Stand pipe at washing machine backing up

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Old 07-29-13, 02:25 PM
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Stand pipe at washing machine backing up

This is a problem that I thought I solved. The washing machine, in the garage, drains into a stand pipe. When I do a load of laundry, the water gushes back out of the pipe. This has become progressively worse, until yesterday when what appeared to be an entire washerfull of water flooded the floor.

I am handy, but I am not a plumber. So I'm capable of doing what I'm told, or repairing something that's obviously wrong, but more than basic troubleshooting is beyond me.

The history: This was happening a few months ago, but much worse. Not only would it spill out of the stand pipe, but it would fill the kitchen sink through the drain, south of the washer. I started by trying to blow out the line with a drain cleaning bladder and high pressure water. Didn't work. I ran a 25' consumer grade snake down the line. Didn't work. I got a 50' heavy duty snake and ran that until I found a block it couldn't clear. I'm in SoCal, so no basement. I bit the bullet and crawled under the house. I expected to find all galvanized, but found 3" ABS, coupled to 2 galvanized 45s to a galvanized 4" line out to the street. I undid the coupling and found the 45s completely blocked. (This side of the house drains only the kitchen and washing machine, so no bathroom waste here.) I cut out the 45s, cleared the last little bit of blockage from the 3" galvanized Y and ran the snake all the way out to the street. I also ran the snake back up the ABS toward the kitchen and washer and pulled a bit more blockage out. I replaced the 45s with ABS and attached with a fitting to the old galvanized.

Everything ran smoothly for about 3 months. Now the stand pipe backs up right away, but the kitchen sink does not fill up. The high pressure bladder doesn't help.

I know this is getting long, but I want to provide as much info as you need. The house sits on a north/south axis and the piping runs like this: ABS stand pipe 4' tall to p-trap 6" off the ground. 3' run north to 90 east into the wall. 6' run to vent stack w/cleanout. (Somewhere there's a transition to galvanized in here, but I can't see it.) ABS 90 south off the vent stack about 10' to kitchen sink and another cleanout. 15' south to another 90 east. 20 feet to my repair and the 2 45s that take us to the 4" galvanized to the street.

Maybe the hidden galvanized near the beginning of the run is the problem? Or the 90 that goes from south to east? I'm at a loss.

Thanks in advance for any advice.
 
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Old 07-29-13, 03:18 PM
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Unless you have a new type washer that uses less water the washer drains 20 to 25 gallons of water in a hurry. Have seen many times where normal use of water will not back up but washer will, Blockage usually in line to street.
Washer repair man here, maybe plumber has different answer
 
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Old 07-30-13, 08:40 AM
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Thanks, pugsl. That being the case, what's my next move? Am I crawling back under the house?
 
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Old 07-30-13, 09:39 AM
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They make a device that uses the pressure of a garden hose to clear a drain. It is basically a rubber bladder that expands from water pressure to seal the pipe and trap water under pressure between it and the clog. My kitchen drain clogs up ever couple of years and they have worked well for me. Usually run it about thirty minutes to flush out as much as possible.

Here is an example: Amazon.com: G.T. Water Products 186 Drain King Unclog Hose Attachment: Home Improvement

Note I would only use it after a slip connection type trap. The pressure might blow a slip fitting apart. If your stand pipe trap is threaded, glued, or leaded that should be okay.
 
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Old 07-30-13, 02:46 PM
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Thanks, ray2047. I've used one of those at the stand pipe (it's glued) but maybe I didn't let it run long enough. If pugsl is right and the blockage is in the 4" pipe to the street (aprox 30 feet away), will the bladder create enough pressure to blow it clear? If not what do I do?
 
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Old 07-30-13, 04:22 PM
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I doubt it will clear the main pipe. I know this is a DIY forum but sometimes you just need the pros and pro equipment. Do you have a cleanout on the 4" pipe? If so rent a power snake and try that.
 
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Old 07-30-13, 05:08 PM
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I was kind of afraid that's where this was heading. I don't remember a cleanout down there, but I could remove the coupling between my ABS repair and the old galvanized Y. From there it's only a few inches to the 4" pipe.
 
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Old 07-30-13, 05:12 PM
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My next house must have a basement I can stand up in.
 
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Old 07-30-13, 05:39 PM
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If you plumbing system is ABS I'd cut the 4" a few inches past where it begins and install a cleanout wye.

My next house must have a basement I can stand up in.
In places to get under my house you have to dig a trench for your body. That's not uncommon with old houses in my area.
 
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