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topic 29544, p2

Washing machine drain line backs up

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A discussion started in 2004 & continuing through 2017

September 22, 2011

Q. Hi. My name is Megan. I live in housing authority which is public housing. When I run my washer I have to stop it in mid drainage because the water is backing up into my kitchen sinks. I have had them out eight times for it and all they do is snake it. But it continues to do it. I was told that it could be that someone from the other apartments is draining grease down the sinks and it is clogged at the drainage u-bend right before going into the sewer. Now I have asked all of my neighbors and none of them do it and none of them is experiencing the same problems. What should I do about this problem and how should I go about telling Housing about it without sounding bossy or mean? Please help me. I am at my wit's end with this whole situation.

Megan Brooks
home renter - Elkhart, Indiana USA

October 26, 2011

A. A couple of months have passed since I fixed the drain in the wall behind the washing machine. I just wanted to report that everything is still working well. We have switched to a liquid detergent. We had been using a powder. The powder has a waxy feel to it and could be the culprit in clogging up the pipes.

Frank Walsh
- Dunwoody, Georgia

October 26, 2011

thumbs up sign Thanks for the feedback, Frank. We often wait a long time, or in vain, for the 2nd shoe to drop :-)


Ted Mooney, amadeya42.com Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Pine Beach, New Jersey

November 6, 2011

A. Amazing how many have the same problem. My front-load washer broke and I bought a top-loader. From the first use, water was backing up out of the drain onto the floor. I noticed the hose for the new machine was larger in diameter than the old one (1.25 inches vs. 3/4 inch).

I bought an attachment that went over the drain pipe and over the end of the drain hose and clamped it. Sealed the connection and now I have no problem.

Jonathan Richards
- Queens, New York, USA

November 14, 2011

Q. Can you please give me more information on what type of attachment you bought and where did you buy it?


Brad Phares
- Albion, Indiana, USA

November 17, 2011

Q. I have a 1.5 inch drainage pipe for my washer machine. They recommend 2inch for drainage pipes. When I wash my close, I have to pause it to allow the water to drain out. If I don't then water would fill the pipes and get on the floor. This didn't happen with my older washer machine. What would you recommend.

Marcus Pipes
- Indianapolis, Indiana

November 22, 2011

A. Just fixed this problem myself. No vent needed. The drain pipe on the washer is thin plastic so I just pinched it inward and put a hose clamp on it to reduce the volume of water that drains. The crease also allows the air to more readily escape the pipe solving the vent problem. Yes, I tested it and it still drains super fast. Sweet!

Scott Anderson
- Brandon, Mississippi, USA

December 19, 2011

Q. I found this "blog" & hope someone can help. Ted, do you do plumbing locally? The issue is this, we have a rental condo that we have never had a problem with the draining of the washing machine before (have owned the unit for approx. 13 years & had numerous tenants in that time) The washer that is there now has been there for several years, with no problem. After the last tenant moved out, I pulled the washer out to clean behind it, did not have to disconnect anything to do so, but obviously the drain line was moved around. The new tenants did a load of wash and found that during the drain cycle, the water started to come out of the pipe where the drain hose from the washer goes in. He went & bought a new rubber seal type attachment for the drain hose, but it still leaks. We went down and snaked the line, didn't seem to have been clogged and then ran a hose into the drain pipe at full speed and the water drained out perfectly. thinking we must have cleared a clog, re-hooked everything up and again, as soon as the washer drains, the water fills the drain line and starts leaking out the top. We did notice that there had been tape on the connection before,was no longer in place, do you think we should try the duct tape method? Could there be an air lock that once the water forces through will then flow correctly? Any help would be appreciated

Beth McCarthy
- Bayville, New Jersey, USA

December 2011

A. Hi, Beth. I run this metal amadeya42 website, which occasionally rambles into side topics like air locks, but I am not in the plumbing business and I know very little about it.

I duct-taped my own old washing machine drain, but I'm sure this is discouraged by the washing machine manufacturer, may void the warranty, as well as not really being the right answer. But it does sound like you might have an air lock which you need to either have fixed by a plumber putting in a vent or at least an air-admittance valve, or live with. Good luck.


