Washer Standpipe Backup/Solution?

I have a problem with my clothes washer overflowing the 1.5" standpipe. I've read that others have this problem. In the past, chemical clog removers have been ineffectual at clearing the lint and soap which (I assume) is partially responsible for the backup. I've tried snaking past the trap and never been successful. I've paid for a plumber a couple times and he's been able to get it snaked out enough that it works for a year or so before clogging again. Even after snaking it I've had to rig up a system that hold the washer hose up as far as possible out of the standpipe, in order to give it more time to fill and reduce tendency to backup when the water first starts flowing.
Recently it started backing up again. I've done some 'net research and come up with a sort of solution that seems to work. I want to bounce it off others in case there's a problem here I'm not seeing.
Using a hose clamp, I've attached a 12" length of clear hose to the washer output hose. Using another hose clamp I restricted the clear hose down to something a bit smaller than the 1" diameter of the washer output hose. There's enough clear hose left after the second hose clamp that I can stuff it about 2" down into the standpipe. The outer diameter of the clear hose is almost the same as the inner diameter of the standpipe, creating a nearly airtight fit. Watching the washer drain through the clear hose, it appears to me that: (1) the water backs up between washer output hose and the hose clamp restriction, but not for very long. At the end of each flush cycle there appears to be plenty of time when barely any water is being pumped through the clear hose, which makes me think it's not backing up significantly upstream of the restriction. (2) The standpipe is still backing up somewhat, but the tight fit between the clear hose and the standpipe results in minimal leakage.
My questions:
1. Does anyone see a problem with this? Is there any potential problem caused by the fact that system is essentially closed (airtight) from the washer to the standpipe?
2. This system does nothing to alleviate the lint/soap buildup problem. Is there a product I could use which would do a better job of clearing the clog than the chlorine-based products I've tried in the past? [obvious answer is a snake, though I haven't personally had any success with the snake here in the past].
3. Some washers have internal lint catchers. Our washer has nothing to collect lint inside the washer. We've tried metal mesh lint filters at the washer output before but they clog up so fast that they cause an overflow after 2-3 washings. Anyone know of an aftermarket internal lint catcher?
4. Is there something I'm missing that I should be asking?
-Scott
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I believe this can allow the trap to siphon empty, with the associated problems.

Can you upgrade the washer drain plumbing to the now-standard 2"? This is the best long term solution.
Cheers, Wayne
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Thanks for the response. For my own educational purposes, can you tell me what the "associated problems" might be?

I could do that but I imagine it would be costly. It would involve taking out the drywall behind the washer in the laundy closet to get access to the pipe at one end, and probably removing the drywall, under and behind the kitchen sink and surrounding counter and drawers, where this pipe connects in to the main waste pipe. With three cars on their last legs and a daughter about to enter college, this is an expense I'd like to avoid.
What if I were to build the standpipe up higher and find a way to restrict the flow into the standpipe while still allowing some venting at the top of the standpipe?

Thanks Wayne.
-Scott
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If the trap siphons dry, there will be no water barrier between the sewer line and the inside air. So you may get odors and noxious gases from the sewer. Supposedly when indoor plumbing was first invented, this problem was bad enough to kill someone. But these days I think it would probably just smell bad.
Cheers, Wayne
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wrote:

    I agree with the prior response in suggesting your plane is not likely code and could create some bigger problems.
    I would suggest biting the bullet and do it right. New 2" pipe. I'd bet the inside of the existing pipe is now rough and that is catching the lint causing the back up. It is also possible that any horizontal sections may not be properly angled and that is also causing a problem.
    Do it once right and you will not be back here with the same problem.
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On Jan

