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Old 01-21-2009, 10:03 PM   #1
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Washing Machine Drain


The box behind the washing machine usually has hot and cold water faucets along with a drain hole. The washing machine typically has a corrugated pipe that is inserted into this drain hole.

Is it normal to have a bit of water splatter around the drain hole after a wash cycle completes?

Also, for some reason, the previous homewoner's plumber/washing machine installer, clamped a flexible hose onto the corrugated drain pipe that attaches to the washing machine to extend the drain line. There's plenty of length of the corrugated piping, so I'm not sure why.
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Old 01-22-2009, 12:18 AM   #2
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Is it normal to have a bit of water splatter around the drain hole after a wash cycle completes?
I've got three washing machines, and none of them do that. But, maybe mine are strange.

Quote:
Also, for some reason, the previous homewoner's plumber/washing machine installer, clamped a flexible hose onto the corrugated drain pipe that attaches to the washing machine to extend the drain line. There's plenty of length of the corrugated piping, so I'm not sure why.
If I had to guess, I would guess that the purpose in doing that was to splice a gate valve into the drain line because the drain was overflowing at some point in the past. The thinking would have been that the washing machine is pumping water into the drainage system faster than it can flow away. So, until they realized the problem was that the main drain line from the house was partially clogged, the apparant solution would have been to prevent the water from being pumped into it as fast. Ergo: the gate valve.

(They didn't want to cut the corrugated drain pipe from the washer, so they connected the valve to the end of the corrugated drain pipe, and the flexible hose to the other side of the valve.)

Another explanation may have been that the washer was moved closer to the shut off valves and drain. But it seems foolish not to have removed the flexible hose when they moved the washer closer.
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Last edited by Nestor_Kelebay; 01-22-2009 at 12:22 AM.
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Old 01-22-2009, 07:40 AM   #3
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I've got three washing machines, and none of them do that. But, maybe mine are strange.



If I had to guess, I would guess that the purpose in doing that was to splice a gate valve into the drain line because the drain was overflowing at some point in the past. The thinking would have been that the washing machine is pumping water into the drainage system faster than it can flow away. So, until they realized the problem was that the main drain line from the house was partially clogged, the apparant solution would have been to prevent the water from being pumped into it as fast. Ergo: the gate valve.

(They didn't want to cut the corrugated drain pipe from the washer, so they connected the valve to the end of the corrugated drain pipe, and the flexible hose to the other side of the valve.)

Another explanation may have been that the washer was moved closer to the shut off valves and drain. But it seems foolish not to have removed the flexible hose when they moved the washer closer.
I didn't noticed a flow reducing "gate" valve attached to the corrugated drain pipe. Also, wouldn't you be overworking the washing machine's pump by reducing the outlet flow rate?

Would a need to reduce the outlet flow rate of a washing machine vary from washing machine to washing machine? It is a Kenmore model.

Also, there was no mention of a "partially clogged" main drain line. If it was partially clogged, wouldn't the solution be to unclog it? The pipe can be seen in the basement and where it leads to a cleanout. PVC pipe is sized 1.5".

Last edited by handy man88; 01-22-2009 at 07:42 AM.
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Old 01-22-2009, 10:13 AM   #4
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Washing Machine Drain


Two things come to mind. Washing machines discharge a lot of lint. This easily produces clogs (usualy in the trap). These clogs are hard to remove since a standard snake will go through them without removing the material. The other thing is your washer. If it is fairly new, the pump may be too powerful for the 1-1/2" drain pipe. Many States are changing the code to 2" for washer drains since the 1-1/2" cannot handle the volume of water.
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Old 01-22-2009, 10:37 AM   #5
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Two things come to mind. Washing machines discharge a lot of lint. This easily produces clogs (usualy in the trap). These clogs are hard to remove since a standard snake will go through them without removing the material. The other thing is your washer. If it is fairly new, the pump may be too powerful for the 1-1/2" drain pipe. Many States are changing the code to 2" for washer drains since the 1-1/2" cannot handle the volume of water.
Well, based on your assessment, the question is how many people on this forum regularly get their washer drains serviced?

I don't know what the age of the washer is. The home was built in 1998 and it seems that the washer has been replaced.

I did notice that depending on the setting, the rinse cycle (thus discharge) can be changed from fast (regular wash) to slow (gentle cycle). Also, the amount of water can be adjusted based on the wash load.

