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topic 29544 p4

Washing machine drain line backs up



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A discussion started in 2004 but continuing through 2018

July 16, 2016

Q. I replaced my very old 1990 washer machine with a new high power washer. The machine drains into the kitchen sink (old house); the laundry room is 2 rooms away. The water line pipe has to go under the laundry room, dining room and into the kitchen to the sink. ( I will add that my kitchen is an addition to the house). Whenever I do laundry there is always a rotten egg smell, and a gurgling sound when it drains; next the floor along where the pipe runs has water damage on it. I don't know where this pipe is leaking from or if the whole line needs to be replaced. this will be the 2 time in 4 years I will have replaced the entire floor, before it is completely ripped out i am trying to figure out the issue. Each time someone comes up with a different solution. I do not know if it could be the air vent I keep seeing.

liz balman
- BENSENVILLE, Illinois usa


A. Hi Liz. Is it possible that what you call a rotten egg smell is what others might call a sewer gas smell? The purpose of traps is to always hold water in the U-bend so that the drain is not open to the sewer so sewer gasses can't rise into your kitchen or laundry room. Yes, these air vent things are for the purpose of helping keep water in the trap by interrupting the vacuum that siphons water out of the trap, so my guess is that they can solve the problem.

Sorry, I don't really understand the "leak" problem you are describing.

Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live "Aloha"


August 22, 2016

let me better explain:
Q. I replaced my very old 1990 washer machine with a new high power washer. The machine drains into the kitchen sink (old house); the laundry room is 2 rooms away. The water line pipe has to go under the laundry room, dining room and into the kitchen to the sink. (I will add that my kitchen is an addition to the house). Whenever I do laundry there is always a rotten egg smell, and a gurgling sound when it drains; next the floor along where the pipe runs has water damage on it. I don't know where this pipe is leaking from or if the whole line needs to be replaced. this will be the 2 time in 4 years I will have replaced the entire floor, before it is completely ripped out i am trying to figure out the issue. Each time someone comes up with a different solution. I do not know if it could be the air vent I keep seeing.::::::::
The washer line runs under my house (crawl no basement), it runs through the laundry room, the dining room and drains into the kitchen sink or pipes. The area the pipe would be running under, the portion of the floor has extreme wood damage, I have replace the flooring in the dining room twice, next year will be time 3. Somewhere between the laundry room and the kitchen the pipe is leaking and pretty bad. I do not believe it could be the hose line which also runs under the dining room, because I have not turned the main line for it on in two years.
I should also note the most of the work in the house was done by the previous owners, who are now deceased.
But back to the other question, you said they could fix it, Who, a plumber, to keep the gas smell out.

LIZ BALMAN [returning]
- BENSENVILLE, Illinois usa


August 2016

Hi again. I thought your question was whether siphon breaker air vent devices could cure the gurgling sounds and the rotten egg smell, to which my answer was, yes, I think they could. As for who would install them, assuming you're not doing it yourself, yes, a plumber would do it.

You apparently know that, additionally, some pipe in your crawl space is leaking, but I don't understand what you think can be done other than having a plumber repair or replace whatever pipe is leaking. Still, water drips down, not up, so I'm not quite understanding how a pipe that is leaking down in the crawl space is repeatedly causing severe water damage to the floors above it.

Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live "Aloha"


August 17, 2016

Q. I have a Bosch Nexxt series front load washer that is giving error code E13 and doesn't drain properly. I have opened the drain trap in the front and found a few coins and such. I cleared all that out, but the problem persists.

I then removed the drain tube on the back to see if it was blocked. Water flows freely through the tube, but when I stuck a finger into the pipe it is attached to on the back of the machine it seems fairly full of gunk.

Does this seem like the source of my problem, and if so, how can I clean it out? It doesn't appear to easily detach from the machine.

Linus Bern
- Toronto, Ontario, Canada


August 21, 2016

thumbs up signI want to thank the posters for the drain hose reducer solution to overflowing washing machine drains. A multi-section sprinkler riser pipe fit perfectly into our drain hose and acted as a reducer. It was epoxied in place and all is well!

George Mueller
- San Jose, California


November 12, 2016

Q. I have a Beko WME2772 when it starts to fill the little black overflow pipe (bottom front next to filter) pours the water straight back out, have changed pump and pressure switch, have no idea what else to try. It does not appear that any water is getting into the drum as its coming straight out the front. Any ideas?

Katrina Cornish
- Reading, Berks, England


December 6, 2016

Q. Hi. After doing a load of clothes we noticed that the washer is draining into tub and is full of muddy water and we can't afford a plumber what can we do to resolve this matter if anything?
Please help.

