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Old 03-13-2012, 12:26 PM   #1
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Main Drain


I own a house that was built in 1952. About 6 years ago I replaced the Main Drain line. For the past 4 yrs I have to be careful doing laundry because the drain is real slow. I've checked the vent pipe and it seems to be clear. I've also put baking soda and vinegar with boiling water down the kitchen sink which is directly above the main drain. What's next? I've had it snaked, and just a tiny bit of lint comes up. The plumber seems to think it's do to the pipes being so old and lots of lint just collecting on the sides.

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Old 03-13-2012, 12:40 PM   #2
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I own a house that was built in 1952. About 6 years ago I replaced the Main Drain line. For the past 4 yrs I have to be careful doing laundry because the drain is real slow. I've checked the vent pipe and it seems to be clear. I've also put baking soda and vinegar with boiling water down the kitchen sink which is directly above the main drain. What's next? I've had it snaked, and just a tiny bit of lint comes up. The plumber seems to think it's do to the pipes being so old and lots of lint just collecting on the sides.
We need a bit more information. You mentioned you replaced the "main drain line" 6 years ago. What do you mean by that? Did you do it yourself or did you hire someone to do it? When you say 'main drain" do you mean the 4" sewer lateral from the house all the way to the street? Is it just the laundry that's slow? Are you on city sewer or septic? If the line has been replaced, why would a plumber seem to think it's due to "the pipes being so old"?

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Old 03-13-2012, 01:03 PM   #3
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We need a bit more information. You mentioned you replaced the "main drain line" 6 years ago. What do you mean by that? Did you do it yourself or did you hire someone to do it? When you say 'main drain" do you mean the 4" sewer lateral from the house all the way to the street? Is it just the laundry that's slow? Are you on city sewer or septic? If the line has been replaced, why would a plumber seem to think it's due to "the pipes being so old"?

I had a company do it and yes, it's the sewer line from the house to the street. I'm on city water and it's just the laundry that's slow. He's referring to the pipes under the house.
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Old 03-13-2012, 01:47 PM   #4
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I had a company do it and yes, it's the sewer line from the house to the street. I'm on city water and it's just the laundry that's slow. He's referring to the pipes under the house.
If you can, take a picture of your laundry setup and post it.
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Old 03-13-2012, 02:45 PM   #5
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If you can, take a picture of your laundry setup and post it.

I will do that tonight when I get home.
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Old 03-13-2012, 07:12 PM   #6
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I will do that tonight when I get home.
Here's a picture of the set up. I hope this helps. Thanks for looking.

Name:  fairfax_laundry (Custom).JPG
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Old 03-13-2012, 07:31 PM   #7
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So when you replace the main line, did you replace the lines under the house? Does the laundry tie in before everything else? Do you have access under the house or is this a slab foundation?
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Old 03-13-2012, 07:40 PM   #8
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So when you replace the main line, did you replace the lines under the house? Does the laundry tie in before everything else? Do you have access under the house or is this a slab foundation?
No. We did not replace the lines under the house and there is no access as it's on a slab foundation. I'm not sure what you mean "tie in before everything else". The laundry empties into the tub. It's in the back of the house and the kitchen is above it. Does that help?


Here is a link to the full size picture:
http://imgur.com/a/pUVII#0
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Old 03-13-2012, 10:18 PM   #9
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Here's a picture of the set up. I hope this helps. Thanks for looking.