My best guesses about the problem are: (pick as many as you like) 1) Your standpipe is too small. 2" is now code. 2) Your standpipe is too low. Read your appliance manual or call customer service at Whirlpool or wherever for right height. 3) Your plumbing system is a hack job with improper venting. The air in the standpipe has to have an easy exit or you get overflow. Do it over right. Look for blockages. 4) Your washer is a poor design from the get-go. Replace the pitiful thing as soon as you can with a model that gets good reviews in Consumer Reports or other sources you trust. No washer should be such a lint generator. Don't try to bypass the laws of physics and plain common sense. Some or all of the above may help with the issues. Good luck.
Joe
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Scott-
As nearly all the posts have stated...your washer drain plumbing is inadequate / barely adequate...... plan for replacement.
Does a clean out not exist for the line? :(
But in the meantime, since snaking has "fixed" the problem for a reasonable amount of time.
Try this stuff
Zep Drain Cleaner
(Amazon.com product link shortened)
Home Depot & Ace Hardware (at least in SoCal) sell it
I've used it for YEARS in dozens of drains in multiple homes.........with great success. Works best to keep drains working or on "slow" drains.....not great for stopped drains. Try it every night & every morning for a few days. Follow the directions. For less than $10...you might just get lucky.
cheers Bob
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Try extending the pipe up about 2 feet. When mine had suds backing out, I extended it with a piece and it stopped. Most washers are capable of pumping out 8 feet upward.
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Good responses so far. I would not try a lint-catching net that you put on the end of the discharge hose. These can clog up quickly and create more of a problem.
I would go with the idea of raising the height of the pipe, the manual for your washer will have max height specs.
Your 'sealed' system could cause a future clog to backup into the washer. Raw sewage in you washer is probably not something you would want.
One of these should make it easy to snake by yourself unless it is a big clog. http://www.antonline.com/p_88150-GP_326274.htm
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I think that your success is due to the fact that you are pumping the water out more slowly due to the restriction, not because of the air tight connection.
The air tight connection makes me uncomfortable, I would prefer to avoid that. Drains are built to run on gravity, not pressure. There's all sorts of stuff that can go wrong places you can't see.
The optimal solution is to make the standpipe accept a higher flow. But if that is not feasible right now, then your alternate solution of giving it a lower flow seems reasonable. Rather than a large hose with a restriction, I'd prefer a small hose where the reduced diameter offers the resistance but maintains a loose connection to the standpipe. Or, you could put a throttling valve in line, a simple faucet from the hardware store would work, if you wanted to fine tune it.
I don't think the restriction in flow hurts your wash machine pump, but I'd find out exactly how it works and what type it is. And maybe how cheap and easy it is to replace if needed.
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Thanks one and all. This is all very useful.
I had also planned on extending the height of the standpipe by a foot or two (there is a shelf above which limts how high I can go) but I stopped when I thought the current fix might be sufficient. My plan is to get a piece of PVC the same diameter as the (metal) standpipe, put rubber gasket material, and perhaps harder plastic or aluminum or something around them above and below the joint, and hold the upper and lower pieces in place with hose clamps. Sound reasonable?
-Scott
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I would solder on another piece of pipe but something like this would do http://www.flexpvc.com/cart/agora.cgi?product=PVC-Copper-Pipe-Adapters
A clamp or bracket near the top stabalizing the pipe is also a good idea.
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Have you ever seen how drainpipe is put together in commercial buildings? It isn't soldered. Widely used are "no-hub" connections or simple bell and tube joints.
As long as the flow is gravity only and not pressurized, you neither need nor want a super tight connection.
Why do you want the standpipe higher? The obvious reason is that making the washer pump higher against gravity will reduce your volume of flow. But a foot isn't going to do you as much good as a smaller diameter hose will.
I think what I would do in this case is remove the washer drain hose from the fitting, and attach a smaller diameter hose right there. Or, cut your hose right in the middle and install a valve so you can reduce the flow. If the standpipe can't handle what your washer puts into it, then reduce what your washer output is. Yeah, better to increase what your standpoint can handle, but you don't want to spend the money.
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Yes I have.

Have you ever seen how a washer discharge hose goes into drain pipe? Normally they have no support at the top so a Fernco fitting would not work.

Why would you want a drain pipe that doesn't have a tightly sealed joint?

I wouldn't. I put in a washtub and took out the standpipe at my house.

Perhaps you missed that the OP said he waas going to lengthen the standpipe and was asking what typ of connector to use.
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Yeah, I have a washer myself. The hose is curved like a cane, fits loosely in the standpipe.

You don't want one, but the probability you have one is fairly high, and normally it does no harm. A drain line should never run full and it should never be pressurized.

Excellent idea! You have plenty of buffer capacity to handle a surge above what the standpipe could hold. And you eliminate the chance of a crossconnection/backflow problem.

enough buffer or head differential. The reason code requires it is anti-syphon, but it won't help with the flow problem.
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I'm not dure why someone else suggested not using a lint trap on the end of the hose as a means to prevent the clog.
I've been using them on my washer hoses since I was kid, 50+ years ago. Granted, mine are currently exposed in a utility sink, but my parents have used one in standpipe for years. Dad uses a hose clamp as a preventative measure just in case he doesn't change it soon enough - some brands will blow off the end of some hoses if they get too clogged.
As an extra precaution, you could even rig up a wire holder so that even if the lint trap ripped or the hose clamp failed, it would hang in the standpipe and not go down.
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They probably didn't mention it because I sort of dismissed them as an solution, in a statement buried in my 3rd question (quoted above). The reason to want to stop the lint is to prevent the water from flowing back onto the floor. I've discovered that the metal mesh lint catchers trap enough lint that after 2-3 wash loads, the lint catcher itself is causing a backup onto the floor. I could keep changing the lint trap but, in my house, that would mean changing traps once or twice a week. Cleaning lint out of those things is nigh impossible, especially after the lint dries.
Really makes me wish I had a slop sink to drain into. Those filters worked fine when I had a slop sink.
-Scott
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