Washing machine drain backs up!

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I finally got my washing machine installed and turned it on with a load of laundry.
Machine:
110.91511100 - Whirlpool built direct drive style Sears washer, top loader, large, built in 1995.
The water came out of the top of the standpipe when the machine was pumping water out the drain hose. The standpipe is 2 inch. I'd run a hose down it for a couple of minutes (flow rate about 5 gallons/minute) to make sure it could handle that. This pipe hadn't seen any flow for over 20 years at least. Satisfied that it could handle 5 gallons/minute, I figured I was OK.
Today I finished setting up what I thought would be an adequate drain for the machine. I attached 2 inch black PVC including a trap and extension, properly gluing it all together. The trap accommodates a hand-tightened nut in the middle. The top of the extension tube is 37.5 inches above the floor, well above the 34 minimum recommended by Sears.
I'd duct-taped the drain hose so it couldn't come out of the extension tube from the force of the water. When it came to the point in the machine's cycle where it did the first basket drain, I was surprised to see the water spurting out the top. At least 5 gallons must have come out on my wood laundry room floor and I felt like an idiot for duct taping the hose into the tube because I had to remove that fast so I could start collecting the water in 5 gallon buckets, which I did have right by.
I turned the machine off and repositioned the trap so it didn't twist 20 degrees or so (the way I had it). I reasoned that maybe this diversion was causing the water to back up. But the first expulsion of rinse water (after repositioning the trap) still backed up out the top of the extension tube.
I didn't know the washing machine would pump out the water that fast. It must have been coming out at a rate something like 20 gallons/minute.
I'm wondering if there's any chance this will work if I remove the trap and just put a tube straight up from the stand pipe. Or is the problem that the stand pipe just can't take that kind of flow? I never smelled anything from that stand pipe (like I say, it wasn't used for over 20 years), and I don't know what it connects to or if it's vented. The stand pipe goes under the floor, has a 90 degree elbow (to go horizontal), then a 10 inch straight and another 90 degree elbow to send it down through the concrete foundation of this laundry room extension to the house. This extension looks like an afterthough, and maybe they skimped on the plumbing, etc. I have no idea when it was done, but the house was built in 1910.
Do I have to have this replumbed before I can install a washing machine? Thanks for any help with this.
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BTW, the standpipe (as much as I can see of it) is galvanized (except maybe the elbows), and I have the 2 inch PVC connected to it using a 2 inch PVC female threaded adapter.
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Horatio Hornblower wrote:

<SNIP>
Chances are that old pipe is at least partly blocked with (?). Does the routing look like it could be snaked out? If it's all accessible, you may be ahead of the game to re-pipe it with ABS.
Jim
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:Horatio Hornblower wrote: :> :> I finally got my washing machine installed and turned it on with a load :> of laundry. :> :> Machine: :> :> 110.91511100 - Whirlpool built direct drive style Sears washer, top :> loader, large, built in 1995. :> :> The water came out of the top of the standpipe when the machine was :> pumping water out the drain hose. The standpipe is 2 inch. I'd run a :> hose down it for a couple of minutes (flow rate about 5 gallons/minute) :> to make sure it could handle that. This pipe hadn't seen any flow for :> over 20 years at least. Satisfied that it could handle 5 gallons/minute, :> I figured I was OK. : :<SNIP> : :Chances are that old pipe is at least partly blocked with (?). :Does the routing look like it could be snaked out? :If it's all accessible, you may be ahead of the game to :re-pipe it with ABS. : :Jim
Jim, all I can see of it is the last 4-5 feet or so. The last 2 feet there's two right-angle bends. Then it goes right through the concrete foundation, of the laundry room add-on, pointing not straight down, but at around a 45 degree angle. I guess I could try snaking out that last 4-5 feet.
I don't know anything about snaking pipes. Hints? Can I get something at Home Depot?
Thanks!!
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Horatio Hornblower wrote: <SNIP>