Thanks --David

david mowery
- midvale Utah usa



January 10, 2017

Q. We have been living in the same apartment suite for 5 years. Our Maytag top-load has been working great all this time. Couple days ago the machine backs up while draining and we need to stop and let it catch up 3 times to fully drain. We have run drainer cleaner twice and have snaked out 15' (which would take us right to the buildings main line). All other drains bathroom and kitchen are running fine.

What could have caused our drain to backup after running fine for years?

Clayton Watt
- bc, canada


January 2017

A. Hi Clayton. My father was a master plumber but I was not very good as a plumber's helper for a few reasons -- one of which is that I sometimes sent the snake up the vent pipe when I thought I was sending it down the drain line. I think I'd double check that you actually snaked the drain line all the way to the main :-)

Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live "Aloha"


January 11, 2017

A. Clayton

Have you checked the flexible hose from the washer to the drain? If it collapses, it will prevent the water from flowing normally. As the spin/drain cycle is on a timer, a pinched or collapsed hose could cause your issue.

Willie Alexander
- Green Mountain Falls, Colorado


January 19, 2017

Q. My clothes washer has started to create intermittent air locks in the hot water plumbing. I can break the air lock by turning on the hot and cold water faucets all the way in the sink next to the washing machine. But this isn't a solution.
How can I eliminate the air locks?

Alan Demb
- Toronto, Ontaro, Canada


January 2017

? Hi Alan. I'm a little confused whether you are speaking of the hot water supply or the drains. My limited experience as a fellow homeowner is that, when drains flow properly at full blast but improperly at lower stop-and-go flows, there may well be a high spot where air is accumulating. Obviously, drain pipes are supposed to tilt downward over their entire length, because water flows down. But because air flows up, you need to be careful that there is no high spot in a run which is too close to horizontal.

If air is accumulating in the hot water supply pipe, Although I've seen that after the water has been turned off and back on, I'm totally unacquainted with what would cause it otherwise.

Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live "Aloha"


February 5, 2017

A. Alan,
A common solution is to directly connect the hot and cold washing machine feeders. Turn on hot then cold and wait for 5 seconds. Repeat 2 or 3 times. If that works, re-connect the hoses as you found them.

blake kneedler
Blake Kneedler
Feather Hollow Eng.
Stockton, California



February 6, 2017

A. Just a thought - are you using a cool/cold wash? There is an increasing trend towards low temperature washes, but the problem with them is the detergents develop a soapy sludge that collects in the effluent pipe; this can harbour bacteria and ultimately give your clothes a strange smell. To get over it, you need to put the washing machine on a hot wash about every month - with or without clothes in it. This not only flushes out the muck, but also helps kill the bacteria. However, before doing this, you will need to unblock the effluent pipe - a pretty dirty job...

trevor crichton
Trevor Crichton
R&D practical scientist
Chesham, Bucks, UK



February 22, 2017

Q. My problem is that the drain line works fine, but the lint does not drain from the drum and accumulates on the the clothes. Lint that accumulates on the clothes stays on the clothes even through the drying cycle. I'm just wondering if soap scum is building up in the washing machine drain line.

James Merkel
- Schaumburg Illinois USA


March 10, 2017

Q. My situation seems different than the previous questions, but close enough so I'm posting it here.

My washing machine has been filling with water while unattended. Usually just 2 or 3 inches, but then last month it actually overflowed so I called a repairman. He said it didn't look like the problem was with the washer, so he turned off the water supply and said to watch it. And water kept coming in anyway, so he says the drain is the only place it could be coming from. So then I called a plumber, who sent out a young assistant who messed around with my sump pump (the washer is in my unfinished basement) and then said I probably have a block in my sewer line, which apparently is an expensive fix. He too said well keep an eye on it and call us back. Since then I've determined it seems to be closely tied to the amount of rainfall we get. But I'm in the Seattle area and we've had a much rainier winter than usual, so it's hard to be scientific about this. On one dry weekend the washer stayed dry. I think back when it overflowed, it was pouring, but that was before I knew to watch the weather. The water seems to be clean, like tap water. What the heck? The washer is below ground level.

thanks!!

Diane Brooks
- Everett Washington


March 20, 2017

A. Like many others on this thread, I have had recent problems with water backing up out of (or splashing out of?) the drain pipe behind my wash machine. This may be partly related to my having got a newer wash machine (Speed Queen top loader) a year ago; newer machine may shoot water out faster than my 20-year-old previous machine did.

I had a professional drain cleaning company come and snake out the drain--then, when it appeared the problem was not totally gone, I had them come back out and snake it again three days later. This appears to have partially helped, but I still get just a bit of water leakage or splash-back -- I estimate it probably is between 1/3 cup water and 2/3 cup water per load, depending on the size of the load -- not much, but still enough to potentially create a mold problem.