Ted Mooney, amadeya42.com
Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Pine Beach, New Jersey

January 8, 2012

thumbsdownTed, you should not give advice outside your area of expertise. Vent pipes or air admittance valves allow air into the system to prevent the traps from being siphoned and allowing sewer gas into your home. The air lock you describe should never exist in a properly designed system...the drain lines must always be sloped and never have a high point in the middle of the line. Furthermore, washing machines discharge indirectly into the drain pipe for a reason. By taping it up you are essentially creating a direct connection which is a code violation.

All of these issues are caused by one of two things....either the drain pipe is undersized and can't keep up with the discharge rate of the washer, or there is an obstruction in the pipe (clog, broken pipe, or roots) which is preventing it from draining properly.

James Ledyard
- Atlanta, Georgia, USA

January 2012

thumbs up signThanks for clarifying the anti-siphon purpose of those valves, James. I have more respect for the skills & experience demanded of a plumber than you know: My father was a master plumber, and in those days you had to be able to beautifully solder-wipe a lead pipe joint to the full satisfaction of a 3-man "drill sergeant style" certification board to pass the test. So when I was a kid there was an iron pot of solder cooking on the big propane burner in the basement almost nightly for a year as my father practiced for that piece of the test, as one small part of his decades of experience and study.

I told the very first poster that this wasn't a plumbing forum; and I told Beth and others repeatedly, "I am not in the plumbing business business and I know very little about it".

I don't think anyone in the world believes that duct tape is a proper solution, and I thought I made it clear, again & again, that I know that duct taping the washer discharge hose into the pipe is completely wrong and discouraged by the washer manufacturer, but I did it as a desperate fellow homeowner with water overflowing onto the floors and who couldn't afford to have a plumber run larger drain lines. In any event, it should be crystal clear on this go 'round that I'm not offering engineering or professional plumbing advice, just sharing tips with fellow homeowners who also can't afford to have bigger drain pipes installed.

But, yes, I have seen drain piping installed just exactly as I illustrated, with an air lock because someone thought they could run a drain pipe over the basement curb around their old coal bin instead of through it; I didn't make it up; it's where I learned about air locks blocking the flow, and why I warned other amateurs about them :-)

Thanks again, and regards,

Ted Mooney, amadeya42.com
Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Pine Beach, New Jersey

January 11, 2012

A. Of all the solutions and remedies in here there's one that was very easy and fixed the problem I've been having for years. That of placing a metal washer that restricts the flow of water enough to let the drains keep up. I'd suggest using aluminum or galvanized one that won't rust. There are probably other methods such as tapering the washer drain hose down to a quarter or half an inch. It doesn't seem to hurt the motor, water pump, or interfere with the timer. The washing machine still empties. I'd imagine there's a water level sensor or something to let the machine empty even though it takes a bit longer to do so.

It wasn't my idea; thanks to Brian E - Baton Rouge, Louisiana for the suggestion above.

Fred Young
- Ellwood City, Pennsylvania

January 17, 2012

A. I would have to agree that the problem seems that the older homes (mine is over 30+ years) have smaller drain lines that cannot handle the flow rate. I reduced the flow by fitting the line with a homemade reducer... never thought about simply placing a washer in the fitting.... that seems easiest way possible. At any rate, it's been working for the past three years with no more overflow! Thanks for all the ideas!

Gabriel Holter
- Gulfport, Mississippi, USA

January 18, 2012

Q. Just bought a new top loader HE washing machine. The drain hose is too large in diameter than the drain pipe. Any thought on how to avoid a leak? I connected the former drain hose to the new hose with a clamp, but it still leaks out when the machine first starts draining. Any thoughts, please? thanks

Paula Johnson
- Bluffton, South Carolina, USA

January 17, 2012

A. My washing machine drain pipe was backing up. I spent $325 to have a plumber "Hydroblast" the drain line & clean out the trap. When that didn't work, the plumber wanted about $1,000 to tear out the drain pipe and trap & replace it with larger diameter ones. I felt the problem was the vent as the washing machine drain does not have its own vent. I bought a GVII Anti-flood valve from Jirasek Sytems Corp. It took about five minutes to install it and it fixed the problem. It may not fix every problem but it's sure worth $31.00 to give it a try.