Better off renting a drain cleaning machine. Tell them the size of the pipe and # of bends and they can recommend one. Jim
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Horatio Hornblower wrote:

You had at one point talked about a laundry tub. If you can squeeze a small single tub (poly?) in the space and route the washer drain into the tub, that may solve the overflow problem. The tub acts as an accumulator. Jim
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:Horatio Hornblower wrote: :> :> I finally got my washing machine installed and turned it on with a load :> of laundry. :> :> Machine: :> :> 110.91511100 - Whirlpool built direct drive style Sears washer, top :> loader, large, built in 1995. :> :> The water came out of the top of the standpipe when the machine was :> pumping water out the drain hose. The standpipe is 2 inch. I'd run a :> hose down it for a couple of minutes (flow rate about 5 gallons/minute) :> to make sure it could handle that. This pipe hadn't seen any flow for :> over 20 years at least. Satisfied that it could handle 5 gallons/minute, :> I figured I was OK. : : You had at one point talked about a laundry tub. : If you can squeeze a small single tub (poly?) in the space : and route the washer drain into the tub, that may solve the : overflow problem. The tub acts as an accumulator. :Jim
Absolutely, and I was thinking about just that an hour or so after it happened. I'm wondering if I can find one small enough. Do they have them at HD? If I can find a sink that's only 2 feet wide, it will JUST fit. Maybe I can fit one if it's only 2 feet from front to back, if I turn it sideways, that is.
Easiest thing to try right now would be my idea of removing the trap and trying a straight run of 2 inch PVC, or ABS or whatever they call this stuff (black 2 inch plastic). That would cost me less than $5 (adaptor + 2 feet of pipe, or just the adaptor if I want to cut the pipe from the trap I already have... but if I do that, I can't reuse that trap later).
I live a block or so from a tool lending library. Guess I'll ask them if I can borrow a drain snake.
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If it's galvanized, it's a good bet that it's heavily rusted on the inside.... probably to the point where the inside diameter is down to around 1 inch or so. I had this same problem with a 2" glavanized line that was 80 years old and it was down to 1/2' diameter! I used the sink "accumulator" method but after a while i just had to replace the line. Best if you can repipe to the main drain.......snaking it will only push a lot of corroded, rusty junk into the main drain and who knows what problems that might bring....
Art

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:If it's galvanized, it's a good bet that it's heavily rusted on the :inside.... probably to the point where the inside diameter is down to around :1 inch or so. I had this same problem with a 2" glavanized line that was 80 :years old and it was down to 1/2' diameter! I used the sink "accumulator" :method but after a while i just had to replace the line. Best if you can :repipe to the main drain.......snaking it will only push a lot of corroded, :rusty junk into the main drain and who knows what problems that might :bring.... : :Art
Thanks. I went to the tool lending library (I was told that it's the only one west of the Mississippi!) in Berkeley (a block from me) and borrowed (free!) a snake that's 25 feet long and you hand crank it into and out of the drain. It was quite a job. I was about to run an outside cold water hose into it to try to flush it afterward but then had a better idea. Instead I did a wash with no clothes, maximum water and HOT. This forced some hot water down the drain and I thought I heard it backing up and turned the machine off for a couple seconds. Turned it back on and left it on and the water didn't back up. Didn't even sound like it would back up. So, for the time being it is clear.
Hope I didn't screw up my drain system. When I brought the snake out it had some muddy stuff on it and there was a clump of longish threads - obviously whoever had a machine on there didn't filter the drain water.
I bought stainless steel lint traps yesterday for the drain hose but the package says to use it with a laundry sink, not a stand pipe. I can't imagine why. I think I'll use the traps anyway. I suppose I really only need one and can clean it periodically.
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That muddy stuff is probably the rust residue....good fortune smiles on those whose drains get clear the first time! Buy a lottery ticket! But think about repiping that line....washing machines are the toughest things on drain lines. They pump out a lot of water very quickly and can easily (as you've found out) overwhelm the drain lines. Anything else is draining a little slower and you have time to shut it off but washing machines are usually unattended...
Art
wrote:

