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Old 04-02-2009, 04:36 PM   #1
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Washing Maching Standpipe Overflow


I'm new to this site and have a mystery that I'd like to get some advice on...Been in my house 6 years, it's a ranch on a slab. Laundry machine and dryer is in a small closet/room between kitchen and attached garage. About a year ago I began getting water puddles near my machine. Finally figured out that the washing machine standpipe was overflowing during spin cycles. I used Pequa to try and dissolve clog, cleaned it out w/garden hose and it seemed clear. Until I reattached drain hose. I tried a 25ft snake from both the roof vent and the standpipe - still overflows. I was waiting for the NY weather to warm up before calling a plumber.

Now, here's the new twist...last weekend it had rained pretty hard in my area. I noticed a large soggy patch of ground (3ft circle), about 4 ft from the outside wall of my garage, on the side of my house that has the washer. I dug thru the mud, about a 2 ft trench (below inground sprinkler line, which was cleared and winterized - water off),and water was seeping up from underground. Trench was almost full for about a day and then drained dry. Did 2 loads of wash last night and this morning the trench was still dry. It rained again today, but when I got home...trench was half full. It could be the rain, but don't think it rained that hard.


Can there be a leak caused by a blockage (?) in the washer drain pipe causing water to pool up in this area? Wouldn't the water simply back up into the house thru the standpipe? It's supposed to be sunny and dry this weekend, and I will do several loads of wash to see what happens. Any advice on both issues?

Thanks to all who read and respond


Last edited by diyguy123; 04-02-2009 at 04:44 PM.
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Old 04-02-2009, 08:46 PM   #2
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Washing Maching Standpipe Overflow


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Can there be a leak caused by a blockage (?) in the washer drain pipe causing water to pool up in this area? Wouldn't the water simply back up into the house thru the standpipe? It's supposed to be sunny and dry this weekend, and I will do several loads of wash to see what happens. Any advice on both issues?

Thanks to all who read and respond


They could have broken the ine whrn they installed the sprinkler system & it has taken this long to show up.. Depends if the washing machine line is even in this area.. You'll Just dig it up to find out

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Old 04-02-2009, 08:49 PM   #3
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Washing Maching Standpipe Overflow


Does the washer standpipe connect to the main drain? Is this city sewer or septic? Were there any suds in the standing water outside? If not do you use a low sud-sing detergent? Has there been any landscape changes to the yard were the water would pool?

You said you cleaned it out with garden hose and seamed clear; how long and how hard was the water on? You say the water is backing up, have you seen this or just the water on the floor? Do you have any other drainage problems in the house?

Sorry for all the questions, just trying to brainstorm right now.
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Old 04-02-2009, 08:58 PM   #4
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Brokenknee.. By the way that's a bad looking knee.. Although it's illegal . People here sometimes will remove their washing machine drain line from septic tank line ? main line & let waste water from it run under the ground & sometimes on top of the ground That's why I just advised to dig up where he sees the water
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Old 04-02-2009, 09:08 PM   #5
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Washing Maching Standpipe Overflow



I don't know if the standpipe goes to the main drain or not.
No suds in the water outside (good question, never thought about that!)
I think we use low sud-sing soap
No landscape changes. Sprinklers have been installed since house was built. At first, I thought it was a frozen sprinkler pipe, but water drained into soil and reappeared today. Water to sprinklers off for season.

When I used the Pequa drain cleaner, I ran the garden hose for about 15 minutes and no backup. When the washer hose is in the standpipe, it backs up, you can hear the water rising thru the pipe and I know when it's going to begin to overflow(I've missed a few cycles and had to clean up the spill). I stop my spin cycle and water resides, wait a minute or two and start spinning again.

No other drains or toilet issues in the house. I believe I am hooked up to sewers, but not sure.

Would the pressure of a blockage cause the pipe underground to crack? Wouldn't the water just back up thru the standpipe into the washer room like it does. Always eventually drains.