Sid Burks
- Loma Linda, California USA

January 24, 2012

My house was built in the 1950's and I have a 2 inch cast iron stack for the washer in my basement that is not vented very well. I just bought a new top loader washer and was having all of the backup issues as everybody here. I had the drain snaked and the vent checked from the roof. Everything in good shape. I just went to Home Depot and bought an 8 inch long 3/4 inch pipe nipple that wiggled perfectly into the 1 inch opening of the washer drain hose. I clamped it with a ring clamp and tested it. It was slightly better, but still backed up. I then screwed on a 3/4 to 1/2 inch reducer to the end of the pipe nipple, also found at Home Depot. Worked perfectly with no backup. No idea whether this will hurt the pump, but my guess is that it won't in the near term. Good luck, everybody. This is my first time trying any of this btw.

Tyler J
- SW, Virginia

February 13, 2012

When I bought my new washer (top loader) I noticed it didn't have a lint filter like my old one did. I asked the salesman and he said I would need to put some drain cleaner down the washer drain every 6 months or so.

I REALLY wish I had gotten my old machine repaired instead of getting this new one. I have had backups into my shower of "blue jean lint" the last 3 times I have washed....despite the drain cleaner routine. Lots of gurgling in the sink & toilet too when the washer drains. Makes me wonder about new-fangled improvements....wow.

Joan Taylor
- OKC, Oklahoma

February 21, 2012

We have very successfully used a double layer of Bridal Illusion [linked by editor to product info at Amazon], about 6-7" square, rubber-banded over the end of a 1 1/2" discharge hose into our basement drain. We change it after EVERY wash load. It catches the lint, and saves on plumber bills. And, yes, the hose goes up above the height of the discharge on the back of the machine before it descends and curves around to the drain. If lint is causing your drains to become clogged, this is a simple, cheap solution. You can make a LOT of filters from a yard or two of illusion! Hope this helps someone!

Lora McClamrock
- Fort Wayne Indiana, USA

June 25, 2012

Q. My washer also drains all over the basement floor. It did not do so until either we got the top loader or when the furnace & air conditioner drains were also placed in the washer drain. It's been a long time so I cannot recall when it became a problem.

I really think an Air Admittance Valve would work but I can't use one with the other items in the drain. What are my options?

Where else can the other drain tubes drain to? If I make them long enough, can I have them drain in the floor drain that's about 9 foot further over?

I really would like for this constant wet floor can be done with.

Tamie Petersen
- Battle Creek, Michigan, USA

June 27, 2012

Q. I read all the posts. I went with the solution the plumbers posted and verified it with a local plumber and the plumber that works at HD. Still did not fix the problem. There is no clog, I snaked it before beginning. Any solutions?

Michael Robins
- Shelby Township, Michigan

June 22, 2013

A. What I did to solve the problem was to extend the drain pipe up about a foot. That way it gathers enough water to push through the air long before it spills over. No problem since.

William Phipps
- Chicago, Illinois

September 10, 2013

Q. Washing machine drains into washtub, machine wasn't working properly only 3 months old, had repair man there and said to put a PVC pipe on the side of the washtub as it wasn't draining fast enough and created vacuum and was sucking the dirty water back into the machine, never heard of this before,
Was told to put a 2 inch PVC pipe on the side to create air flow, can anyone tell me if this is proper and if so the best way to attach it and what size to use?

Michael B
- Milwaukee, Wisconsin

September 11, 2013

A. Hi Michael. We can only guess what the repairman said to you, but if the washing machine's discharge hose is sitting in a tub full of dirty water, I suppose it could suck that water back into the machine.