around
80
corroded,
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:That muddy stuff is probably the rust residue....good fortune smiles on :those whose drains get clear the first time! Buy a lottery ticket! But think :about repiping that line....washing machines are the toughest things on :drain lines. They pump out a lot of water very quickly and can easily (as :you've found out) overwhelm the drain lines. Anything else is draining a :little slower and you have time to shut it off but washing machines are :usually unattended... : :Art
No fooling! And it won't surprise me if one day (and maybe soon) the damned thing overflows again. I figure I'll watch it like a hawk for a while, but I figure I'm sure to get complacent and just when I do, the flood will occur.
I couldn't believe how fast the water was coming out of that hose!
I'm for sure going to put a lint trap on it. I think there's a good chance that lint is a significant player in the flood I had yesterday. A small clump was attached to the snake when I finally got it all out of the pipe. I screwed and jammed all 25 feet of that thing in there. That clump of "lint" included some threads over an inch long. That made me wonder if it wouldn't be a good idea to put drano down there but I guess it would be a waste. Probably Jim's idea of a drain cleaning machine is the best, if I want to keep using this drain, or replacement with ABS (also Jim's idea). Thing is, I can only get at the last 4-5 feet of that pipe. That I could replace with ABS, but I have no way of knowing if there's trouble further down that pipe. I suppose it might be possible to run another pipe from the "main drain", whatever that is and whereever it is. I'm for sure going to talk it all over with my general contractor when I start tackling the major issues with this house (starting with the foundation, with the roof following close behind).
I'm going to pursue another of Jim's ideas, probably today: I'll go down to Home Depot and see if they have a laundry sink that will fit in the room. That would provide a lot of peace of mind.
hh
: wrote: :> :> :If it's galvanized, it's a good bet that it's heavily rusted on the :> :inside.... probably to the point where the inside diameter is down to :around :> :1 inch or so. I had this same problem with a 2" glavanized line that was :80 :> :years old and it was down to 1/2' diameter! I used the sink "accumulator" :> :method but after a while i just had to replace the line. Best if you can :> :repipe to the main drain.......snaking it will only push a lot of :corroded, :> :rusty junk into the main drain and who knows what problems that might :> :bring.... :> : :> :Art :> :> Thanks. I went to the tool lending library (I was told that it's the :> only one west of the Mississippi!) in Berkeley (a block from me) and :> borrowed (free!) a snake that's 25 feet long and you hand crank it into :> and out of the drain. It was quite a job. I was about to run an outside :> cold water hose into it to try to flush it afterward but then had a :> better idea. Instead I did a wash with no clothes, maximum water and :> HOT. This forced some hot water down the drain and I thought I heard it :> backing up and turned the machine off for a couple seconds. Turned it :> back on and left it on and the water didn't back up. Didn't even sound :> like it would back up. So, for the time being it is clear. :> :> Hope I didn't screw up my drain system. When I brought the snake out it :> had some muddy stuff on it and there was a clump of longish threads - :> obviously whoever had a machine on there didn't filter the drain water. :> :> I bought stainless steel lint traps yesterday for the drain hose but the :> package says to use it with a laundry sink, not a stand pipe. I can't :> imagine why. I think I'll use the traps anyway. I suppose I really only :> need one and can clean it periodically. :> :> :
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Went to Home Depot today and they had a laundry sink that JUST FIT in my space. Another 1/4 inch, or even 1/8 inch and I wouldn't have gotten it in there unless I moved the water heater, and it can only move 1/2 inch - assuming I could move it at all, being filled with water and all.
Hooking the sink up to the drain is a problem and what I think I'm going to do is scuttle the trap that I have. I could use it except that it's put together with glue. I need to put an extension in it of around 4 inches so it will reach the sink. Can't do that cause it's glued, so I'll have to buy another 2 inch trap.
I figure it's a lot of extra security. Someday, that thing was going to back up again, maybe sooner than later. It's just a black box and I don't know what shape it's in. Right now it works (the standpipe), but I have no way of knowing if it's something I can depend on for 10-20 years or just a month.
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Horatio Hornblower wrote:

The laundry tub outlet will be 1 1/2" (tubular size) like a kitchen sink. Get rid of all the 2" stuff <sigh>.
Put the old galv elbow back on and buy a 1 1/2" plastic P-trap intended for sinks (comes with compression slip nuts). (Of course you'll need to extend things to get to the sink outlet.)
Jim
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:Horatio Hornblower wrote: :> :> Went to Home Depot today and they had a laundry sink that JUST FIT in my :> space. Another 1/4 inch, or even 1/8 inch and I wouldn't have gotten it :> in there unless I moved the water heater, and it can only move 1/2 inch :> - assuming I could move it at all, being filled with water and all. :> :> Hooking the sink up to the drain is a problem and what I think I'm going :> to do is scuttle the trap that I have. I could use it except that it's :> put together with glue. I need to put an extension in it of around 4 :> inches so it will reach the sink. Can't do that cause it's glued, so :> I'll have to buy another 2 inch trap. :> :> I figure it's a lot of extra security. Someday, that thing was going to :> back up again, maybe sooner than later. It's just a black box and I :> don't know what shape it's in. Right now it works (the standpipe), but I :> have no way of knowing if it's something I can depend on for 10-20 years :> or just a month. : :The laundry tub outlet will be 1 1/2" (tubular size) like a kitchen :sink. :Get rid of all the 2" stuff <sigh>. : :Put the old galv elbow back on and buy a 1 1/2" plastic P-trap :intended for sinks (comes with compression slip nuts). :(Of course you'll need to extend things to get to the sink outlet.) : :Jim
Thanks, Jim. Yep, I'm aware that the sink outlet is 1.5 inch. I figured this while at HD: Why not use the trap I have instead of getting one of those 1.5 inch white PVC traps? Anyway, the kit they had ($7) was configured to connect to a pipe coming out of a wall horizontally. I'd need more fittings to make it work.
Unfortunately (well, it was no surprise at all) the 2 inch trap didn't quite reach the sink outlet (4 inches short, actually). I figure this:
That elbow, well, I could put it back on, but it would have to face the opposite direction from where it was - very doable. But - that elbow only had about 2 parallel threads that weren't badly rusted. It's a wonder I got it off at all. It was only the pounding with two hammers simultaneously that got it loose enough where I could crank it off with my 18 inch pipe wrench. The standpipe's threads look fine, at least from the side I could see it. I wire brushed them and even applied some 3in1 oil to them with an old tooth brush, hoping that would prevent further rusting.
Picking through the many bins of plastic pipe fittings at Home Depot yesterday I came up with two I decided to buy with the sink:
1. Thick black plastic (is that what they call ABS?) 1.5 inch connector that connects nicely to the sink outlet that has a 1.5 inch male opposite end.
2. Same material 1.5 inch to 2 inch adapter.
The two of them cost me around $2.50.
I figure that it will only cost me $10-12 or so to get another 2 inch P-trap, along with another 2 inch female to screw onto the standpipe, and included I'll get a 2 inch connector - female at both ends to accommodate the 4 inch or so extension (that will actually go in the middle of the P-trap) I'll need to make this reach the sink. Once the end of the extended P-trap is right underneath the sink outlet, a short piece of 2 inch straight will finish the connection to the 1.5-2 adapter.
My only concern is that if I glue it up, it won't be adjustable, and I figure there's no way I'm going to know exactly if it will fit, so I can't glue it at least until I'm sure it all fits. Maybe then I'll try gluing it all together, or maybe I'll use duct tape for at least one of the joints. I figure I can figure out how to make it leak free. I'm pretty sure I'll be able to disassemble it all and remove the sink and the trap if and when I want to even if I glue it all up (the room needs paint bad, and I'm going to need to get the washer and sink out of there). I will be able to get it all out because I'll get one of the 2 inch traps that have a nut in the middle (like the one I have now).
I really like the thick ABS (?) stuff compared to that flimsy thin white PVC stuff.
I'm due to replace that water heater, cause it's about 12 years old and an accident waiting to happen according to my brother. I was thinking of a 50 gallon but now I think I will put another 40 gallon in there because there's NO room to spare! In fact, I will try to free up a bit more space. I could get another 2-3 inches by moving it left almost to the gas connection, but there's a pipe whose function I don't know (I bet you do). It's sweated copper, and I just noticed it yesterday. The hot water out and cold water in are galvanized, but this copper comes from the top of the tank and is connected to a steam blow-off valve. It goes horizontally to the side of the tank and then goes down through the floor. What's that?
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Horatio Hornblower wrote:

<SNIP,SNIP>
That's a very old pressure relief valve. It dumps steam/hot water under the floor (somewhere?) if it ever opens.
Jim
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Horatio Hornblower wrote:

<SNIP,SNIP>
Pick up a 2" "No-Hub" coupling. Cut the 2" ABS somewhere and put the coupling in; that will let you disconnect at a later time and will also give you a little freedom in aligning things.
Jim
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:Horatio Hornblower wrote: :> :<SNIP,SNIP> :> My only concern is that if I glue it up, it won't be adjustable, and I :> figure there's no way I'm going to know exactly if it will fit, so I :> can't glue it at least until I'm sure it all fits. Maybe then I'll try :> gluing it all together, or maybe I'll use duct tape for at least one of :> the joints. I figure I can figure out how to make it leak free. I'm :> pretty sure I'll be able to disassemble it all and remove the sink and :> the trap if and when I want to even if I glue it all up (the room needs :> paint bad, and I'm going to need to get the washer and sink out of :> there). I will be able to get it all out because I'll get one of the 2 :> inch traps that have a nut in the middle (like the one I have now). : : Pick up a 2" "No-Hub" coupling. Cut the 2" ABS somewhere and put the : coupling in; that will let you disconnect at a later time and will : also give you a little freedom in aligning things. : :Jim
Good, good thinking! I'm not sure, though, that there's enough room for that no-hub coupler. Gotta see. I'm downright obsessed right now with getting this right! I hope today's the day. Thanks for your help!!
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:Horatio Hornblower wrote: :> :<SNIP,SNIP> :> My only concern is that if I glue it up, it won't be adjustable, and I :> figure there's no way I'm going to know exactly if it will fit, so I :> can't glue it at least until I'm sure it all fits. Maybe then I'll try :> gluing it all together, or maybe I'll use duct tape for at least one of :> the joints. I figure I can figure out how to make it leak free. I'm :> pretty sure I'll be able to disassemble it all and remove the sink and :> the trap if and when I want to even if I glue it all up (the room needs :> paint bad, and I'm going to need to get the washer and sink out of :> there). I will be able to get it all out because I'll get one of the 2 :> inch traps that have a nut in the middle (like the one I have now). : : Pick up a 2" "No-Hub" coupling. Cut the 2" ABS somewhere and put the : coupling in; that will let you disconnect at a later time and will : also give you a little freedom in aligning things. : :Jim Do you know off hand how long a 2 inch no-hub coupling is? I haven't measured yet exactly with everything in place. I think I will be using about a 4 inch piece of 2 inch straight, that is unless I use that coupling. The coupling gives me the adjustability and flexibility I need to get it all apart. Other than that I figure that I'll need to either leave one of the fittings unglued (duct tape and hope), or maybe put the sink on risers of some kind (at least 1/4 inch). I need that 1/4+ inch of play to get the nutted connector in the P-Trap apart.
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2 and half inches. At least the ones in my newly opened up wall are.
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Three and a half inches. I happen to have one on hand from repairing a soil pipe.
.
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