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I have a single family house that I rent out. It was built in the 1950's and constructed really solidly. During the reno, every sub that worked on it said how well it was constructed, they just don't make them like they used to. My last tenant told me something about my house that I was not aware of. He said the washing machine is tied into the whole house drain (we are on City sewer) and when they run a load of laundry, it backs up into the utility sink first and then drains out gradually, never overflowing. He said that all sorts of sand and sediment comes up from the drain pipe and settles out in the washtub. He works in the historic home commission in our area so he's familiar with old homes. Supposedly, when they built our street, the pipes were first lead to a sort of drain-field pit filled with sediment before dumping into the City sewer lines. My current tenant ( only been there 1 month) said that the water is overflowing the utility sink onto the floor.
Has anyone ever heard of this "system" and what would you call it? Any hints as to what to expect after I snake the drain?
Thanks in advance.
 

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Naildriver
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I would find the cleanout and try to purge whatever is in it out. There is obviously a blockage downstream from the sink that is not allowing the water to flow as fast as it should. Pictures of the drain system if possible would help us see what you are seeing.
 
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