Imagine my surprise when I came home from work one freezing cold evening and found water flooding my basement. I ran to turn off the water and then I called the plumber. Even though it was late in the evening, the plumber immediately came to my house and fixed the busted water line. The plumber told me that I could have prevented my water line from freezing and busting if I had winterized the pipes. After researching various methods, I insulated the pipes so they won't freeze again. My name is Joel Hampton and this blog is about the different ways to winterize your plumbing pipes to keep them from freezing. Coming home to a basement filled with water is a nightmare and I hope that after reading the information in my blog, it won't happen to you.
If you're remodeling part of your home to form a guest unit or separate unit for a tenant, you have three options regarding sink and drain installation. Which one you choose can affect your plumbing greatly because one option in particular can lead to many clogged-drain issues. If you want to avoid having to call out a plumber to unclog a drain all the time, take a look at why this one option is so problematic, and why the other two are the better routes to take.
Providing a Bathroom Sink -- and Nothing Else
Obviously, in a guest unit you're going to have some standard plumbing, such as a toilet and shower facilities. But in many small guest units or partitioned rental rooms, owners often install just one bathroom-style sink, reasoning that they'll simply rent the place to someone who doesn't cook much or that tenant can wash dishes in the bathroom sink.
This is not good for the plumbing because any food particles left on dishes -- and even if you wipe out food residue before washing, you're invariably going to have at least a little left on the dishes to be washed down the drain -- can clog a bathroom-sink-style drain very easily. Bathroom sink drains handle hair, soap scum, and hard water scum already, and those alone can make drains slow rapidly. These drains are much narrower than those found in kitchen-style sinks, so it doesn't take much matter to cause a problem.
And if you're thinking that you'll state that no cooking is allowed, you're still going to have to contend with microwaved or canned goods or someone sneaking in a hot plate. You have to assume that at some point, food matter is heading down the drain, even if it's hot cocoa residue from a paper cup.
Providing a Kitchen Sink Only
If there's only enough room in the unit to provide one sink, go for a kitchen-style sink located outside the bathroom. These drains are much better equipped to handle food matter. If there's one sink, the kitchen-style sink may still have to handle soap scum and all the other materials put down a bathroom sink. But the wider drain will make it less likely that the sink will clog up frequently. You'll still need to set down some rules for the tenant about what can go down the drain, but there will be less worry involved about always having to call out plumbers.
Providing Both a Kitchen and a Bathroom Sink
This is obviously the better option of the three. The tenant can use both sinks as he or she normally would in a typical apartment. Handsoap scum will stay in the bathroom, food matter will stay in the kitchen, and clog issues should not be any worse (assuming the tenant doesn't break things) than they would be in your own part of the house.
If you'd like to find out more about drain types and preventing frequent clogs that necessitate calls for emergency plumbing help, talk to plumbers who offer emergency service, like South Side Plumbing & Heating Co. Inc. They can tell you what they've seen regarding guest-unit plumbing and which setups may be optimal for the space you have.