I will share the (TEMPORARY) solution I have found to keep mold off my wall: My drain pipe has a short "L" curve at the top, with the end sticking out of the wall. I take a long, maximum-absorbancy Poise Pad and wrap the pad around the end of the drain pipe, where the wash machine drain hose enters the pipe. I secure it with two half-inch strips of Velcro. One Velcro strip is the type with mini-hooks on it, and the other strip is the type that the mini-hooks cling to; I just lay the two strips over each other to fasten, then peel back to easily un-fasten when I need to check or change the pad. One of these inexpensive pads lasts us for about two or three loads of wash, and my wall stays nice and dry. For those not familiar with Poise Pads: They are sold in most pharmacies and supermarkets, and are a product originally intended to be used by people who have trouble with urinary incontinence. They come in two lengths and six possible degrees of absorbency. The highest level of absorbency, of course, is suitable for this purpose. Either length would probably work around a 2-inch drain pipe, though with the longer length,

Lois Herring
I am a retired individual homeowner - Milwaukie Oregon U.S.A.


April 16, 2017

A. Having the same washer discharge problem in a 1972 home with a more recent machine, I cut the 1-inch gooseneck, at the washer's drain hose end, and inserted a 3/4 inch pipe nipple to restrict the flow. It helped, but was not enough; so, back to the hardware store for a second pipe nipple and a 3/4 inch plastic gate valve.
They were assembled and inserted with teflon tape and clamped in place. With the gate valve about 1/3 to 1/2 closed, we achieved just the right flow restriction to prevent overflow, while still getting complete emptying of the washer. Success, at last!

Bob Glenn
- Tucson, Arizona, USA



July 4, 2017

Q. I need to know what going on in my house. You see the bathtub, washing machine, and the sinks are backing up. The color of the water is a murky brown, pinkish color. It stinks and we have tried a lot of different things. My family is really stressed and we don't know what to do.

Katherina O Fushazi
- Seattle Washington


July 2017

A. Hi Katherina. You're going to have to call a plumber for that. Sorry, but there is probably nothing a homeowner can do for a blockage in the main drain. Good luck with it.

Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live "Aloha"



July 30, 2017

Q. My toilet keeps getting stopped up a lot you can hear the toilet making a gurgling noise when I'm in the shower and when I'm washing clothes you can hear that gurgling noise in the sink and when I'm washing clothes the pipes overflows with water what could my problem be

Tonya kelly
- Smithfield Virginia


November 9, 2017

A. I had the same issue, called a plumber, checked the line and snaked it/pressured it. Still happened after, decided it was the output flow from the washer draining and older plumbing not able to keep up. I went to the hardware store and bought a much smaller diameter drain hose. Measure your drain size on the back of the washer before going. Mine was a 1" round output. I bought the smallest diameter drain hose that would fit 1", brought it home, hooked it up, and the problem went away. The old hose was nearly twice the diameter of this new one. The new smaller hose slowed the washer output. Problem solved. 12 bucks for the washer drain hose.

Mark Miller
- Jacksonville, Florida, USA


March 20, 2018

A. I recently did a house that the plumber said drain was collapsed on. I cabled both directions found no collapsed pipe there is a floor drain/ trap that the unit drains into Basically just raised the pipe about 3 inches above the top of the washing machine and made sure the ribbed part of the hose isn't all the way inside creating an air trap and it drains fine now; basically the ribbed part doesn't allow air to flow creating an air pocket and making water come back up.

Jesse McKinnon
McKinnon Home Handy Man - Alton Illinois Usa



April 29, 2018

Q. We just installed a new floor. In doing so the washing machine was moved to another slot in the kitchen. The washing machine will wash and take in water. However, when the spin cycle is on, the water backs up in the house. The plumber put in new pipes and now we can't use the machine due to water back up. Can you give advice as to what might be wrong with the pipes, or the hook up. Should I pay him again for service I think should have been noted before he lift. Then all would have been in one bill. Please advise.

Priscilla Holden
- Wake Forest, North Carolina


May 8, 2018

Q. My washer drain overflows at the beginning of the drain cycle but then continues to drain properly. I called a plumber and he spent 4 hours working on the problem. We found that the washer drain and one of the bathtubs drain separately from the other drains in the house. We have a septic tank but the washer and tub drains through a pipe that leads to a drainage ditch. The plumber cut the pipe about two feet from where it comes out the back of my house so now it just drains onto the ground :(. But the problem still exists.
Any ideas as to what I can do? I am almost tempted to wash clothes the old fashioned way, with a scrub board!

Lindale Holliman
- FORREST CITY, Arkansas US


November 19, 2018

Q. Washing machine has been in for years, and all of a sudden when it rinses the rinse hose now is overflowing out of the wall. Wondering if it's because we put in a water softener and it's messing with the airflow?

Eva Caulder
- Weatherford Texas USA



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