Help diagnosing a washing machine drain problem.

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Old 11-16-08, 11:17 AM
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Help diagnosing a washing machine drain problem.

My mother-in-law bought a new stackable washer dryer. This unit is replacing an older unit. She worked part time at her sisters laundry mat and hasn't used her machine much over the years, however the old one did drain no problem.

I get everything hooked up and run it through its paces. It doesn't drain properly. The drain backs up and overflows.

Long story short.
$110 later I know the drain line is clean. Still has the same problem. It starts to drain, however it seems like it is filling up the line and backing up faster than it can drain.


Looking for ideas to fix this problem.
 
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Old 11-16-08, 11:33 AM
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My g/f had the same problem

I ended up running the drain hose to the corner of her utility sink, so it just drains into there. The sink acts as a buffer to hold the discharge from the washer until it can all drain out.

If you have a utility sink, you may want to try that route. Otherwise, I'm not sure what the solution is... sounds like the new machine drains faster than the old one, faster than the drain itself can take.
 
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Old 11-16-08, 01:15 PM
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Thanks for the tip. However there is no utility sink and no room to add one.

I was thinking the same thing, the new machine pumps water out faster than the old machine.

Maybe some more background info about the house will help.
It's an old 600 sq. foot 4 room house, living room, bedroom, kitchen and bathroom. The bedroom is between the living room and kitchen. It's a small house. The house does sit on a foundation with 6 foot basement ceilings, the bathroom is an addition and sits over a crawl space. The "laundry room" is in the bathroom addiion. Who ever plumbed the washer dryer tapped into the kitchen sink water and drain lines. It was easier to run the lines along the wall through the cabinets than it would have been to get in that crawl space and run them under the floor.


My current thoughts.
1) Check to see if there is a vent stack, and see if it is clean too.

2) Run a new drain line to the bathtub drain. All work will be in a crawl space, not looking forward to that at all. No space to move. Also need to see if that is a pvc, copper, or cast line.

3) Restrict the volume of flow out of the washing machine, maybe a smaller diameter hose will restrict it enough. Last resort option.


The drain line is 1 1/2" and should be able to handle the volume of water no problem.

Keep teh ideas flowing.
 
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Old 11-16-08, 01:22 PM
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You can hear the water backing up in the drain line. Are you sure the plumber ran a snake all the way to the sewer. 1 1/2 line should be good.
 
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Old 11-17-08, 02:19 PM
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I haven't been there since he cleaned the lines, however, yes I could hear the water backing up the drain.

I suspect the vent line is plugged causing a vacuum. At least my thoughts on it are that both water and air cannot occupy the same space. The vent is located right after the sink/washer joint.
 
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Old 11-18-08, 10:46 AM
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Some of the newer high efficiency washers pump water out at a much higher rate than older washers. I can't say I know how it compares with stackable ones though.

For what it's worth, code now requires 2" drain piping for washers to help any potential backup problems. You should certainly keep this in mind if you do decide to replumb the waster drain.

As a side note, how tall/long is the standpipe for the washer (the pipe that that the washer drains into before the trap).
 
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Old 11-19-08, 02:26 PM
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Thanks for the info about the 2" drain and faster pumps.

Not sure if there is a trap or how tall is the stand pipe. I assume the stand pipe is about 18" or so, then a 10' vertical run where it ties into the kitchen sink drain to the basement.

Talked to my mother-in-law last night. She said she never saw the auger (for lack of the proper term) make the turn where it connects into the sink drain. I wonder if there isn't a plug at that y connection.

This is going to be hard on the pc.

Sink
l ---------------------------washer
l l
l ---------
--l l
l
basement

That's how the plumbing looks.
The leg of the y points up, then a 90 and the long run to the washer. Teh sink drains straight through the y and the y connects to the vertical pipe coming out of the wall which leads to eh basement. Teh vertical pipe that connects to teh y and washer drain was plugged up. I managed to clean out the first 2 feet. Rotor rooter did the rest. If ne never got that y cleaned out that could be the source of our slow drain still.

When you take the sink drain off, you can see intot he vertical and see the y where it meats the washer pipe.

A picture is worth a thousand words. Wish I had one.
 
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Old 11-24-08, 05:48 PM
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Update.

Thanks for the tips, help and looking.

Turns out the roto-rooter guy didn't get everything cleaned out. He missed the 90 degree elbow where it dumps into the main drain. Two bottles of some heavy duty drain cleaner later, and it works great. Based on a recommendation of Ace the Helpful Hardware guy, known the guy for 15 years or so. I let the first bottle sit the recommended 15 minutes and it helped enough to let the drain handle the cold water hose on full blast. Not enough to handle the washer.
Second bottle we let sit for 24hrs. Works great now.


Thanks for looking.Beer 4U2
 
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