I think he's telling you that the end of the hose must be above the water level in the washtub. It sounds easy enough to cut the hose as he said so the end is above the water level in your slow-draining washtub. Good luck.


Ted Mooney, amadeya42.com
Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Pine Beach, New Jersey

September 20, 2014

Well I live in a mobile home in a park; the sewage lines were backed up, but the lines are cleared out. Now when I do laundry my washer backs up into my tub and drains my toilet, but I can use the tubs, kitchen sink, and both toilets. Can someone tell me what to do?

wanda kruse
- cedar springs Michigan

September 2014

A. Hi Wanda. It sounds to me like the lines were only partially cleaned out and things are not draining freely (perhaps tree roots in the drain pipe).

See, the main drain line is supposed to be empty (full of air, not water). If you do not run any water for a while, any water in the drain pipe gradually seeps through the partial blockage and the pipe becomes empty. Now if you flush your toilet, the waste has some place to go (into the empty pipe), but if you keep running the water, the pipe gets filled because the waste is only seeping out, not flowing out properly.


pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live "Aloha"

April 30, 2015

Q. When my washer drains it overflows on the floor and water runs out of vent pipe on the roof; any solutions?

Michelle Davis
- Grand Bay, Alabama

November 22, 2015

Q. I have mini vents installed in every bathroom in the house. Sometimes if I am running the shower and then the toilet is flushed, the toilet will overflow. What can be done to make the water flowing system independent so I don't have to go around telling people to not flush when showering or running any other water lines in bathrooms?

Kim Howard
- San Diego, California

January 11, 2016

A. The solution to stop the all the bubbles while the drain is happening is to ensure that the drain hose is firmly pushed down your drain pipe so that there's no room for bubbles. I had the same problem with slot of bubbles after the drain but once I firmly place the hose down the drain pipe, the bubbles were gone... Hopefully this helps.

Mark S. [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- Los Angeles, California

February 9, 2016

Q. My washing machine drains into a dedicated drain field. It had been on a slab outside the back door with the drain hose dumping into a 4" drain line that had a 4" vent stack. I laid a foundation and added a full laundry room in the same place. The vent stack was cut off, sealed and concreted over by the plumber who installed the wall faucet/drain unit. The machine drain hose still empties into the same drain line but now there is no vent. He also installed a laundry tub on the outside wall of the new room sitting right above the 4" drain line and tapped into that line to drain the tub (used 1.5" PVC but did not install a trap). Now when the machine drains, the water backs up into the tub. If venting is the problem I'm wondering why the tub drain line itself doesn't act as a vent? Would it do any good to install a vent line...and where? Thanks for any help or advice.

Unfortunately, the plumber is stiff-arming me about coming back to do the job right.

Vince Moore
- El Paso, Texas USA

April 27, 2016

Q. Hi,

We live in a flat. Every time the neighbour upstairs uses the washing machine (at least twice a day), our kitchen sink explodes, especially I believe when the water gets drained from the washing machine. It makes dreadful noises and stinks from time to time. I must admit their old washing machine never did that, it all started when they bought and installed a new one recently. It really has become unbearable, the water backing up to the sink every so often, with the drain bursting with the bubbles and smell. Could you please help resolve this issue. Many thanks.

Natela Bruce
- UK

April 27, 2016

thumbs up signI would like to thank Mr Mooney for this blog. I had drain problems and I am on a budget. Your info was right on and helped me greatly. I think that it is wonderful that you try to help people instead of just trying to get more money out of people that can't afford it. A lot of people are smart enough to figure it out with a little advice and guidance. So much appreciated. S

Susan R. [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- Anniston Alabama

April 2016

Thanks for the kind thoughts, Susan. Most of us can't afford to share everything, but can afford to share something :-)


pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live "Aloha"

