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Old 11-01-2012, 06:31 AM  
douglmi
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Default Washing Machine Stand Pipe Won't Drain

Hey everyone,

My drain pipe for my washing machine won't drain. Well....not very fast. Once the stand pipe (about 30" tall) fills with water, it will drain over about 12 hours. The entire pipe going into the wall is only 1 1/2" in dia. I just bought this house and the inspector didn't catch this one drain that isn't working.

Yes, I've snaked it with a 25' power snake and that didn't fix it. It found nothing. Someone suggested that I get some sort of bladder and put it on the end of a garden hose to give it a water pressure spray. I just don't see how I'll get a garden house down that pipe very far. Another thought was that the drains may not be vented properly. I'm not sure how to check that. None of the other drains in the house have this issue.

I'm new on this forum and really appreciate any thoughts that you may have.



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Old 11-01-2012, 08:42 AM  
Wuzzat?
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Someone suggested that I get some sort of bladder and put it on the end of a garden hose
That's what I use.
The high pressure hose water fills the pipe up to the blockage and pushes it out. If you don't have the bladder device just put the hose in the pipe a half foot or so and pack the space around the hose with rags. Jam them in there with a stick.
For difficult jams the hose will try to come out of the pipe, so push down hard. Have a second person turn on the water.

The last time I did this for a disposal blockage, it held and the hose water came out of the vent pipe on the roof along with chopped vegetables and whatnot, so I plugged the vent pipe roof opening with a small inflatable barrel-shaped device which plumbing supply houses will have.
This little barrel is used to plug concrete shower stall base drains to check for leaks and it comes in several different sizes.

That worked in an instant. Most blockages can only withstand a few PSI but a 10' water column (about 4 PSI) in the vent pipe wasn't enough.
With the vent plugged the pressure went up to 50 PSI or so.


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Old 11-01-2012, 02:07 PM  
nealtw
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I would check the venting too. Have a look at the roof and see if there is a vent the would be close to that area. If no it might be running across the attic, if so it may not have proper slop and could be full of water.

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Old 11-01-2012, 08:06 PM  
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We had a house that nothing would solve. The issue was the drain line from the machine to the main line had 0 pitch to it. We tried snake, bladder, acid, etc. It was all temp. fixes.

We finally had to dig up the whole line, pitch it more.

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Old 11-02-2012, 11:46 AM  
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We had a house that nothing would solve. The issue was the drain line from the machine to the main line had 0 pitch to it. We tried snake, bladder, acid, etc. It was all temp. fixes.

We finally had to dig up the whole line, pitch it more.
In which case it should have drained more slowly than with a proper pitch, rather than having a clog?

I guess you could have put in a slurry pump to fix this.

If a basin in my house does not make a little whirlpool while it's draining then I say it's clogged even if it does eventually empty.
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Old 11-03-2012, 02:24 AM  
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Thanks everyone. I'll check into these ideas.

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Old 11-03-2012, 05:31 PM  
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Here is the simple hose attachment . . . just shove it a little way into the pipe and turn on the water. SInce this is a washer drain, you probably have lint build up, maybe soap, but not grease ...

http://www.amazon.com/Cobra-Products-331-Cleaning-Attachment/dp/B000KKRQUM

Using rags has never worked for me. Just made a big mess because they leak.

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Old 11-03-2012, 05:49 PM  
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That's the gadget I have because I had to force water into a horizontal pipe and the rag thing was not doing so well.

For customers with clogged drains, the plumber who worked in the hardware store with me always asked, "kitchen drain or bathroom", because one was grease and the other was hair.
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Old 11-06-2012, 09:59 AM  
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Ok...so I repeated the snake at 5' depth and jiggled it back and forth, removed and reinserted to 10 feet and did the jiggle thing and repeated at 15'. During this process it pulled out fragments of lint about the size of my thumbnail. I then put the stand pipe back on it and tested with pouring water down it again. It was still clogged but drained itself after about 10 min instead of 10 hours. I then put on the rubber hose attachment someone mentioned above. After turning the pressure on for a couple of minutes twice, it cleared out. It then trained perfectly!

However, when I looked out into the back yard, I could see water coming up from the grass every time the washer was draining. I dug up the pipe this morning and found a crack in the drain line. A tree root had cracked the line and grown into the line. I'll be replacing this next.

Thanks for all of your thoughts and encouragement.

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Old 11-06-2012, 12:50 PM  
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Three cheers for Wuzzat! Good call



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