Attachment 47445
Yes the picture helps. That's a very common problem. I see you've taken some steps in helping to remedy the problem. i.e. the lint filter (screen) over your washing machine discharge is a good idea. The biggest problem however, is that you have (what was a common set-up at the time), the kitchen and laundry tied into the same 1 1/2 or 2" galvanized drain line (can't tell size from the pic). If it's 1 1/2" it's undersized. 2" is required for kitchen and laundry. Additionally, the kitchen and laundry drains are the two most likely in the house for being subject to abuse. i.e. grease, food waste, soap scum, etc. from the kitchen; and virtually the same including including lint from the laundry. The two discharging into an old galvanized drainage system is trouble waiting to happen. The inside of that pipe is probably necked down to less than 1/2" in spots due to build-up of grease waste, lint, etc. The only cure is to re-plumb (eliminate the old galvanized). The only way to avoid that; but still greatly improve the flow characteristics, would be to jet the line out with a high pressure jetter. Jet the line from the cleanout under the kitchen sink, all the way to where that line ties into the 4" main. Keep in mind, this can make a huge mess if you're not careful. If you're not comfortable doing it yourself, hire a professional.
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Old 03-14-2012, 06:19 AM   #10
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Yes the picture helps. That's a very common problem. I see you've taken some steps in helping to remedy the problem. i.e. the lint filter (screen) over your washing machine discharge is a good idea. The biggest problem however, is that you have (what was a common set-up at the time), the kitchen and laundry tied into the same 1 1/2 or 2" galvanized drain line (can't tell size from the pic). If it's 1 1/2" it's undersized. 2" is required for kitchen and laundry. Additionally, the kitchen and laundry drains are the two most likely in the house for being subject to abuse. i.e. grease, food waste, soap scum, etc. from the kitchen; and virtually the same including including lint from the laundry. The two discharging into an old galvanized drainage system is trouble waiting to happen. The inside of that pipe is probably necked down to less than 1/2" in spots due to build-up of grease waste, lint, etc. The only cure is to re-plumb (eliminate the old galvanized). The only way to avoid that; but still greatly improve the flow characteristics, would be to jet the line out with a high pressure jetter. Jet the line from the cleanout under the kitchen sink, all the way to where that line ties into the 4" main. Keep in mind, this can make a huge mess if you're not careful. If you're not comfortable doing it yourself, hire a professional.

I had a feeling I needed to jet the line but was trying to avoid it because of the expense and wasn't sure where to jet from. So, that helps immensely!!! Thanks ever so much....I'll let you know what happens.
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Old 03-20-2012, 10:39 AM   #11
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Yes the picture helps. That's a very common problem. I see you've taken some steps in helping to remedy the problem. i.e. the lint filter (screen) over your washing machine discharge is a good idea. The biggest problem however, is that you have (what was a common set-up at the time), the kitchen and laundry tied into the same 1 1/2 or 2" galvanized drain line (can't tell size from the pic). If it's 1 1/2" it's undersized. 2" is required for kitchen and laundry. Additionally, the kitchen and laundry drains are the two most likely in the house for being subject to abuse. i.e. grease, food waste, soap scum, etc. from the kitchen; and virtually the same including including lint from the laundry. The two discharging into an old galvanized drainage system is trouble waiting to happen. The inside of that pipe is probably necked down to less than 1/2" in spots due to build-up of grease waste, lint, etc. The only cure is to re-plumb (eliminate the old galvanized). The only way to avoid that; but still greatly improve the flow characteristics, would be to jet the line out with a high pressure jetter. Jet the line from the cleanout under the kitchen sink, all the way to where that line ties into the 4" main. Keep in mind, this can make a huge mess if you're not careful. If you're not comfortable doing it yourself, hire a professional.
Well, I had Roto Rooter come to the house on Saturday and he didn't want to jet from the kitchen (he said it would make too much of a mess) so he instead jetted from the vent pipe. Besides the mess I had to clean up in the basement (2 hrs) and the cost ($1500) it worked! I ran the dishwasher and a load of laundry at the same time on Saturday night and it went down perfectly!!! Thanks!!!!
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Old 03-20-2012, 11:34 AM   #12
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Well, I had Roto Rooter come to the house on Saturday and he didn't want to jet from the kitchen (he said it would make too much of a mess) so he instead jetted from the vent pipe. Besides the mess I had to clean up in the basement (2 hrs) and the cost ($1500) it worked! I ran the dishwasher and a load of laundry at the same time on Saturday night and it went down perfectly!!! Thanks!!!!
Glad it works. $1,500 and they had you clean up the mess? Hmm interesting

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