July 16, 2016

Q. I replaced my very old 1990 washer machine with a new high power washer. The machine drains into the kitchen sink (old house); the laundry room is 2 rooms away. The water line pipe has to go under the laundry room, dining room and into the kitchen to the sink. ( I will add that my kitchen is an addition to the house). Whenever I do laundry there is always a rotten egg smell, and a gurgling sound when it drains; next the floor along where the pipe runs has water damage on it. I don't know where this pipe is leaking from or if the whole line needs to be replaced. this will be the 2 time in 4 years I will have replaced the entire floor, before it is completely ripped out i am trying to figure out the issue. Each time someone comes up with a different solution. I do not know if it could be the air vent I keep seeing.

liz balman
- BENSENVILLE, Illinois usa

A. Hi Liz. Is it possible that what you call a rotten egg smell is what others might call a sewer gas smell? The purpose of traps is to always hold water in the U-bend so that the drain is not open to the sewer so sewer gasses can't rise into your kitchen or laundry room. Yes, these air vent things are for the purpose of helping keep water in the trap by interrupting the vacuum that siphons water out of the trap, so my guess is that they can solve the problem.

Sorry, I don't really understand the "leak" problem you are describing.


pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live "Aloha"

August 22, 2016

let me better explain:
Q. I replaced my very old 1990 washer machine with a new high power washer. The machine drains into the kitchen sink (old house); the laundry room is 2 rooms away. The water line pipe has to go under the laundry room, dining room and into the kitchen to the sink. (I will add that my kitchen is an addition to the house). Whenever I do laundry there is always a rotten egg smell, and a gurgling sound when it drains; next the floor along where the pipe runs has water damage on it. I don't know where this pipe is leaking from or if the whole line needs to be replaced. this will be the 2 time in 4 years I will have replaced the entire floor, before it is completely ripped out i am trying to figure out the issue. Each time someone comes up with a different solution. I do not know if it could be the air vent I keep seeing.::::::::
The washer line runs under my house (crawl no basement), it runs through the laundry room, the dining room and drains into the kitchen sink or pipes. The area the pipe would be running under, the portion of the floor has extreme wood damage, I have replace the flooring in the dining room twice, next year will be time 3. Somewhere between the laundry room and the kitchen the pipe is leaking and pretty bad. I do not believe it could be the hose line which also runs under the dining room, because I have not turned the main line for it on in two years.
I should also note the most of the work in the house was done by the previous owners, who are now deceased.
But back to the other question, you said they could fix it, Who, a plumber, to keep the gas smell out.

LIZ BALMAN [returning]
- BENSENVILLE, Illinois usa

August 2016

Hi again. I thought your question was whether siphon breaker air vent devices could cure the gurgling sounds and the rotten egg smell, to which my answer was, yes, I think they could. As for who would install them, assuming you're not doing it yourself, yes, a plumber would do it.

You apparently know that, additionally, some pipe in your crawl space is leaking, but I don't understand what you think can be done other than having a plumber repair or replace whatever pipe is leaking. Still, water drips down, not up, so I'm not quite understanding how a pipe that is leaking down in the crawl space is repeatedly causing severe water damage to the floors above it.


pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live "Aloha"

August 17, 2016

Q. I have a Bosch Nexxt series front load washer that is giving error code E13 and doesn't drain properly. I have opened the drain trap in the front and found a few coins and such. I cleared all that out, but the problem persists.

I then removed the drain tube on the back to see if it was blocked. Water flows freely through the tube, but when I stuck a finger into the pipe it is attached to on the back of the machine it seems fairly full of gunk.

Does this seem like the source of my problem, and if so, how can I clean it out? It doesn't appear to easily detach from the machine.

Linus Bern
- Toronto, Ontario, Canada

August 21, 2016

thumbs up signI want to thank the posters for the drain hose reducer solution to overflowing washing machine drains. A multi-section sprinkler riser pipe fit perfectly into our drain hose and acted as a reducer. It was epoxied in place and all is well!

George Mueller
- San Jose, California

November 12, 2016

Q. I have a Beko WME2772 when it starts to fill the little black overflow pipe (bottom front next to filter) pours the water straight back out, have changed pump and pressure switch, have no idea what else to try. It does not appear that any water is getting into the drum as its coming straight out the front. Any ideas?

