Washing Machine sans Utility Tub

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  #1  
Old 04-15-13, 09:08 AM
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Washing Machine sans Utility Tub

Hello All,

I'm curious about washing machines that seem to drain without the aide of a utility sink. In many detached new constructions (that include appliances) I see this, and almost always in new condos.
  • How is this accomplished, especially for condominiums which have no apparent vent pipe (I cant imagine several units sharing one vent pipe unless its a few inches in diameter)?
  • Is it specific to particular washer models?
  • Is there a special machine that helps this happen?
  • Can I install new plumbing in a 50 y.o. house to get the same effect?

My utility sink does not have a vent pipe attached directly to it, I'm guessing it shares the same vent pipe as the bathroom adjacent to the utility room, but that connection is buried somewhere in the concrete floor and its not that serious of a issue for me to start breaking into the foundation.

However, there is a window directly above the utility sink. Would it be possible to install new plumbing and a vent out of that window? This is the same window through which the dryer will vent.
 
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Old 04-15-13, 09:32 AM
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Your utility sink has a vent on it and it's most likely in the wall.

You may be able to add a standpipe to your existing plumbing. A lot would depend on the size of the utility sink drain pipe as well as the pipe inside the wall.

Is this something you wanted to do or were you planning on calling in a plumber ?

The window could not be used for the plumbing vent.
 
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Old 04-15-13, 09:38 AM
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Most washing machines drain into the houses plumbing and do not utilize a sink or utility tub. A drain is built in specifically for the washing machine. Also it is common to tie the vents together in the attic to minimize the number of penetrations through the roof and the vent is often routed to the back side of the house so it's not visible on the roof facing the road.

Almost anything is possible as far as running new plumbing. You should check with your building inspections dept. for what is required. I am guessing that your utility sink drain is 1 1/2" which is not large enough for washing machine use which requires at least 2" pipe.
 
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Old 04-15-13, 10:23 AM
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"I am guessing that your utility sink drain is 1 1/2" which is not large enough for washing machine use which requires at least 2" pipe. "

I found this out the hard way. Old houses and new washing machines don't mix. And the 1 1/2" pipe was trapped for a washing machine, too! Fooled me. What a mess.
 
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Old 04-15-13, 11:03 AM
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Even 50 years ago (and more), I would dare say that a majority of homes were built with a washing machine drain that did not mandate a utility tub. Of course there were a lot of suds saver washing machines still in use at that time, so it seems conceivable that your house may have actually had a washing machine specific drain, and someone changed it to be able to utilize a laundry tub.
 
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Old 04-15-13, 11:20 AM
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Your utility sink has a vent on it and it's most likely in the wall.
This is a basement utility room. I see two vent pipes sticking out from the roof and neither are on the perimeter of the house. This is why I think the utility tub shares the vent stack with the adjacent bathroom.

You may be able to add a standpipe to your existing plumbing.
Could you elaborate a little more on this? I'm just not clear on what you mean.

...Yes I want to do this myself. I've already installed new supply lines throughout the house using pex.

Most washing machines drain into the houses plumbing and do not utilize a sink or utility tub.
Where do you guys live?! In my nearly 30 years in Detroit I've ONLY seen washing machines drain into utility tubs. The first time I saw a "direct drain" setup was in a condo my wife and I looked at in 2006, since then, the only other time I've seen them is on TV. 99.99% of the houses (I've been in) in Detroit drain into a utility tub. And that's going from the worst neighborhoods to the best.

I am guessing that your utility sink drain is 1 1/2" which is not large enough...
I'll have to measure but it looks like 1 1/2".

it seems conceivable that your house may have actually had a washing machine specific drain
How would I find this out? If I'm inferring correctly, I need to find the size of the pipe in the floor? Without destroying the concrete, how could I go about doing that?
 
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Old 04-15-13, 05:52 PM
Vey
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When I was a teenager, my parents lived in a house built around the same date as this one: 1953. They had a dedicated drain for the washer, but then they added a tub and started draining into that. I was never sure why and now I know. Too small a drain can be fixed with a tub.

Having a tub is a very nice thing to have if you want to hand wash a sweater or wash your hands after a really nasty DIY project.
 
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