clogged washing machine drain

Old 07-15-05, 10:29 PM
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clogged washing machine drain

my washing machine when drains water backs up onto the floor. i have the hose in far enough but the drain pipe seems to be clogged. How do i unplug it? PLEASE HELP
thank you
Old 07-15-05, 10:38 PM
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rdunn777, Welcome to the DIY Forums.
Washing machines have a lot of lint and fibers in the drain water. These can clog the piping and trap. try an enzyme drain cleaner such as Draincare. Enzyme cleaners cling to the clog and "eat" them whereas caustic cleaners eat a hole through the clog and then go down the drain. Draincare is available at Home Centers, Hardware stores and Walmart. About $8 for a jug that has many applications. Follow label directions. it takes overnight but DOES work. Good luck.
Old 07-16-05, 01:36 AM
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I agree with the dragon dude, but let me tell you of an interesting experience I had some years ago. The problem was the same, but would not go away. The wife was with child, and we were poor, so calling a service person was not an option. After extensive tearing apart and sleuthing, I found the problem when it pricked me in the finger. I found a restriction inside the drain tube by feeling and squeezing the outside, and there was what felt like a rock inside, but it pricked a hole in my finger. I cut the drain hose at that point with my pocketknife and found that a large safety pin had lodged itself in the side of the hose, and trapped all sorts of stuff: Threads, lint, coins, teeny rocks from my work shorts pockets, a neighborhood cat that had been missing for a few months... Okay I'm kidding about the cat. I'm surprised I didn't find the corpse of the Tidy Bowl Man... But that safety pin was not about to get dissolved by any acid, alkaline or enzymatic substance I put in there, (though I did) it just kept catching more stuff. But for an hour or three of my time and a few dollars for the new drain hose, the problem was solved. Yes, I bought my wife a new washing machine eventually, but that one worked just fine till we could afford it. Just keep your eyes open for the unexpected!
Old 03-29-08, 10:49 AM
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alternative way to clear a washing machine clog

Recently, mine exhibited the same symptoms, however, when I tried to run a "snake" down the drain I kept hitting a solid block. I tried several chemical drain cleaners to no avail. I tried using the balloon device that you hook up to the water hose without success. I finally took the sheetrock off of the wall and found that there was a P-trap just before the main drain pipe. The main drain pipe went down into the foundation and had a stack pipe set upon it. The P-trap was stopping the snake from going further. I came up with an idea. I went up on the roof and poured a very strong chemical drain cleaner down the stack pipe. I waited 24 hours and tried again. The washing machine drained with no problems and has worked great since.
Old 12-14-08, 01:49 PM
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Under floor p-trap?

Before I take more drastic steps, with my house that is slab on grade, my clothes washing machine sewer piping seems to have partial stoppage, such that the emptying has to be interrupted manually a few times during each pump-out. Chemicals don't phase the problem. And snakeing is stopped a short distance from the start. I suspect an earlier resident dropped something into the drain to cause this. Should I expect to find the p-trap to be just above the floor, in the wall? If under the slab, can visual means be used to confirm such a disaster? If the stoppage is in the underfloor p-trap, is my only choice, to remove some flooring to get access?
Old 12-16-08, 03:18 PM
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Yes, the P trap should be just above the floor. (it's very unlikely for it to be buried in the floor.

You may be able to get a feeling as to how far down it's clogged by pouring a gallon or two of water into the pipe and listening and watching to see if it backs up. If it's right at the trap, you may be able to see it back up with a flashlight peering down the pipe.

Also, just to confirm, this is an older washer that just started backing up, not a new washer that was just installed, right? Newer washers expel water much faster than the older ones and can overwhelm an undersized drain.
Old 12-16-08, 04:03 PM
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It might be worth trying a shop vac. A strong one. Hook it up to the drain and seal the connevtion with towels or tape and turn it on. Possibly the blockage can come back out the way it went in.
Old 12-06-10, 01:06 PM
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We did it !

We did it !

It was a 3 person job. One of us was on top of the roof using the a wet/vac on the vent pipe. One of us was in the laundry room with a Harvey Clog Buster (090640) we got from our local Ace Hardware Store. 1.5 - 3" size. One of us was outside acting as the communicator between the person on the roof and the person in the laundry room and.turning the hose on and off between changes to the wet vac alternating between the blower feature (force air out ) and the vacuum feature (sucked air in ) of the wet vac.

After about 4 or 5 changes from blower to sucker, whatever was clogged seems to have become unclogged because the Washing machine went through a full cycle without backing up.

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