November 1995 Edition

How Do You Vent An Island Sink

We are remodeling our kitchen and want to install an island sink. How do you vent the plumbing drain for the sink?   
The plumbing vents are very important for the proper flow of water down the drain. They prevent air pressure from building up in front of draining waste and slowing the flow. Vents also let air in behind the flow of waste to keep the water in the trap from being sucked out, and prevent sewer gas from escaping through the sink drain.            
Most sinks are located in front of a wall and the plumbing vent runs up inside the wall directly behind the sink. When you install an island sink, there is no wall for the vent. One of the solutions to this problem is a new product called an “air admittance valve”. The valve is located inside the base cabinet and replaces the need for a vent pipe that must run up through the roof. This valve opens and admits fresh air into the drain when negative pressure occurs by water running down the sink drain. This equalizes the pressure within the system and the trap seals are protected. Once this equalization is complete, the valve seals tight by gravity, preventing sewer gases from escaping through the valve. 
One type, that is currently being used around Atlanta, is the Studor “Mini-Vent”. They are allowed for kitchen sinks, vanity sinks, laundry sinks, washing machine drains, just about any location except sewage ejectors and sump pumps. The valves must be exposed and you are not allowed to cover them up or conceal them inside a wall. The “Mini Vent” is approved by the 1991 Standard Plumbing Code and the 1992 CABO One and Two Family Dwelling Code and is available for use with PVC piping in sizes from 1 1/4” up to 2”. For more information, contact Studor, Inc. at 1-800-447-4721. 

Loose Handrail Newel Post 

Our stair handrail has loose newel posts and we would like to know how to secure them?            
If you have access to the underside of the post, the best way is to run 3” screws or lag bolts straight up thru the plywood subflooring into the bottom of the newel post. Drill pilot holes, the same size as the screws or bolts, thru the subflooring. This will allow you to tighten into the newel post. Be sure to use washers on the fasteners.
Most of the time you do not have access from underneath. One of the solutions would be to drill a pilot hole, just a little larger than the screw head, at a 45 to 60 degree angle on all four sides of the post. Drill it deep enough to recess the heads of the screws just inside the post. Then drill a pilot hole, the same size as the screws, all the way through the post. Be careful not to drill into the subflooring. This will allow you to tighten the screws into the subflooring and not into the post. When you are finished, you can fill the holes with wood filler or install wood trim around the bottom to cover the holes.

Repairing Nail Pops

Our home has several areas where the nails have popped out of the drywall. How do we repair these areas?           
First of all, if the nails are just causing a bulge in the finish and have not popped the joint compound off, just take a 6” wide putty knife and lay it flat over the bump. Rap the putty knife with a hammer over the bump. This should smooth out the area without any further repair.           
If the joint compound is missing and the nail head is exposed, just drive the nail back in, recessing the head, and apply new joint compound over the indentation. Sand and paint.  

Preserving Older Homes

We purchased a home in the Inman Park area and would like to restore the home to it’s original condition. Can you recommend any sources of information for older homes?           
Here are several sources of information on restoring older homes: 
1. “Old House Journal” published by the Old House Journal Corporation, 2 Main Street, Gloucester, MA 01930; (508) 283-3200. A subscription is around $24.00 per year. To order call (800) 234-3797. 
2. “Catalog of Historic Preservation Publications” and “Directory of Training Opportunities in Cultural Resource Management.” Write to the Preservation Assistance Division, National Park Service, PO Box 37127, Washington, DC 20013-7127; (202) 343-9578. 
3. In the October 1992 issue of “Historic Preservation News” is a listing of programs and schools that deal with preservation crafts and trades training. Check your local
library or write: National Trust for Historic Preservation, 1785 Massachusetts Avenue N.W., Washington, DC 20036; (202) 673-4000.
Source: The Family Handyman, September 1993.

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