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Old 08-09-2008, 12:26 PM   #1
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Basement Washing machine floods


Need advice on troubleshooting the basement washing machine's drainage. When loads are large, the machine's drain pipes overflow about 1-2 gallons of water onto the basement floor. There's a vent stack within two feet of the washer. Pipes were snaked to ensure they were clear.

Advice???

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Old 08-09-2008, 12:44 PM   #2
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Basement Washing machine floods


May have something to with the venting of the drain. From here, I can't say much else.

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Old 08-09-2008, 12:59 PM   #3
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Basement Washing machine floods


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Originally Posted by LA Murdoch View Post
Need advice on troubleshooting the basement washing machine's drainage. When loads are large, the machine's drain pipes overflow about 1-2 gallons of water onto the basement floor. There's a vent stack within two feet of the washer. Pipes were snaked to ensure they were clear.

Advice???
If the water comes out the washer's stand pipe, that means your drain piping is still backing up. I think you need to clear that drain line further.

When you snaked the drain line, did you do it yourself from the clean out or did a plumber do it with a motorized snake. If it was a plumber, did he run the whole line out of the reel or not? If the drain pipe is clear all the way to the city sewer, then your drain piping should not be backing up.

Unless someone comes up with some alternate explanation, and you're sure that the drain pipe is clear all the way to the sewer, the next step in my view would be to run a camera down the drain line to find out if there's anything funny going on in it that would explain the drain piping backing up.
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Old 08-09-2008, 01:20 PM   #4
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Basement Washing machine floods


We had a new washer that did that. The old washer did not. The water shot out so fast it couldn't make it around the p-trap fast enouth. The p-trap was also too high. I had to lengthen the pipe between the p-trap and washer drain by a foot and move the water lines and washer box up a foot.

What happens when you pour water down the drain? Try a garden house and fill the drain. Does it drain quickly or does it take a while for the water level to go down?
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Old 08-09-2008, 02:32 PM   #5
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Basement Washing machine floods


We'll try your suggestions and let you know how it turns out.

Thnx!
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Old 08-09-2008, 03:40 PM   #6
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Basement Washing machine floods


When does the overflow happen? Is it early in the washer's spin cycle, or later on?
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Old 08-09-2008, 03:53 PM   #7
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Basement Washing machine floods


Washer drains are a problem since the waste water contains a lot of lint. A snake can go through this and the piping appears to be clear, when it isn't. Newer Codes are requiring 2" drains for washers since the new models have high pressure pumps on them. 1-1/2" will not take the amount of water they pump.
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Old 08-09-2008, 04:10 PM   #8
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Basement Washing machine floods


I agree with what majakdragon says. The lint will form a paste in the pipes that is the consistency of mashed potatoes...And it is easy to snake right through it without really ever moving it. It will really constrict a pipe and cause it to run slowly.
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Old 08-10-2008, 11:05 AM   #9
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Overflow happens towards the last third of the rinse cycle. Is there anyway I can slow down the amount of water that the pump pumps?
Also, as advised, I snaked the entire line and the problem still exists. By the way, thanks for the lint education, too!
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Old 08-10-2008, 11:18 AM   #10
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Basement Washing machine floods


If possible, I would try disconnecting the trap on the washer. Even if you need to cut it out to see if it is holding lint. At least check the drain piping to see if there is a vent connected. It could be a combination of lint and lack of venting causing the problem. Many people think that since the washer drainpipe is open, that this provides the venting necessary, but once the pipe is full, this is not true. I am not aware of any way to slow down the pump without causing more problems.
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Old 08-10-2008, 12:38 PM   #11
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Basement Washing machine floods


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Originally Posted by LA Murdoch View Post
Overflow happens towards the last third of the rinse cycle. Is there anyway I can slow down the amount of water that the pump pumps?
Also, as advised, I snaked the entire line and the problem still exists. By the way, thanks for the lint education, too!
A washing machine has four major sections; agitate, spin, rinse, spin. If you're not getting any backing up of water after the first spin cycle, then I have trouble with the notion that the lines are clogged up with lint. If that was the problem, it would manifest itself during the first spin cycle.

My feeling is that you're drain pipe is filling up with water because it's partially clogged, and the washer can pump water into your drain piping faster than it can drain away.

You CAN splice a gate valve into your washer's rubber drain hose to impede the rate at which the washer pumps water out. Washer pumps are made to handle pins and buttons going through them, so I can't see a bit of backpressure on the pump causing any damage. However, I see this as a "Band-Aid" solution. You need to have your house's main drain line cleared so that the water can drain away as fast as the washer can pump water into your drain piping.

If there's any lingering doubt about line accumulation in the drain piping, you can have your drain piping "jetted" instead of snaked. A jetter is really nothing more than a high pressure water spray nozzle that gets pushed into the drain piping. Because the water sprays out in all directions, you can clean just about any size of drain pipe with the same size of jetting equipment. You push the jetting hose all the way to the end of the drain pipe, and turn the high pressure water spray on and clean the pipe as you pull the high pressure hose out. Most drain cleaning companies will do the work with a jetter instead of a snake if you request it.
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Old 08-10-2008, 08:21 PM   #12
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Basement Washing machine floods


Majakdragon and Nestor - thank you so much for your helpful suggestions. I'll try having the drain cleaner use a jetter instead of a snake.
In the meantime, I'm forced to use the bandaid method, i.e. splicing a gate-valve into the washer's rubber drain hose.
Could you give me more info on the type of gate valve to use, i.e. do you mean a check-valve?
Thank you both so much!
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Old 08-10-2008, 08:33 PM   #13
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Basement Washing machine floods


I have my thoughts (bad ones) about restricting the flow of the discharge. The pump will be tring to do it's job and the valve will be stopping it from doing it. You could ruin the pump. I am not saying it WILL, just that it could.
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Old 08-10-2008, 11:17 PM   #14
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Basement Washing machine floods


MagicDragon:

I can understand and agree with your concern about restricting the discharge out of a washing machine pump. But, if you look at the impeller in a washing machine pump, it's a rubber disk with a lot of round rubber flanges around it's perimeter. If the back pressure gets too high, those flanges just bend and leak. They return to their normal position if and when the back pressure returns to normal.

Besides, the washer discharges 95 percent of the water within the first half minute of the spin cycle. All the rest of the spin time is just to get the remaining few percent of water out of the clothes. After the first half minute of spinning, there's virtually no flow in the washer's drain hose, so a partially closed gate valve has virtually no effect on the pump. The limitation is on how quickly the water is coming out of the clothes, not on how quickly the pump can discharge it.

I'd say that any cheap gate valve would work. Just screw in 1/2 inch NPT to 1/2 inch hose adapters on each end with teflon tape or pipe dope on the threads.

In fact, if it wuz me, I wouldn't cut the hose. Just stick the gate valve in the end of your existing hose, clamp another short piece of hose onto the end of your gate valve and stick the new short piece of hose in your stand pipe. That way, when you clear the drain line from your house, you can give away the gate valve at a rummage sale and have the drain hose intact.
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Old 08-11-2008, 12:15 PM   #15
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Basement Washing machine floods


Hey guys,

I'm going to try the gate valve as a temporary fix. I'll let you know how it goes.

Thank you both again! I'll post the results.

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