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houston81 07-06-2010 08:05 PM

Drain Pipe to Washing Machine
I am trying to replace some washing machine outlet box valves, and then I encountered a problem.

I removed the outlet box valves and accidently dropped one of them down the drain pipe. Is there a way for me to remove the valve without tearing up my dry wall? Any help would be very much appreciated!

LateralConcepts 07-06-2010 08:48 PM


Shop Vac?

houston81 07-06-2010 09:26 PM

Thanks lateral concepts. I tried the shop vac but since the drain opening is 3 feet off the ground it doesn't seem like I can get the vacuum effect needed to lift the valve. Unfortunately, the valve is not made of a material that is attracted to a magnet...

For reference, here is a link to the supply box I have in my house to help those more visual like myself. The box is located on the ground level, and I don't have a basement.

Since the drain is behind the wall, I feel like I only have 2 more options.

1. Leave the valve in the drain.
- My main concern is that it might cause clogs later down the road. I don't know enough about plumbing if that makes much sense. I am not sure if the hole sizes would get smaller as the valve (2 1/4" tall & 1 1/2" with a twist handle (1 7/8")) makes it way down the drainage system.

2. Cut the drywall and replace the section of pipe.
- I would rather hire a plumber to do this eventhough it would be expensive. Only uncertainity is if the valve has already made it to the main line which goes back to my first option dilemma...

LateralConcepts 07-06-2010 09:43 PM

The valve most likely hasn't made it past the trap. After that it would have to defy the laws of gravity to make it any further. Regardless, you need to get it out. It will cause a problem eventually.

Maybe try adapting your shop vac to create more suction. Duct tape a smaller flexible hose to the hose on your shop vac. Piece of garden hose, etc. just trying to be creative here.

Maybe call up a Kirby, Electrolux, or Rainbow salesmen and tell them: "Come on over! I've got the perfect test for your machine. If you can do it, I might by one." "Might" being the key word as one of their vacuums would probably set you back 2500 bucks or so.. drywall's cheaper. :wink:

I'll let you know if I come up with any more brilliant MacGyverisms

houston81 07-06-2010 09:48 PM

Good idea on using the garden hose... I will try that. I will see if my dry vac maybe has an accessory connection.

Otherwise, I will probably call the plumber. I just want to minimize any additional damage I can do! :wink:

LateralConcepts 07-06-2010 09:57 PM


Originally Posted by houston81 (Post 466265)
Good idea on using the garden hose... I will try that. I will see if my dry vac maybe has an accessory connection.

Otherwise, I will probably call the plumber. I just want to minimize any additional damage I can do! :wink:

Houston81 - we have a problem. :laughing: Sorry couldn't resist. Even if you end up having to open up the wall to access the pipe. It's a simple fix that you can do yourself. After all this is the DIY chatroom. You probably have a 2" ABS (black plastic) laundry stack coming into the bottom of your valve box. Below that you have about 3' of straight pipe before it goes into a P-Trap. All it would take is simply cutting the pipe about an inch above the trap, fishing out your valve, and repairing with a glue coupling. Simple simple! Don't call a plumber for that. It will cost you about a buck for the coupling and a couple bucks for a small can of glue.

AllanJ 07-07-2010 08:03 AM

Do not leave it in there. The drian pipe performance is severely impaired by the presence of the large foreign object and the washing machine probably delivers drain water fast enough to make the drain overflow on the spot.

Also, do not tape the washing machine drain hose to the drain pipe in an effort to prevent overflowing. There must be a loose fit open to the room otherwise you can damage the washing machine.

Can you fish it out using a bent coat hanger?

Michael Thomas 07-07-2010 08:49 AM

You might try renting a digital inspection camera:
Which would make it a lot easier to snag it.

bob22 07-07-2010 12:12 PM

Fish hook?

handy man88 07-07-2010 06:27 PM

Try fish tape, with a twist at the end.

Or, for something more flexible, consider this (use piers to remove brush and twist into a hook at the end).

Jim F 07-07-2010 06:39 PM

What is the level beneath the washer? It it sits over a heated basement, the trap is likely locates in the ceiling level of the basement. If a wall tearout is iminant, try just cutting a small hole in the drywall first straight down and close to the floor if you believe the trap is behind the wall. Possibly you can locate, cut out and replace the trap through a small hole in the wall which will be easier to repair than a larger section.

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