+ Reply to Thread
Results 1 to 10 of 12

Hybrid View

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    4

    Unhappy clothes washer backup!

    Hello all,
    New to the forum, long time watcher and subscriber to Ask This Old House.

    My family and I live in a 1950's ranch style single story house. For a while now we've had an intermittent problem with water and suds coming up from the drain through which our washer runs. This normally happens when a load of laundry is run on hot. We have tried reducing the amount of soap we use and also using the low suds soap type with no help. Just yesterday my wife called me at work and said that there was water all over the floor and over to the door (which is about 6 feet away from the drain). This worries us as our washer and dryer are in our mechanical room which also contains our new water heater (gas) and our furnace and we do not want them to to get damaged by water.
    We have also had a couple of different plumbers out and they have snaked out the drain and they never find anything in it.
    Any suggestions short of jack-hammering the floor and changing the size of the drain?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    The Great White North
    Posts
    4,045

    Default Re: clothes washer backup!

    Before you receive posts about newer washers supposedly pumping out more volumes of water quicker -- we need to know where the washer is draining to.
    Is there a stand pipe with a trap and is vented --- or is it draining into a floor drain ?
    "" an ounce of perception -- a pound of obscure "
    - Rush

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: clothes washer backup!

    The washer is draining to a pipe that is inside the wall where the hot and cold turnoffs are located as well and then we can see the water running through an open drain in the floor where the overflow(?) for the furnace and water heater are running too.
    On some previous advice I have tried running our garden hose at full blast down this open drain and have never had water back up that way.
    So without opening up the wall I'm not sure how I can tell if it is vented or not.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    The Great White North
    Posts
    4,045

    Default Re: clothes washer backup!

    Quote Originally Posted by carbfrze View Post
    The washer is draining to a pipe that is inside the wall where the hot and cold turnoffs are located as well and then we can see the water running through an open drain in the floor where the overflow(?) for the furnace and water heater are running too.
    On some previous advice I have tried running our garden hose at full blast down this open drain and have never had water back up that way.
    So without opening up the wall I'm not sure how I can tell if it is vented or not.
    Based on your description and sight unseen ----Sounds to me that's incorrect and likely why you are having this problem.
    The floor drain is a branch that is connected to the main house drain. The washer's stand pipe should also be a seperate branch line. Instead it seems to be connected upstream of the floor drain which is not allowed and depending on the actual method of connection -- like a "T" instead of a "Wye" could be the cause .
    This also raises a flag there may not be a P trap for the stand pipe and probably not vented.

    Looks as though things will have to be opened up to investigate further and for any corrections.
    "" an ounce of perception -- a pound of obscure "
    - Rush

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: clothes washer backup!

    Is there any kind of temp. fix that I can try? My wife just lost her job about two months ago and we are really tight on cash. I've also heard of different grants that the government will provide for home improvements but I don't know if this would be covered or not.
    Any suggestions?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    The Great White North
    Posts
    4,045

    Default Re: clothes washer backup!

    You might try running the washer drain hose to the floor drain and let it discharge there and capping off the standpipe. While this is not ideal it may be a temporary solution .
    "" an ounce of perception -- a pound of obscure "
    - Rush

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •