consider replacing your current tubing with clear -- so you can see where the back up begins.  

Finally, get a bigger hammer.

Rich
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frcn
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frcn
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Posted Sat Apr 5, 2014, 7:00am
Subject: Re: Plumbed in drain slow problem
 

Instead of bending the line, install 90 degree barb fittings.
What "drain tube" does it run into? There maybe an air block there.
An air gap might help matters.
I have a plumbed machine, but when I started looking into plumbing the drain correctly and safely, I gave up on teh idea and just use a 3 gallon bottle behind the cart.

 
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__________
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Posted Sat Apr 5, 2014, 8:41am
Subject: Re: Plumbed in drain slow problem
 

Clear tubing is a very good idea - especially if you get the stuff that has a spiral metal reinforcement built into it - It look like a spring enmeshed in the plastic pipe wall, and it stops any kinks forming.  I don't know what the technical term for it is. It came as part of the plumb-out fitting kit included with my machine and has worked flawlessly.  It is only about 50cm long though, and drops directly under the machine into a vertical stand pipe (to provide an air gap), which then flows into permanently installed 38mm standard plastic drainpipe. (I had the advantage of refitting my kitchen at the time I bought the machine, and being able to do things properly for once.)

If it is flexible tubing you are using, my money would be on there not being a consistent or sufficient gradient, especially if it works when you lift the machine a little.  1/2 tube is quite narrow for a drain 6 feet long and it would require only a small problem to stop it working.

I would try to avoid any fittings in the line - there is always a risk of grounds getting caught up in the joins.
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frcn
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frcn
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Posted Sat Apr 5, 2014, 8:58am
Subject: Re: Plumbed in drain slow problem
 

There was a discussion on plumbing a few years ago on HB. A fellow said a plumber once told him, "Kid. There's only thee things you need to know about plumbing. Cold on the right, hot on the left, and S$#@ doesn't flow uphill." With your drain setup the first thing to suspect is the drop in the line, and it likely is insufficient for the length of the run. Add even a short run where the tube is rising instead of dropping, and the friction of the water along the length of the line, and it really does not take much to stop the flow. Add a bit of muck buildup in the line, and suddenly your shoes are brown!

 
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arcade
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Posted Sat Apr 5, 2014, 9:28am
Subject: Re: Plumbed in drain slow problem
 

IMHO, use 3/4" tubing. Is it connected to a sink drain? If so, you need to trap the line to prevent gas from coming into your living space. Unless it connects above an existing trap.
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gregdreg
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gregdreg
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Posted Sat Apr 5, 2014, 9:55am
Subject: Re: Plumbed in drain slow problem
 

I was having the exact same problem when I plumbed my machine, make sure there are no sections of your drain hose that angle uphill and make the hose taut as possible. I eneded up using 5/8" clear tubing BTW
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lparsons21
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Posted Sat Apr 5, 2014, 10:11am
Subject: Re: Plumbed in drain slow problem
 

gregdreg Said:

I was having the exact same problem when I plumbed my machine, make sure there are no sections of your drain hose that angle uphill and make the hose taut as possible. I eneded up using 5/8" clear tubing BTW

Posted April 5, 2014 link

I had the plastic with wire inside that I got from chriscoffee for about 7 years.  Just replaced it with 5/8" clear with what appears to be nylon criss-crossed in it.  Because of the stiffness of this new line, it was a battle to keep the angles working ever down even slightly.

To the OP, it almost is certainly a combo of that 1/2" ID line and your slope that is causing it to flow to slowly which backs up in the little drain tray.

 
Lloyd
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