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bwendholt 12-03-2011 12:06 PM

Strainer in washing machine discharge line?
I just purchased an older home that has the laundry facilities in the sub-surface basement. The washing machine discharge line has a check valve in it which is obvious since the line is lower than the drain line to the septic tank. There is also a Y-strainer in the line. I opened the strainer to see if it was clean and the basket had been removed. I've never seen a strainer in a washing machine discharge line before, and since the basket wasn't present I'm wondering if it's even necessary? Can anyone tell my why a strainer would be recommended? My washing machine has a built-in strainer (front-loading machine), so I'm wondering if the line strainer is just redundant?

Thanks in advance for any feedback or suggestions.

DannyT 12-03-2011 12:15 PM

you sure it isnt there as a cleanout?

joecaption 12-03-2011 12:16 PM

here is no need for a strainer, in fact if there was one it's just going to plug up and cause the water to not go out, There also should not even be a check valve like you have, at some point it will stick.

bwendholt 12-03-2011 12:26 PM

I don't think it's there as an actual cleanout but is probably just for lint, hair, and other gunk that gets washed out with the water.

I do believe the check valve is necessary though; since the machine is having to pump the water to a higher level won't it be unable to ever completely drain without a check valve? I'm pretty sure washing machines just use a centrifugal pump, which doesn't prevent backflow.


Billy_Bob 12-03-2011 01:05 PM

Look at a check valve at the store. It has a flapper which needs to mate to the closed surface to properly seal.

If a piece of lint was to be right there when the flapper closed, it would not seal properly! Thus the check valve would leak water back into your basement.

But If you were washing clothes for me, that drain filter would get clogged with every wash. (I like to play in the mud!)

Perhaps the drain hose from the washer could be routed higher up without a filter and an open regular washing machine drain used. Perhaps to the floor above?

Before doing that, call the washing machine manufacturer and see how high it can pump the water.

And that may not work as the water remaining in the drain hose would drain back into the washing machine probably. If that caused the spin dried clothes to get wet again, then no go for that idea! Perhaps that little bit of water would stay below where the clothes are though? Might try running the line out the window and see what happens (as an experiment).

Then commercial laundromats have drain troughs where the washers drain into. And a large screen filter at one end. Perhaps something like that could be used along with a sump pump (if all else fails). Here is what those look like...

bwendholt 12-03-2011 01:10 PM

Thank you for the suggestions. I'll do a little more research before I proceed with any changes...

DannyT 12-04-2011 12:10 AM

how about some photos?

AllanJ 12-04-2011 06:01 AM

The washing machine is able to pump the water as high as its existing drain hose will reach (with no spliced on extension) and with the end fitting loosely into the drain pipe.

Depending on how the drain hose is arranged behind the machine, more or less water will fall back into the machine when the drain portion of the cycle ends. You might want to add some water to the machine and then spin dry it out to dilute and purge the water that fell back, prior to washing another load, if the machine has sat idle for a few days. (Manually manipulating the control knob on the machine can accomplish this)

A check valve in the drain line may be needed for connection to city sewer to prevent any possible backup into the house. But a check valve, if too small and in the washing machine's drain stack, can offer enough resistance so a fast pumping machine causes the drain stack to overflow.

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