Washer Drain Overflow

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This has been working fine, but over time, the connection leaks and it drains out onto the floor before the drain can catch up.
http://i249.photobucket.com/albums/gg234/sammybinsnoozin/drain04.gif
What do you think about adding a tee like this? This way, the drain would still take most of the water, any overflow would be diverted outside and would not have to get into replacing pipes inside the wall.
http://i249.photobucket.com/albums/gg234/sammybinsnoozin/drain05.gif
Another choice is to replace the washer's pump (16 GPM) with a lower flow - if one is available - but now we're taking modifying a washer, $75+ for parts plus installation. If that's the only option, the washer is going to disappear into the night.
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Guv Bob wrote:

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Guv Bob wrote:

Hi, If it was working fine, then I'd think drain pipe has some thing built up restricting water flow. I'd try a auger to see if any thing is in the pipe. Clean it out.
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Guv Bob:
When was the last time you had the main drain line from your house cleared by a plumber?
My guess is that if this washer used to work fine, then what's happened is that the drainage piping in your house has gradually clogged up with solids from your kitchen sink, and it's that partial blockage that's creating the problems.
A washing machine is the canary in the coal mine when it comes to the health of your drain piping. If your washing machine stand pipe backs up, it means the drain piping is partially clogged, and you need to correct this because it could lead to a flooded basement. If rain water comes seeping in through the weeping tiles around your house faster than your drain piping can carry that water away, then the same thing could end up causing your floor drain (catch basin) to back up, causing your basement to flood.
If it were me, I would have the main drain line from your house cleared before you do anything.
If that doesn't solve the problem, then have the plumber clear the drain line for the washer.
If that doesn't solve the problem then splice a GATE valve into the washing machine's drain hose and leave it partially closed to limit the flow out of the washer. Doing this will not harm your washer's water pump. Those pumps have rubber vaned impellers that are made to stand up to pins, buttons and even coins going through them.
--
nestork


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Nestork & Tony Hwang both hit the nail squarely on the head. You might be able to clear the main house line if you have an access point near where th e line exits the house. A hand-operated snake isn't much $$ compared to ha ving a plumber come out. You also should use the snake between the washing machine standpipe and the main house drain, altho that is a much less lkel y spot to clog. But it might, if there is a rough spot anywhere on that dr ain line and your clothes have a lot of loose lint-like material that washe s down the drain each machine cycle.
Please let us know the outcome.
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Guv Bob;3284521 Wrote:

Guv:
I think you meant to say that the OP could replace the pully on the washer's pump with a larger one, thereby getting a lower flow rate cuz of the slower impeller speed.
So far as I know, no appliance company offers multiple pumps for their washing machines. There is normally only one part number for the pump, and so there is normally only one pump available.
--
nestork

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On 9/16/2014 4:43 PM, Guv Bob wrote:

Wrong approach. If it worked properly in the past. it should be fixed as the work-arounds will only allow it to get worse and be even more difficult to fix.
I'd start with an auger and see if it brings up a wad of lint or errant pair of panties. Could be a build up of excess laundry chemicals too.
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This has been working fine, but over time, the connection leaks and it drains out onto the floor before the drain can catch up.
http://i249.photobucket.com/albums/gg234/sammybinsnoozin/drain04.gif
What do you think about adding a tee like this? This way, the drain would still take most of the water, any overflow would be diverted outside and would not have to get into replacing pipes inside the wall.
http://i249.photobucket.com/albums/gg234/sammybinsnoozin/drain05.gif
Another choice is to replace the washer's pump (16 GPM) with a lower flow - if one is available - but now we're taking modifying a washer, $75+ for parts plus installation. If that's the only option, the washer is going to disappear into the night.
== Thanks, fellers. It's been at least 15 years since any drains were cleaned out. I'm calling the www.thesmellgoodplumber.com in the morning.
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In

I agree that since it worked before, the issue may be a clogging or other problem in the sewer line, and calling a plumbing to clean it out is a good idea.
Once, a long time ago when I was a part-time real estate sales person, I sold someone's house and the buyers and I did the final check on the property an hour or two before the closing (always a very important thing to do). They turned on all the water, ran the washing machine and let it fill and then pump out, and when the washing machine pumped out water backed up out of the drain line. The buyers were obviously concerned at the closing, and we worked it out that the title company would hold money in escrow so the buyers could have the problem fixed. It later turned out that the property had a clay sewer pipe underground that was cracked, broken, and partially clogged with dirt etc.
And, just an FYI, I didn't see any traps shown in either design that you posted. Maybe you just didn't include it in the diagram, but if there is no trap, you have a direct opening to the sewer line which will allow sewer gases to enter the property from the stack. Maybe the plumber can look at that and, if needed, add a trap in the line.
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washer,