Katrina Cornish
- Reading, Berks, England

December 6, 2016

Q. Hi. After doing a load of clothes we noticed that the washer is draining into tub and is full of muddy water and we can't afford a plumber what can we do to resolve this matter if anything?
Please help.

Thanks --David

david mowery
- midvale Utah usa

January 10, 2017

Q. We have been living in the same apartment suite for 5 years. Our Maytag top-load has been working great all this time. Couple days ago the machine backs up while draining and we need to stop and let it catch up 3 times to fully drain. We have run drainer cleaner twice and have snaked out 15' (which would take us right to the buildings main line). All other drains bathroom and kitchen are running fine.

What could have caused our drain to backup after running fine for years?

Clayton Watt
- bc, canada

January 2017

A. Hi Clayton. My father was a master plumber but I was not very good as a plumber's helper for a few reasons -- one of which is that I sometimes sent the snake up the vent pipe when I thought I was sending it down the drain line. I think I'd double check that you actually snaked the drain line all the way to the main :-)


pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live "Aloha"

January 11, 2017

A. Clayton

Have you checked the flexible hose from the washer to the drain? If it collapses, it will prevent the water from flowing normally. As the spin/drain cycle is on a timer, a pinched or collapsed hose could cause your issue.

Willie Alexander
- Green Mountain Falls, Colorado

January 19, 2017

Q. My clothes washer has started to create intermittent air locks in the hot water plumbing. I can break the air lock by turning on the hot and cold water faucets all the way in the sink next to the washing machine. But this isn't a solution.
How can I eliminate the air locks?

Alan Demb
- Toronto, Ontaro, Canada

January 2017

? Hi Alan. I'm a little confused whether you are speaking of the hot water supply or the drains. My limited experience as a fellow homeowner is that, when drains flow properly at full blast but improperly at lower stop-and-go flows, there may well be a high spot where air is accumulating. Obviously, drain pipes are supposed to tilt downward over their entire length, because water flows down. But because air flows up, you need to be careful that there is no high spot in a run which is too close to horizontal.

If air is accumulating in the hot water supply pipe, Although I've seen that after the water has been turned off and back on, I'm totally unacquainted with what would cause it otherwise.


pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live "Aloha"

February 5, 2017

A. Alan,
A common solution is to directly connect the hot and cold washing machine feeders. Turn on hot then cold and wait for 5 seconds. Repeat 2 or 3 times. If that works, re-connect the hoses as you found them.

blake kneedler
Blake Kneedler
Feather Hollow Eng.
Stockton, California

February 6, 2017

A. Just a thought - are you using a cool/cold wash? There is an increasing trend towards low temperature washes, but the problem with them is the detergents develop a soapy sludge that collects in the effluent pipe; this can harbour bacteria and ultimately give your clothes a strange smell. To get over it, you need to put the washing machine on a hot wash about every month - with or without clothes in it. This not only flushes out the muck, but also helps kill the bacteria. However, before doing this, you will need to unblock the effluent pipe - a pretty dirty job...

trevor crichton
Trevor Crichton
R&D practical scientist
Chesham, Bucks, UK

February 22, 2017

Q. My problem is that the drain line works fine, but the lint does not drain from the drum and accumulates on the the clothes. Lint that accumulates on the clothes stays on the clothes even through the drying cycle. I'm just wondering if soap scum is building up in the washing machine drain line.

James Merkel
- Schaumburg Illinois USA

March 10, 2017

Q. My situation seems different than the previous questions, but close enough so I'm posting it here.

My washing machine has been filling with water while unattended. Usually just 2 or 3 inches, but then last month it actually overflowed so I called a repairman. He said it didn't look like the problem was with the washer, so he turned off the water supply and said to watch it. And water kept coming in anyway, so he says the drain is the only place it could be coming from. So then I called a plumber, who sent out a young assistant who messed around with my sump pump (the washer is in my unfinished basement) and then said I probably have a block in my sewer line, which apparently is an expensive fix. He too said well keep an eye on it and call us back. Since then I've determined it seems to be closely tied to the amount of rainfall we get. But I'm in the Seattle area and we've had a much rainier winter than usual, so it's hard to be scientific about this. On one dry weekend the washer stayed dry. I think back when it overflowed, it was pouring, but that was before I knew to watch the weather. The water seems to be clean, like tap water. What the heck? The washer is below ground level.


