Home /
Search 🔍
the Site

It's Tuesday 01/18/22 & your Q or A is Welcome.
Chime right in! (a "no registration" site)


"Washing machine drain line backs up"

< Prev. page          Next page >

An ongoing discussion beginning back in 2004 ...

August 31, 2010

Q. We have a 30 year old home, that we've been in just over a year. We discovered that the washer discharge was backing up, I installed a venting device and I believe it helps on the discharge backing up, but we discovered accidentally that when we flush the toilet in the basement, the washer discharge pipe backs up, - but not all the time. We tried flushing it while the washer was discharging, and it backed up as well even after installing the vent.

The toilet discharges into a sump pump in the crawl space of the house, the sump pump discharge line joins into the washer discharge line under the house which goes to the main sewer line out the front of the house. The sump pump has a vent line that goes out to the back side of the house from the crawl space. The discharge line also has a vent pipe under the house to a small sewer vent in the crawl space as well.


Not sure what my next step is beyond asking for help here, possibly calling a plumber next, unless someone has another possible solution.

William Baggett
Homeowner / handyman - Atlanta, Georgia, USA

October 6, 2010

Q. Can you give me a solution of backup of foam only from washing machines drain? we bought a new whirlpool Cabrio washing machine and only foam backed up a few months later. Tried different cleaners and snake. Water drains okay. I do not think we put in too much liquid detergent. Our house was built 22 years ago. Never had foam problem with old washer. Thanks for any suggestion.

Junhai Zhang
homeowner - Parma, Ohio, USA

October 16, 2010

A. I have a problem with my washer drain water backing up into my double kitchen sink whenever the washer drains. I have been told to install an Air Admittance Valve, and I am not sure whether I should:
(1) install it under the kitchen sink
(2) I could simply connect to my washer drain pipe (with a sanitary "T" in the drain line, then connect a 90 degree elbow to this "T" and then attach the Air Admittance Valve to the top of the 90 elbow.

Any advise on this situation would be greatly appreciated.

F. Ross Kennedy
- Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

October 18, 2010

Hi, Ross. Although they call it an air admittance valve, I think they also let air get out of the line so the water can flow through it. As such, I think the ideal placement would at the high point of the line.^[See entry of Jan. 18, 2012]


Ted Mooney, finishing.com
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey

October 24, 2010

Q. Our Kenmore washing machine is draining the water but bubbles are backing up the drain. how do you stop this?

Joe Kraus
home owner - USA

October 25, 2010

Q. Hose that goes into washer drain, the water keeps coming back out when the washer drains the water. We have snaked it and put drain cleaner in it the snake seems to only go so far then stops?

Barb Nobile
homeowner - Gahanna, Ohio

December 1, 2010

A. GVii valve is a patented product that pressurizes the drain which keeps it clean and attaches directly to your washer hose. For more info go to my web site gviivalve.com. Thanks

Randy Jirasek
- Troy, Texas USA

December 1, 2010

Hi, Randy. Good to hear that you have a potential solution. But I'm not seeing in your posting or on your website an explanation about which of these problems it addresses or how. Since it is patented you should be free to explain exactly what it is and how it works so the readers can judge how likely it is to solve their problem. Thanks.


Ted Mooney, finishing.com
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey

December 1, 2010

The GVii is a valve that has a stainless steel check ball. When the washer is pumping out, ball comes up, which makes built-in air brake. It prevents hose popping out and overflow of drain pipe, and helps keep drains clean. Hope this helps! Thanks

Randy Jirasek
- Troy, Texas

December 9, 2010

Q. I have the same problem, and snaking the washer drain line does nothing. However, I have an air vent pipe that goes to the roof, which seems to be the issue. If I snake the vent pipe, the problem goes away for 2-3 weeks. Any thoughts on how to make this more permanent? Does the pipe go straight down to the drain, so I could pour drain cleaner down it? Thanks in advance for any solutions.

J McLaughlin
- Torrance, California USA

December 10, 2010

A. Our second floor washing machine began overflowing at the drain after a new pump was installed in the washer. Tried everything from snaking to the expensive camera down the line to find the issue. No problems, vent on roof was fine too. Augured down the line 75 feet to no effect.

What finally worked was installing a 45 degree piece of pipe to a y valve. The drain line now drops 2.5 feet to a trap, the trap comes up and the line goes about six inches across to the 45 degree piece then into the y valve where it connects to the vent pipe going up and also drops down into the wall of the house.

Jeff Stratton
- Ankney, Iowa, USA

January 19, 2011

A. The biggest issue with all of the above seems to me (or to be) that the volume of water used by older machines, is replaced by a larger volume of water used by the newer machines. Most of the pipes can handle the larger volume, but not at the same DISCHARGE as the newer machines. If you SEAL the gap from the machine to the drain line, eventually you have no air in the system.... eventually the water runs freely. While duct tape works, there must be a way to PLUG the drain hose into the line and seal it, solving all the problems.

Gabriel Holter
- gulfport, Mississippi, usa

"Uniform Plumbing Code"
from Abe Books

Affiliate Link
(commissions from your purchases make finishing.com possible)

January 27, 2011

A. Most of the problems I have been reading here are due to improper plumbing connections and assemblies. The plumbing code specifically states that every trap has to be vented properly. Air admittance valves can work but do have the potential of failing. Location of the washer trap, height, length and height of trap arm and proximity of other plumbing fixtures, such as water closets and bathroom groups, can and do affect the performance of the washer drain. Only an experienced licensed plumber can identify if such plumbing drainage systems to be properly installed, either preexisting, altered or installed.