I guess, as most here do, that it's another thing on the list that homeowners just need to constantly monitor.
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Old 01-22-2009, 12:01 PM   #6
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Washing Machine Drain


This is one of the areas that is normally hard to get to for removing the trap. As much as I hate to admit it, I have used the "canned" air pressure cans to clear this type clog. Remember to add water to the trap after using this type product, to maintain the sewer gas seal.
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Old 01-22-2009, 12:26 PM   #7
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I didn't noticed a flow reducing "gate" valve attached to the corrugated drain pipe. Also, wouldn't you be overworking the washing machine's pump by reducing the outlet flow rate?
No, I suspect what may have happened is that the drain line was partially clogged with the result that the water used to back up out of the washer drain pipe. It's possible someone installed a gate valve on the drain line to slow the rate the washer empties. Then, when that or another drainage problem resulted in the main drain line being cleared, they probably removed the gate valve realizing that it was a drainage problem, not a washer problem.

Washing machine pumps are built to stand up to coins, buttons, pins and lots of other stuff going through them. They typically have a rubber impeller and are belt driven, so there's lots of leeway if something gets stuck in the pump. (The impeller could be damaged, but still work fine or the belt could just slip a little.) So, I don't think restricting the discharge rate would harm the pump at all. Typically, in a 5 minute spin cycle, 99.9 percent of the water gets pumped out in the first 30 seconds. The remaining time spent spinning is just to reduce the moisture content of the clothes. If you restrict the flow, it might take 45 seconds to get almost all the water out, and the difference will be only the incremental amount of water that comes out in the last 15 seconds of spinning, which will be almost nothing.

Quote:
Would a need to reduce the outlet flow rate of a washing machine vary from washing machine to washing machine?
Well, I've found that washing machine pumps are similar in size, but I don't know if they operate at similar rpm's. My guess would be that they all pump water at similar rates.

Quote:
Also, there was no mention of a "partially clogged" main drain line. If it was partially clogged, wouldn't the solution be to unclog it? The pipe can be seen in the basement and where it leads to a cleanout. PVC pipe is sized 1.5".
The solution is definitely to clear the drain piping. But, just as you did, most homeowners would assume the clog is in the washer's drain piping. In fact, MOST of the time the clog will be in the main drain line from the house, right at the bottom of the vent stack. This is a larger diameter pipe (typically 3 or 4 inch) so water flows slower in this pipe, and it's also where solids (including food and grease) from the kitchen sink collect. It's good practice to have the main drain line from your house cleared once every 10 years or so as preventive maintenance to stop drainage problems before they occur.
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Old 01-22-2009, 12:37 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Nestor_Kelebay View Post
No, I suspect what may have happened is that the drain line was partially clogged with the result that the water used to back up out of the washer drain pipe. It's possible someone installed a gate valve on the drain line to slow the rate the washer empties. Then, when that or another drainage problem resulted in the main drain line being cleared, they probably removed the gate valve realizing that it was a drainage problem, not a washer problem.

Washing machine pumps are built to stand up to coins, buttons, pins and lots of other stuff going through them. They typically have a rubber impeller and are belt driven, so there's lots of leeway if something gets stuck in the pump. (The impeller could be damaged, but still work fine or the belt could just slip a little.) So, I don't think restricting the discharge rate would harm the pump at all. Typically, in a 5 minute spin cycle, 99.9 percent of the water gets pumped out in the first 30 seconds. The remaining time spent spinning is just to reduce the moisture content of the clothes. If you restrict the flow, it might take 45 seconds to get almost all the water out, and the difference will be only the incremental amount of water that comes out in the last 15 seconds of spinning, which will be almost nothing.



Well, I've found that washing machine pumps are similar in size, but I don't know if they operate at similar rpm's. My guess would be that they all pump water at similar rates.



The solution is definitely to clear the drain piping. But, just as you did, most homeowners would assume the clog is in the washer's drain piping. In fact, MOST of the time the clog will be in the main drain line from the house, right at the bottom of the vent stack. This is a larger diameter pipe (typically 3 or 4 inch) so water flows slower in this pipe, and it's also where solids (including food and grease) from the kitchen sink collect. It's good practice to have the main drain line from your house cleared once every 10 years or so as preventive maintenance to stop drainage problems before they occur.
Since you have 3 washing machines, what do you do?
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Old 01-22-2009, 12:51 PM   #9
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Washing Machine Drain


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Originally Posted by handy man88 View Post
The box behind the washing machine usually has hot and cold water faucets along with a drain hole. The washing machine typically has a corrugated pipe that is inserted into this drain hole.

Is it normal to have a bit of water splatter around the drain hole after a wash cycle completes?

Also, for some reason, the previous homewoner's plumber/washing machine installer, clamped a flexible hose onto the corrugated drain pipe that attaches to the washing machine to extend the drain line. There's plenty of length of the corrugated piping, so I'm not sure why.