Diane Brooks
- Everett Washington

March 20, 2017

A. Like many others on this thread, I have had recent problems with water backing up out of (or splashing out of?) the drain pipe behind my wash machine. This may be partly related to my having got a newer wash machine (Speed Queen top loader) a year ago; newer machine may shoot water out faster than my 20-year-old previous machine did.

I had a professional drain cleaning company come and snake out the drain--then, when it appeared the problem was not totally gone, I had them come back out and snake it again three days later. This appears to have partially helped, but I still get just a bit of water leakage or splash-back -- I estimate it probably is between 1/3 cup water and 2/3 cup water per load, depending on the size of the load -- not much, but still enough to potentially create a mold problem.

I will share the (TEMPORARY) solution I have found to keep mold off my wall: My drain pipe has a short "L" curve at the top, with the end sticking out of the wall. I take a long, maximum-absorbancy Poise Pad and wrap the pad around the end of the drain pipe, where the wash machine drain hose enters the pipe. I secure it with two half-inch strips of Velcro. One Velcro strip is the type with mini-hooks on it, and the other strip is the type that the mini-hooks cling to; I just lay the two strips over each other to fasten, then peel back to easily un-fasten when I need to check or change the pad. One of these inexpensive pads lasts us for about two or three loads of wash, and my wall stays nice and dry. For those not familiar with Poise Pads: They are sold in most pharmacies and supermarkets, and are a product originally intended to be used by people who have trouble with urinary incontinence. They come in two lengths and six possible degrees of absorbency. The highest level of absorbency, of course, is suitable for this purpose. Either length would probably work around a 2-inch drain pipe, though with the longer length,

Lois Herring
I am a retired individual homeowner - Milwaukie Oregon U.S.A.

April 16, 2017

A. Having the same washer discharge problem in a 1972 home with a more recent machine, I cut the 1-inch gooseneck, at the washer's drain hose end, and inserted a 3/4 inch pipe nipple to restrict the flow. It helped, but was not enough; so, back to the hardware store for a second pipe nipple and a 3/4 inch plastic gate valve.
They were assembled and inserted with teflon tape and clamped in place. With the gate valve about 1/3 to 1/2 closed, we achieved just the right flow restriction to prevent overflow, while still getting complete emptying of the washer. Success, at last!

Bob Glenn
- Tucson, Arizona, USA

July 4, 2017

Q. I need to know what going on in my house. You see the bathtub, washing machine, and the sinks are backing up. The color of the water is a murky brown, pinkish color. It stinks and we have tried a lot of different things. My family is really stressed and we don't know what to do.

Katherina O Fushazi
- Seattle Washington

July 2017

A. Hi Katherina. You're going to have to call a plumber for that. Sorry, but there is probably nothing a homeowner can do for a blockage in the main drain. Good luck with it.


pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live "Aloha"

July 30, 2017

Q. My toilet keeps getting stopped up a lot you can hear the toilet making a gurgling noise when I'm in the shower and when I'm washing clothes you can hear that gurgling noise in the sink and when I'm washing clothes the pipes overflows with water what could my problem be

Tonya kelly
- Smithfield Virginia

November 9, 2017

A. I had the same issue, called a plumber, checked the line and snaked it/pressured it. Still happened after, decided it was the output flow from the washer draining and older plumbing not able to keep up. I went to the hardware store and bought a much smaller diameter drain hose. Measure your drain size on the back of the washer before going. Mine was a 1" round output. I bought the smallest diameter drain hose that would fit 1", brought it home, hooked it up, and the problem went away. The old hose was nearly twice the diameter of this new one. The new smaller hose slowed the washer output. Problem solved. 12 bucks for the washer drain hose.

Mark Miller
- Jacksonville, Florida, USA

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