Steve Maldonado
- Georgetown, Texas, USA

Bacterial drain cleaner

Affiliate Link
(commissions from your purchases make finishing.com possible)

February 12, 2011

A. Like most people I have also had this problem and found out that the soap we were using had a waxy type substance that was visible on the soap fill area. What worked was using a bacterial drain cleaner .
which now I use a different soap and use the bacterial cleaner from time to time. Previous to this I put 170 degree water at full flow and the snake, the bacterial cleaner worked.

Brian Carlton
- Okanogan Washington

March 12, 2011

Q. I bought a washer a couple of years ago brand new, had to put it into storage, and now it isn't wanting to hold water, and it is all coming out the bottom.

michele quinn
student - cedar park, Texas USA

March 21, 2011

Q. I'm having this same issue. When the water goes to drain from the washing machine water spews out of the pipe behind the machine. Same machine I have had for 5 years and all of a sudden this happens. I can't figure it out...doesn't seem to be clogged. Please help someone ... I can't afford a plumber right now. Thanks in advance.

L Hall
- Houston, Texas, USA

May 15, 2011

Q. I have lived in my house for 15 years it was built in the 50's never had an issue now all of the sudden my washer,kitchen sink and bathroom sink are all backing up into my toilet. I do have a sump pump in my crawl space. We have rooted all the lines and rooted the vent on the roof. Nothing is seeming to help! I do have trees 2 in front 1 in back could it be roots?

Cindi K
- Lake Station, Indiana

May 16, 2011

A. Hi, Cindi.

You need a professional plumber to look at this. Sad to say it could be very bad. Many 1950s tract houses used the least expensive, and often unproven materials like drain pipes that were essentially cardboard steeped in tar.


Ted Mooney, finishing.com
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey

June 18, 2011

Q. I have the same problem,
October 16, 2010

I have a problem as Ross Kennedy's
"my washer drain water backing up into my double kitchen sink whenever the washer drains. I have been told to install an Air Admittance Valve..."

I am not familiar to this system.

Would you please let me know of the detail steps to fix this problem?


Woo-Young Yoon
- Pleasanton, California, USA

July 15, 2011

A. I had this problem in my house 30+ years ago. the house was built in 1935 and had 1 1/2" galvanized pipe for a drain for the washer. I reduced it to a 3/4" pipe which fit snugly into the washer drain hose. I also "T"ed off it and put in a directional valve with a clapper in it, so that air could get into the line but water could not get out. This allowed the washer to pressurize the line and force the water into the drain system. It was easy to do and worked for about 25 years at which time I replaced all the plumbing while remodeling the kitchen. what I found when I removed the old galvanized and cast drain lines was really ugly! I could not even see through them they were so corroded. I replaced the washer drain with 1 1/2" abs and it works great.
If you use too much soap it can also fill the drain line with too much bubbles and the water cannot get past it as it should.
New washers use less water than the old ones did, but drain faster due to higher spin speeds.
Another problem I have seen that slows drains is blocked roof vents, wasps or birds building nests in them.

Bob Petersen
- Orinda, California

August 20, 2011

A. I want to thank all of you for your suggestions. I made a list of the ideas that I wanted to try before calling a plumber. 1. Lye, gel type drain cleaner 2. Enzyme type drain care, build up remover. 3. Power drill plus snake. 4.restrict drain water flow from machine. 5. call a plumber 6. buy a new front loader machine.
We bought a new machine 3 years ago and had no problems until about 6 months ago. We just recently noticed that the drain was overflowing into the crawl space beneath the house. I checked the drain hose by running a cycle and having it drain into a trash bucket. I knew then the problem was in the plumbing. Luckily, I was able to clear the drain using 1, 2 & 3. It took me a week and cost about $45. Don't give up. The enzyme type drain cleaner took 3 applications. I ran boiling water thru after allowing the enzyme type drain cleaner to sit overnight. The last thing I did was to run the power drill auger through and that pulled up some hair. Good luck !

Frank Walsh
- Dunwoody, Georgia, USA

August 24, 2011

A. Our drain problem has been solved!! We are so happy. My husband inserted a 1" pvc pipe into our drain hose before the drain pipe. It diffuses the water, slowing down the amount of water into the line. We haven't had water on the floor, since.

Annette Pallowick
- Indian Harbour Beach, Florida, USA

September 7, 2011

thumbsdownThe same thing happened to my 2 year old machine. All of a sudden it is leaking water where the machine hose and pipe meet. My machine does not wring out water, GE said it is because of my pipe being not big enough. Why did the manufacturer never mention that there is a possibility to have this problem. They should have given us size of pipe drain not just us finding it out of the blue.

Erlinda A [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- Carson, California USA

< Prev. page          Next page >

finishing.com is made possible by ...
this text gets replaced with bannerText
spacer gets replaced with bannerImages

Q, A, or Comment on THIS thread SEARCH for Threads about ... My Topic Not Found: Start NEW Thread

Disclaimer: It's not possible to fully diagnose a finishing problem or the hazards of an operation via these pages. All information presented is for general reference and does not represent a professional opinion nor the policy of an author's employer. The internet is largely anonymous & unvetted; some names may be fictitious and some recommendations might be harmful.

If you are seeking a product or service related to metal finishing, please check these Directories:

Chemicals &
Consult'g, Train'g
& Software

About/Contact    -    Privacy Policy    -    ©1995-2022 finishing.com, Pine Beach, New Jersey, USA