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Thread: Washer drain overflow

  1. #1
    trammellclan3 is offline New Member
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    Question Washer drain overflow

    I can't seem to figure this out and was wondering if any one has any suggestions. I just got a new washer. When I fill w/ water then drain, the water quickly backs up the drain pipe in the wall and overflows. The drain is clear because I used a clog buster and it drained right out. Once it spins the water out to a certain level, it drains fine and if I just turn the washer off, it continues to drain the water(but its just a slow trickle, not forcefully), w/o overflowing. I have had this problem once before (w/ my old washer)and it would come and go w/ no rhyme nor reason. My husband took a piece of PVC and wedged it into the drain hose to extend the length. He filled the washer to varying water levels and each time it drained fine, then I put a load of clothes in and when it started to spin/drain, it overflowed again. This is so frustrating and I need advice. Our house is a 38 year old tri-level and the washer is on the lowest level of the house. The drain itself goes into the floor and makes an immediate 90* turn under the house. I can't help but wonder if this is some how contributing to the issue. PLEASE HELP! Thank you!
    Last edited by trammellclan3; 10-10-2006 at 07:32 PM.

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    LazyPup's Avatar
    LazyPup is offline Deity
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    I think you have a two part problem, one part which is fairly easy to fix and the other that could be detailed.

    You stated that you had cleaned the line with a chemical drain opener. While it is true that chemical drain openers can restore a passage through a clog, there is no assurance that it actually removed the majority of the clog. The only effective way to insure a drain line is open is to use a powered drain auger fitted with a cutting attachment mated to the size of the line.

    You stated that this house is 38 years old, therefore we can assume the laundry standpipe is an 1-1/2" line which was code standard at the time the house was built, however in the mid 1980's the appliance industry changed to a higher volume pump in order to reduce operating time and save energy. The result is that laundry standpipes must now be 2" pipe. You may continue to use the 1-1/2" pipes but do so with the understanding that even a slight buildup of soap residue or a partial clog will render the pipe insufficient to meet the needs of the higher capacity pumps.

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    DixieL is offline New Member
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    Smile New washer drain REPAIRED

    Over two years ago I purchased a new Kenmore washer with a drain overflow problem. The old washer (only 5 years old) drained fine. Our drain pipe was 2 inches. We thought it was a clogged drain, but it wasn't. We had to temporarily have the gray water exit through the window. Yesterday it dawned on me that the old washer drain hose had a hard plastic "U" where it went into the wall drain pipe; the new hose did not. I went to the store and purchased a new hose with a "U" in the end. Evidently, besides helping the hose stay in the drain pipe, the "U" slows down the waterflow. PROBLEM SOLVED!

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    Rugdoody is offline New Member
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    The smaller 1 1/2 drain pipe is exactly my problem with a newer washing machine. Does anyone have any solutions for fixing the problem?

    I have put soapy water and rinsed it with Hot water for 15 minutes. With the water hose, the drain did not overflow.

    I was thinking about attaching a PVC pipe to extend the drain up a little. And then creating a sealed connection, so if it overflowed, it would flow back into the washing machine, instead of the floor. But from what I read regarding the timer on the pump, I think I would be left with water in the machine. Am I correct in this thought?

    Is the best solution to call a plumber and have them replace the drain pipe with a 2in pipe?

    Thanks for any advice!

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    jnaas2 is offline Apprentice
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    If you do what lazypup said and use a powered drain auger you may get the drain line to flow and not back up. If the drain is connected to the pipe in a sealed fashion as you say, it may lead to premature pump failure or allow the drain line to siphon the water out of the washer

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    Redwood's Avatar
    Redwood is offline Journeyman
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    Quote Originally Posted by jnaas2 View Post
    If you do what lazypup said and use a powered drain auger you may get the drain line to flow and not back up. If the drain is connected to the pipe in a sealed fashion as you say, it may lead to premature pump failure or allow the drain line to siphon the water out of the washer
    Or worse yet if the washer is in the basement and there is a main line blockage fill it with sewage.

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    jnaas2 is offline Apprentice
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    Redwood that thought hadnt crossed my mind, but wouldnt that be interesting to watch the person putting the clothes in the dryer

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    Redwood's Avatar
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    The usually realize it when they open the lid...

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    zone23 is offline New Member
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    This may not be an option for you but my washer drains into a utility sink or mop sink. This allows time for the water to drain and not over load the sewer pipe.

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    kaitlin is offline New Member
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    Its a 2" dia. thats about 3" above the top of the washer. It only has about 30" before the trap though. then it "Ts" into the main down pipe (where I ran the snake). The fact that I can run 2 rinse cycles back to back without it overflowing if what miffs me. If it was blockage that should cause an overflow I would think.

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