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Old 03-28-2010, 08:39 PM   #1
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Why won't my laundry tub drain?


A couple of times a year, usually around the beginning of spring, The laundry tub in my basement (into which the washer drains) suddenly decides to stop draining. It stays blocked up for a week or so, then suddenly drains out and works fine for couple of months. I've used a manual snake as far as I can get, and have had roto rooter out a couple of times, but they haven't found anything.

There's a bathroom on the other side of the wall, and a floor drain about 5 ft downstream from the sink that all drain fine. I dumped a couple of homer buckets full of water from the sink into the floor drain with no trouble.

Any ideas what might be causing this? Is it possible there's a vapor lock or something someplace that's preventing it from draining? I pulled the trap out again tonight and snaked it again, and it went about 15' with no snags. The only weird thing about this tub is that the drain is sloped in the wrong direction (away from the drain). I plan to fix that soon, but I wasn't sure if that would have anything to do with it.

I'm thinking about renting a power snake this week and trying that one more time, but I don't have a lot of confidence that'll help.

Any ideas or advice appreciated.

Thanks,

Mike

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Old 03-28-2010, 08:46 PM   #2
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Why won't my laundry tub drain?


Yeah, opposite grade on a drain line would cause drainage problems...

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Old 03-28-2010, 10:04 PM   #3
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Why won't my laundry tub drain?


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Yeah, opposite grade on a drain line would cause drainage problems...
I've only got about 2' of pipe that slopes the wrong way. Is that enough to totally stop the tub from draining?
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Old 03-28-2010, 10:38 PM   #4
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Why won't my laundry tub drain?


septic tank or city sewer??
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Old 03-29-2010, 08:40 AM   #5
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Why won't my laundry tub drain?


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septic tank or city sewer??
Sewer.
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Old 03-29-2010, 08:58 AM   #6
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Why won't my laundry tub drain?


Want to try a toilet plunger with the sink about 1/3 ful of water?
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Old 03-29-2010, 09:05 AM   #7
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I've only got about 2' of pipe that slopes the wrong way. Is that enough to totally stop the tub from draining?
It would probably be enough to do exactly what you're describing. Drain for some time just fine until enough junk builds up in the line soap scum, hair, whatever you're dumping down it until it creates a partial blockage. Eventually it works it's way loose, or the snake pushes it right on through. Either way, i'd start there. If something is visibly wrong, fix it, then ask questions.
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Old 03-29-2010, 09:53 AM   #8
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Why won't my laundry tub drain?


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Want to try a toilet plunger with the sink about 1/3 ful of water?
Tried that, doesn't do that any good.

I appreciate all of the responses, wasn't sure if there was something obvious. I'll go dig at it some more with the snake, and then rent a power snake if that doesn't get me anywhere. I'm thinking it's a lint clog that just keeps getting hung up on something in the drain.

Tore into the wall today, and noticed that this drain is the last thing on the line, which explains why nothing else is backed up. I'm guessing the clog is in the 2' between where the laundry tub enters the main CI sewer drain, and the next thing on the line, which is the bathroom on the other side of the wall.

Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be a decent cleanout on this part of the line, so I'll make sure to put when in when I replumb it.

Thanks again for the advice.

Mike
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Old 03-29-2010, 06:21 PM   #9
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Why won't my laundry tub drain?


what kind of pipe? if its iron or cast it is probably rusted half shut, and any lint, aka crap, sticks to it. You can buy all the plastic pipe and fittings you need to replace as much as possible that you can get to,,,and install a clean-out AND air admittance valve past the sink,,up high enough the sink cant back up out of it.
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Old 03-29-2010, 07:34 PM   #10
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what kind of pipe? if its iron or cast it is probably rusted half shut, and any lint, aka crap, sticks to it. You can buy all the plastic pipe and fittings you need to replace as much as possible that you can get to,,,and install a clean-out AND air admittance valve past the sink,,up high enough the sink cant back up out of it.
Spent some time today and finished ripping the paneling off the wall so I could get a better picture of what I'm dealing with. Now I've got access to the vent and drain stack for the whole house.

The pipe is old 2" copper draining into cast iron sewer pipes. I had already pulled a permit last week to add a standpipe so I didn't have to drain into the laundry tub anymore, but I amended the permit and am now ripping out the old copper for the laundry tub in addition to adding the standpipe. It will be all pvc with cleanouts, etc. I know I'll probably end up doing as much of the house as I can reach at some point, but opening up this wall has brought up a whole host of other problems that are more urgent.

I snaked some more today, and got a little lint out of it, but kept having trouble because the snake was wanting to run up the vent instead of down the pipe. I'm hoping that maybe the clog is right at the tee, and that's why I kept heading up the vent.

My plan now is to limp by this week (manually bailing the laundry water from the sink as needed) , and then this weekend, I'll open cut out the vent and snake down from there. Hopefully at that point, I'll be able to get down into the pipe and get the rest of the lint.

Thanks again for everyone's advice.

Mike
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Old 03-29-2010, 09:18 PM   #11
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Why won't my laundry tub drain?


when you replace the tee dump that washer drain in on a 45 if possible,,,keeps future snakes going right way,,,plus all your snakes even rooter guy is going up and not down. bet your clog is where copper meets cast
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Old 03-29-2010, 10:08 PM   #12
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when you replace the tee dump that washer drain in on a 45 if possible,,,keeps future snakes going right way,,,plus all your snakes even rooter guy is going up and not down. bet your clog is where copper meets cast
Don,

Thanks again for the advice. I'll have to see if I can get a 45 in there instead of the 90.

As for your previous post about the AAV, unfortunately, it looks like they're not approved in KY, but I do plan to tie the washer drain into the vent stack as required, so should be ok. The local plumbing dept. approved my plan when I filed the permit, and will be inspected when done, so hopefully I'm on the right track.

Thanks again,

Mike

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