Should I call a plumber or roto-rooter for drains?
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Old 04-02-2009, 09:13 PM   #6
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If you call a plumber with a camera. He should be able to tell you what's going on.
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Old 04-02-2009, 10:54 PM   #7
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How big is the washer stand pipe. If it is an older stand pipe and newer washer the stand pipe may not be large enough. If I remember correctly newer washers require a 2" drain min.

The wet spot outside sounds more like a broken storm drain.
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Old 04-03-2009, 07:09 AM   #8
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Standpipe is 2" and runs from the floor up about 4" about top of washer. The overflow issue only started about a year ago. The washer was here when we bought the house almost 7 years.

As far as the water in the yard. The spot that's seems to be collecting water is about 20+ ft from the street if that helps.
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Old 04-03-2009, 07:56 AM   #9
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Washing Maching Standpipe Overflow


My thoughts are that being it worked a year ago, the vent is clear, there must be some type of blockage down the line. The wash machine discharges water at a pretty good rate that you may not be able to duplicate with the garden hose. What is puzzling that you have no other drain problems in your house.

I think the next thing I would try is to go rent a drain cleaner at the local rental place and snake the drain lines. You should have clean out plugs you can remove to run the snake through. It is possible you have a partial blockage in the main drain that only backs up with the high volume of water discharged by the washing machine.

How far from the house to were the water is puddling in the yard? I would make sue that drain cleaner you rent has a cable at least that long.

There is no real pressure in a drain line, if it did crack it be from another reason. I doubt it froze and cracked as you would have had drain issues in your entire house. Did you have anyone drive on your lawn, it is usually not an issue, but it could happen.

One more thought; have they run any utilities through your yard in the last couple of years? A friend of mine has a rental property and about a year after they ran a power line through the front yard his tenants were calling him about every other month because the drains were backing up. He didn't think about the power line being run through his yard at the time. After about six months of going over there every other month he finally called the city to dig up his front yard, he did this with the understanding that if it was something that his problem he would pay for it. Well sure enough when they dug down the power company had trenched their power lines through his sewer pipe. He still talks about how lucky he was that he didn't get electrocuted when he was snaking out the drain.

(kenmac) yep did something stupid, fell off a ladder reaching to far with a nail gun, pulled some 2X8 down on top of me that were sitting on top of the wall waiting to be shot in. One hit the knee just right and took out the knee cap. The knee is better than new right now. Now I can predict the weather.
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Old 04-03-2009, 09:53 AM   #10
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Now that you mention it...the cable company did install a new coaxil line from the street, under my driveway to the electrical meter, back in January. This is the point that the lines go thru my house. They had to dig trenches, but I don't know how far away from the house or how deep they dug. When I dug up the trench in the muddy/soaked area, last weekend, all I saw was one of the sprinkler lines and I dug about a foot below that - no cable line.

Does anyone know how deep those cable lines get buried?
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Old 04-03-2009, 09:54 AM   #11
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(kenmac) yep did something stupid, fell off a ladder reaching to far with a nail gun, pulled some 2X8 down on top of me that were sitting on top of the wall waiting to be shot in. One hit the knee just right and took out the knee cap. The knee is better than new right now. Now I can predict the weather.



Been through 2 knee surgeries myself.. It's tough on the knees to crawl around under houses & always bending at the knees... It takes it's toll
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Old 04-03-2009, 10:57 AM   #12
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Usually the cables are knifed in at 4" to 6".
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Old 04-03-2009, 11:03 AM   #13
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Yep. cable they do not bury very deep, especially if they have to hand dig it. If you get a lazy cable installer it is just under the sod.
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Old 04-03-2009, 11:36 AM   #14
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Washing Maching Standpipe Overflow


Before anything i would resolve the issue of if the washer is connected to the houses sewer, there should be a cleanout somewhere near the street where your sewer taps into the city sewer, if you can locate it I would take the cleanout cap off, go inside and run the hose down the washer and go outside and visual inspect to see if you have that water flowing through that system, if you can't see the bottom of the pipe you should be able to hear running water. If it is infact tied into houses sewer there maybe a proble under your slab which would need a camera for location, if it runs out seperate, then where they ran it out is not letting all the water absorb into the ground.

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