other

good

I

thing to

fill

backed up

closing,

so

and

you

is no

sewer

look at

Thanks, Tom. I'll check on the trap. Must be one there - I have don't know. I'm hobbling along for the time being. The regular plumber retired and I'm trying to get a referral now.
In the past few years I have had 3 other plumbers over. I really wanted someone professional to do the work because I had other things to do, but was not comfortable with any of them.
One had alcohol on his breath, lied about his license and asked the wrong kind of questions not related to the job.
Second one suggested running water pipes up into the attic and then back down in the garage for a new sink. Didn't make sense because there was a crawl space below where all the connections would be made.
Third one quoted $300+ to replace two shower valve stems. Also did this myself for $20 or so total.
Very discouraging trying to find reliable and knowledgeable workers these days.
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Here's the first try over the weekend, Joe Homeowner...
I checked all drains in the house and all drain normally except washer.
First I tried Drano twice in the washer drain and still too slow. Then connected a Y hose fitting to the drain pipe and ran both hot and cold at full pressure for 20 minutes. Max total flow would be less than the 15 gal/min of the washer pump. Normally cold alon is 6 gal/min and hot is 4 gal/min, so I'm guessing the total was 8-9 gal/min. I did not hear it backing up in the stand pipe.
Then snaked out from 1-1/2-inch cleanout plug from outside near the kitchen sink and it was clear for the 25-ft length of snake I have. Then I ran the hose directed into the cleanout and the most it would handle without backing up was 3-4 gal per minute.
While I was snaking the kitchen drain out, I could tell the drain took a sharp turn around 12 feet in, which is about where I would expect the main line to be. No resistance in the pipe in that 25-ft.
Then I pour a gallon of lye-based drain cleaner in the washer drain and let it sit overnight per instructions. This morning I flush it with hot water for 5-10 minutes per instructions. Then connected hot and cold back up to drain and ran another 20 minutes.
Then I snaked out the washer drain and cannot get past the bend just below the floor. When in and out with it and pulled out a very small amount of lint each time. Kept doing this until there was no more link coming out -- total was not enough to slow the flow. But never did get past that bent.
Then poured a 50/50 mix of lliquid soap and water in the drain and set for 1/2 hour, then flushed out with hot water again.
Still no difference. My bet now is that the blockage is in the main line which is too much of a job for me.
If I had the time and $$, I would seal up the drain standpipe, and run a new drain pipe out the wall to an outide sink plumbed back into the drain.
Any other ideas before I throw in the towel and call a plumber?
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On Monday, September 22, 2014 12:42:18 PM UTC-4, Guv Bob wrote:


onnected a Y hose fitting to the drain pipe and ran both hot and cold at f ull pressure for 20 minutes. Max total flow would be less than the 15 gal/ min of the washer pump. Normally cold alon is 6 gal/min and hot is 4 gal/m in, so I'm guessing the total was 8-9 gal/min. I did not hear it backing u p in the stand pipe.

en sink and it was clear for the 25-ft length of snake I have. Then I ran the hose directed into the cleanout and the most it would handle without ba cking up was 3-4 gal per minute.

sharp turn around 12 feet in, which is about where I would expect the main line to be. No resistance in the pipe in that 25-ft.

et it sit overnight per instructions. This morning I flush it with hot wat er for 5-10 minutes per instructions. Then connected hot and cold back up to drain and ran another 20 minutes.

w the floor. When in and out with it and pulled out a very small amount of lint each time. Kept doing this until there was no more link coming out -- total was not enough to slow the flow. But never did get past that ben t.

r 1/2 hour, then flushed out with hot water again.

e which is too much of a job for me.

new drain pipe out the wall to an outide sink plumbed back into the drain.

If the blockage is in the main line, then you're on borrowed time. Why would you want to Band-Aid that instead of fixing it before the toilets are pouring out into the tub, onto the floor, etc? Did this ever work correctly? If it did, then it's not because of 1 1/2" pipe versus 2" pipe, a design flaw, etc. It's because there is a blockage accumulating somewher e. And it almost alwasys continues to get worse over time.
Regarding Draino and similar, I've tried that many times on various problem s with very little success. I gave up trying to use it years ago.
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In typed:

I think that maybe people are pointing him in the direction of the main sewer line for the house due to the diagram that he originally posted:
http://i249.photobucket.com/albums/gg234/sammybinsnoozin/drain04.gif
The diagram looked like the washer pump-out hose goes all the way into the main stack and pumps the washer waste water directly into the stack rather than through any smaller lines leading to the stack. It shows the end of the washer pump-out hose as being inside the main sewer stack. So, if that is the setup that he has, snaking out the smaller line that the washer hose is placed inside wouldn't do anything.
That is one reason why I would think the problem may be due to the main stack and main sewer line not being able to handle the high-volume outflow from the washer hose without eventually backing up.
And, it was that diagram that made me think that he does not have any trap in that setup to prevent sewer gases from backing up around the washer outlet hose.
But, maybe his diagram is not clear or correct, or maybe I am misinterpreting the diagram.
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On Monday, September 22, 2014 2:50:12 PM UTC-4, TomR wrote:

I took that diagram just to be somewhat representative of what he has. But even in that diagram, IDK how you can assume that it's the main stack. The pipe is labled as being 1 1/2" steel. The vertical part appears to be exactly the same size, not the size of a main stack.
So, if that is

The whole thing looks to be exactly the same size, ie 1 1/2".

If it's a main sewer line blockage, I would think he would have other evidence of a problem, eg problems flushing toilets, water backing up into lower drains, eg bathtub, etc.

I didn't take that diagram to be exactly what he has, only that he has the washer drain going into somekind of pipe. I doubt he had one drafted to match whatever he has. But I was also wondering where the trap is.

I don't think it's *his* diagram. Did he really go to the trouble to draw it? I would think it's just something he found that looks somewhat similar.
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typed:

that

main

the

rather

of the

that is

hose is

main

outflow

trap

I was wrong about the draining.... the washer drains into a blind standpipe - no vent up above. Below is a p-trap, although I could not get the snake to get past it.
After checking max flow at various drains, I think you're probably right - some kind of blockage in the main drain. So a good rooting out is probably needed.
However, the washer spec calls for 2-inch pipe minimum. So even if the main is cleaned out, I suspect it would still back up in the stand pipe.
In any case, I'm thinking about running as large a diameter pipe over the washer as is room for and making a solid connection with the washer drain hose. Then let the pipe drain out naturally into the standpipe.
That would give me a place to put a lint strainer inline also without the danger of backing up and out on the floor.
What do you think about this?....
http://i249.photobucket.com/albums/gg234/sammybinsnoozin/DRAIN06.gif
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On Monday, September 22, 2014 4:55:20 PM UTC-4, Guv Bob wrote:

I don't see what that solves. If there is a a partially plugged pipe somewhere, why wouldn't the water just back up and come out the "breather hole"? Is that trap accessible?
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In typed:

Oh I see. You are probably right. I just took the vertical pipe to be the main stack, but I see now that it could just as well be some smaller diameter vertical pipe.
My thinking about the main sewer line is just along the lines of what I have seen before where a main line is cracked or broken underground but still allows most drain fluid to go through, but may back up with a high-flow pump sending water into the drain line faster than it can accommodate. I had that happen on a house that I sold (as a Realtor) years ago for a seller, and the buyers discovered the problem during the final walk-through on the morning of the closing when they ran everything and it all worked fine -- until they also ran the washer pump out rinse water. That's when things backed up, and it later turned out to be a cracked underground sewer line (clay, I think).
Without being there, or maybe seeing a digital photo of the connection that his diagram depicts, it may be hard to figure out what is going on.
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In typed:

PS: trader4,
You're right. I just saw that bost of his diagrams refer to the vertical pipe as a 1 1/2 in drain standpipe. He also just wrote that the 1 1/2 inch vertical standpipe does not vent at the top, and that he wasn't able to get a snake past a trap that is further down in that 1 1/2 inch line. So, yes, it sounds like a problem in that 1 1/2 inch line, not the main sewer line.
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typed:

http://i249.photobucket.com/albums/gg234/sammybinsnoozin/drain04.gif

stack

vertical

inch

to get

yes,

line.
Thanks. I'll keep trying with the snake. It's handing up on something solid at the same place each time. I tried rotating backwards but no better. I'm snaking thru the stand pipe, so I'll go up on the roof and try the vent.
Even if that clears it and the drain lines are in good shape, the drain line is still too small for that kind of flow rate. I'm going ahead with teeing in some kind of overflow reservoir or overflow pipe out the wall for insurance. Much easier than replumbing.
This would keep most of the water going down the drain and let the overflow drain back when it clears.
http://i249.photobucket.com/albums/gg234/sammybinsnoozin/drain07.gif
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On Monday, September 22, 2014 5:38:04 PM UTC-4, Guv Bob wrote:

1 1/2" drain line can't handle a washing machine? Either the line is plugged or something else isn't right.
I'm going ahead with teeing in some kind of overflow reservoir or overflow pipe out the wall for insurance. Much easier than replumbing.

That should be swell with code and any inspectors.
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