I had that problem i had to go down to my crawlspace and take the copper pipes apart and snake them. They had some like gooey soap residue in them. It wasn't a bad job because my copper pipes have a rubber sleeve around connections with two breeze clamps. If you have pvc i don't know what to say. Because you can't take those pipes apart.
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Old 01-22-2009, 12:57 PM   #10
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Since you have 3 washing machines, what do you do?
I own a small apartment block. I have 3 coin operated washers and 3 coin operated dryers; one pair on each floor of the building.
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Old 01-22-2009, 01:01 PM   #11
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I had that problem i had to go down to my crawlspace and take the copper pipes apart and snake them. They had some like gooey soap residue in them. It wasn't a bad job because my copper pipes have a rubber sleeve around connections with two breeze clamps. If you have pvc i don't know what to say. Because you can't take those pipes apart.
Why would it be necessary to have copper drain pipes?

I wonder if these super concentrated detergents are having an effect on pipes and clogging. I suppose it wouldn't hurt to run a cycle from time to time on hot/warm water only just to help dissolve some of this detergents that may not dissolve as easily as the less concentrated detergents.
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Old 01-22-2009, 01:04 PM   #12
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I had that problem i had to go down to my crawlspace and take the copper pipes apart and snake them. They had some like gooey soap residue in them. It wasn't a bad job because my copper pipes have a rubber sleeve around connections with two breeze clamps. If you have pvc i don't know what to say. Because you can't take those pipes apart.
You could have the drain pipe "jetted".

Jetting is the latest technology and will probably replace the mechanical snake as a way of clearing drain pipes. Basically, a jetter consists of a high pressure pump and a long small diameter hose. You push the jetter hose into the drain pipe and it water blasts the ID of the pipe clean. So, you can clean a wide variety of drain pipe sizes with the same equipment. Since the hose doesn't corrode like a steel snake will, there's almost no chance of the hose breaking off inside the drain piping and having to retrieve it somehow. You just hook the jetter up to a faucet and the high pressure pump blasts the water out of the jetter nozzle at anything from 1350 to 2200 psi, depending on the machine.

There will still be a need for mechanical snakes to cut tree roots and stuff, but a jetter does a better job at clearing the piping and is becoming increasingly common amongst drain clearing companies. If I were to want to buy a drain clearing machine, I'd opt for a jetter rather than a mechanical snake.

You could clear the pipe with a mechanical snake too, but then I wouldn't have a reason to tell people about water jetting.

http://www.ridgid.com/Tools/KJ1350-W...r/EN/index.htm

http://www.ridgid.com/Tools/KJ2200-Water-Jetter
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Last edited by Nestor_Kelebay; 01-22-2009 at 01:18 PM.
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Old 01-22-2009, 05:04 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nestor_Kelebay View Post
You could have the drain pipe "jetted".

Jetting is the latest technology and will probably replace the mechanical snake as a way of clearing drain pipes. Basically, a jetter consists of a high pressure pump and a long small diameter hose. You push the jetter hose into the drain pipe and it water blasts the ID of the pipe clean. So, you can clean a wide variety of drain pipe sizes with the same equipment. Since the hose doesn't corrode like a steel snake will, there's almost no chance of the hose breaking off inside the drain piping and having to retrieve it somehow. You just hook the jetter up to a faucet and the high pressure pump blasts the water out of the jetter nozzle at anything from 1350 to 2200 psi, depending on the machine.

There will still be a need for mechanical snakes to cut tree roots and stuff, but a jetter does a better job at clearing the piping and is becoming increasingly common amongst drain clearing companies. If I were to want to buy a drain clearing machine, I'd opt for a jetter rather than a mechanical snake.

You could clear the pipe with a mechanical snake too, but then I wouldn't have a reason to tell people about water jetting.

http://www.ridgid.com/Tools/KJ1350-W...r/EN/index.htm

http://www.ridgid.com/Tools/KJ2200-Water-Jetter

Upon further inspection when I got home, to which I ran one cycle and eyeballed the box, there was no backup in the drain.

I did notice a slight drip from the cold water faucet stem during the fill stage of the washer.

As best as I could, I reached into that tight space and tightened up the stem nut using two small wrenches. One to hold the faucet in place, and another to tighten the stem nut clockwise.

Another cycle ran and I did not note any more drips. Hope there are no more issues, but of course, need to monitor off and on.

Anybody have any more suggestions or experiences?

How often do you guys find yourself tightening stem nuts on faucets?

Last edited by handy man88; 01-22-2009 at 05:09 PM.
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Old 01-22-2009, 09:14 PM   #14
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Washing Machine Drain


it is never right to have water around a drain pipe,many reason to your leak.need more info...is discharge hose leaking ,is gate valve leak gate valuse r a joke..never use them,is line clog...burp
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Old 01-22-2009, 09:19 PM   #15
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It's actually called a "packing nut", and you shouldn't tighten it any more than necessary to stop the leak.

For valves that are normally left open 24/7/365, it's so seldom that you need to tighten the packing nut that no one keeps track of it. If you use the valve on a regular basis, then there will be more wear on the packing and you'd need to tighten the packing nut more often. You might even have to replace the packing on a regularily used valve once or twice during your lifetime.
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