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Old 01-23-2009, 09:38 PM   #1
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Looking for Washer drain solution


My building is 5 stories high with another 3 underground parking levels. My condo occupies the 4th and 5th floors. I want to add a washer to my 5th floor bathroom, however, I am told the building is not plumbed adequately to drain the washer. The building was built in 1985, and has a "stacked drain" system. We have public laundries on each floor, which evidently are plumbed adequately. Another resident installed a washer, and the first floor unit below had a problem with soap bubbles exiting their faucets. Three other personal washers don't cause problems. Ameriserve studied the problem and said the building is not plumbed for these extra washers (needs bigger pipes). My question is why can't I tie into the toilet drain in my bath, as another plumber told me these should be 3" pipes versus 1.75"(?) drain pipes for the sinks. If this isn't the solution, is there another way, such as a holding tank, to slow the volume of water drained? I am intent on installing a washer, but I absolutely don't want to cause a problem for other residents.

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Old 01-24-2009, 01:29 AM   #2
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Looking for Washer drain solution


Consider splicing a gate valve into the washer's drain pipe and pinching off the flow to about half what it would otherwise be.

In a typical 5 minute spin cycle, 99.9% of the water is pumped out in the first 30 seconds of spinning. The remaining 4 1/2 minutes of spinning is to reduce the moisture content in the clothes so the dryer has less work to do. If you reduce that rate to 50%, almost all the water will be pumped out in 1 minute, and the only difference will be that the clothes will be slightly wetter when the spin cycle stops. They will be wetter by the amount of water that would normally be spun out of the clothes in the last 30 seconds of the spin cycle, which isn't much.

Another idea is to get a front loading washer, which typically uses much less water than a top loader. If you pinch off the flow from a front loader with a gate valve, you shouldn't have a problem. Washing machine pumps typically have a rubber impeller inside them that can be damaged by pins, buttons and coins going through the pump and still work effectively. Pinching off the flow out of the pump for the first half minute of the spin cycle won't do any harm to the pump. And, after that first 30 seconds, it won't matter that the gate valve is there because the flow rate is limited by the amount of water coming out of the clothes which is steadily diminishing.

PS:
Your bathroom sink will typically require a 1 1/4 inch drain pipe, the bathtub and kitchen sink require a 1 1/2 inch drain pipe, and the toilet needs a 3 inch drain pipe.

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Last edited by Nestor_Kelebay; 01-24-2009 at 01:40 AM.
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Old 01-24-2009, 07:46 AM   #3
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do you have room to install a slop sink next to the washer? That would solve your problem. Let it drain into that.
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Old 01-24-2009, 08:23 AM   #4
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yeah slop sinks your best option, cutting into the toilet line not so good of an idea, yes it should be a 3" drain, but from my experience when I frist started plumbing is that cutting in your 3x2 wye to close to a toilet will just allow the bubbles to enter into your toilet.
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Old 01-28-2009, 02:01 AM   #5
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I really appreciate all the professional advice. There is not room for a slop sink, unless I install one to replace the vanity, which may not look so good in a remodeled modern bathroom. I think I will have to go with the front loader and the valve. Any idea how much to turn it to restrict the water flow? Would it be better to splice in a smaller diameter pipe so that there would be no option for someone to turn the valve all the way open?

I do plan to hire a plumber for this install, but I want to make sure I have a plan in place first. Reading some other posts, it sounds like a 2" drain is the current standard for washers. I'm not sure this would pass code- I don't have any experience with permits, etc.
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Old 01-28-2009, 10:08 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RobertSch View Post
I really appreciate all the professional advice. There is not room for a slop sink, unless I install one to replace the vanity, which may not look so good in a remodeled modern bathroom. I think I will have to go with the front loader and the valve. Any idea how much to turn it to restrict the water flow? Would it be better to splice in a smaller diameter pipe so that there would be no option for someone to turn the valve all the way open?

I do plan to hire a plumber for this install, but I want to make sure I have a plan in place first. Reading some other posts, it sounds like a 2" drain is the current standard for washers. I'm not sure this would pass code- I don't have any experience with permits, etc.
Not trying to be funny, but couldn't your "slop sink" be your bath tub?

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