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Old 06-19-2011, 12:11 PM   #1
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2nd floor washing machine with no trap


A contractor did our addition and moved the washer/dryer to the second floor. We love not having to lug clothes down to the basement. But in the summer time clothes often come out of the washer with a bad smell. The washer is a new front loading high efficiency machine. I opened the wall behind the washer and found no trap from the washer drain. See the attached picture.

Could this setup cause gases to enter the washer, fouling the clothes?

I can move the supply lines and add a trap. Should the trap enter the drain pipe above the vent or below the vent?

Inspectors were here during the remodel, but I'd be surprised if this is to code.

Thanks to all for their input.
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2nd floor washing machine with no trap-badcontractor.jpg  

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Old 06-19-2011, 05:05 PM   #2
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2nd floor washing machine with no trap


I'm guessing the "contractor" didn't pull any permits or get any inspections. What a hack. As a licensed master plumber, it's infuriating to me to see that kind of garbage. Not only is it unsanitary (you have sewer gases flowing unimpeded into your living space), but it can be potentially dangerous. Explosions have occured due to accumulation of methane gas in homes.

Having said that, I can't imagine that it would cause your clothes to smell. I'm sure the area around your washing machine smells pretty bad, but the discharge hose from the machine usually stays full of water after it's finished pumping, so the gases shouldn't get inside the washing machine.

It's not going to be easy to make that right (because of the way the hack plumbed the water lines) and the proximity to the stud.

Before you do anything yourself, get the alleged contractor back to make it right. Threaten him with going to the building inspector and/or the BBB. I'll just mention that going to the inspector could open a can of worms for you (since he most likely didn't pull the necessary permits or get the inspections).

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Old 06-19-2011, 08:35 PM   #3
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2nd floor washing machine with no trap


i have a similar front loading "high efficiency" washing machine. I don't think it has anything to do with the way it is plumbed, since I have had the machine in three different homes, with similar results. They have a tendency to smell a little moldy if you leave clothes in too long when wet. Also, when not in use, leave the door open, and the detergent drawer open to allow them to air out. Finally, do a search on the web for a home remedy (can't remember it off hand) that will take the smell out of the machine. I think it is just the nature of the beast,...something they don't mention when you are making the purchase.
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Old 06-19-2011, 08:48 PM   #4
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2nd floor washing machine with no trap


could the trap be under the floor in the line there? even if there was a trap there you would still get the sewer gas coming from the vent as Ishmael said. The vent is definitely in the wrong place and needs to be connected downstream of the trap. A guy i used to work for did something similar before i started working for him and i was the one that had to fix it. what kind of contractor was he??
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Old 06-21-2011, 07:14 AM   #5
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2nd floor washing machine with no trap


Thank you for the prompt and frank response. I can move the supply lines over to the right, and then move the drain to the left. That will make more room to install the trap.

Should the trap meet the drain above the vent, at the vent, or below the vent?

I used a general contractor. I saw lots of other tradesmen and inspectors come and go during the project. His own employee did the plumbing. I assumed a plumbing inspector had come, but maybe not.

Thank you.
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Old 06-21-2011, 10:19 AM   #6
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2nd floor washing machine with no trap


Just FYI, I have a front loader as well, and I love the thing, but every couple of weeks you have to put bleach in the soap container and run it through the self wash cycle, or else you get the problem that you are describing.

It's also a good idea to wipe clean the inside of the glass, and the rubber seal to keep hair and other objects from building up there, and causing drips through the seal.



Your plumbing setup there is horrible, but I don't think the sewer gas is causing the clothes to smell. It's just the washer.
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Old 06-21-2011, 10:23 AM   #7
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2nd floor washing machine with no trap


Quote:
Originally Posted by katzenbe View Post
Thank you for the prompt and frank response. I can move the supply lines over to the right, and then move the drain to the left. That will make more room to install the trap.

Should the trap meet the drain above the vent, at the vent, or below the vent?

I used a general contractor. I saw lots of other tradesmen and inspectors come and go during the project. His own employee did the plumbing. I assumed a plumbing inspector had come, but maybe not.

Thank you.
it should look SOMETHING like this one

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Old 06-21-2011, 10:50 AM   #8
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2nd floor washing machine with no trap


Most front loaders have an internal trap now that you are supposed to pull out and clean a few times a year, pull the front panel and look for a 3" pipe near the bottom that unscrews. Start there, see if it is backed up or has two dozen bobby-pins in it like mine did! ...wifey had to see it to understand my frustration. However, front loaders need to air-out depending on how much you use them. With only two of us in my house we generally only use the washer on the weekends. A technician advised us to dry out the rubber door gasket and leave the door and soap drawer open for at least a day after use to dry out or the water that remains will mold and cause the odors.
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Old 06-21-2011, 11:00 AM   #9
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2nd floor washing machine with no trap


Quote:
Originally Posted by moneymgmt View Post
Most front loaders have an internal trap now that you are supposed to pull out and clean a few times a year, pull the front panel and look for a 3" pipe near the bottom that unscrews. Start there, see if it is backed up or has two dozen bobby-pins in it like mine did! ...wifey had to see it to understand my frustration. However, front loaders need to air-out depending on how much you use them. With only two of us in my house we generally only use the washer on the weekends. A technician advised us to dry out the rubber door gasket and leave the door and soap drawer open for at least a day after use to dry out or the water that remains will mold and cause the odors.
We also do this; just leave the door open after use; everything dries nicely and we haven't had any smell problems. We also wipe out the rubber gasket sometimes, as mentioned above.
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Old 06-21-2011, 01:35 PM   #10
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2nd floor washing machine with no trap


Could there still be a trap buried further below the wall and floor?

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