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  • Drain backs up when you run washing machine

    Hi,

    Just moved in to this house about 3 weeks ago. Just had washer and dryer installed. Was running well for a week, tonight when the washing machine drained the shower pan flooded. Also the toilet will not flush and the sinks are gurgeling when you run the water.

    It is an old single story house. The shower and drain pipe for the washer are an addition that the seller put in before I purchased the house.

    I dont know if it is a blockage or a venting issue.

    Please help. I would like to fix this on my own if possable.

    Thanks!

  • #2
    Re: Drain backs up when you run washing machine

    I would say a blockage. If it is close you may be able to release it with a short, department store snake, the heavier duty the better.Locate the cleanout on the main stack, and open it with a pipewrench/pair of channel locks, then feed the snake in by hand until you hit something solid. If you run our of snake it is further away or migrated to a main line. At this point you're better off to call a professional as they will have the proper drain cleaning tools to clear this up in a jiffy. If it was something like a shower and you could get by with other fixtures in your house I would say do it yourself but it seems its at the point where you cant even use the toilet so I would say at this point call a pro. Even if you rent an electric snake you can really hurt yourself and the guy on the end of the snake is usually worth the money you pay him. Most drain calls are done in an hour or less.
    Good luck!

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Drain backs up when you run washing machine

      Mainline stoppage, call a plumber.
      Buy cheap, buy twice.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Drain backs up when you run washing machine

        I think he washed too many wool blankets. That's what did the main line for me.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Drain backs up when you run washing machine

          Can you ID this pipe? I beleive this is the mainline, it lines up with the access plate on the sidewalk. I do have access to a snake for up to 4" pipe. I am tempted to try and clean it myself if this is the access, seems straignt forward.

          If I do call a pro, what should I expect to pay?
          Attached Files

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          • #6
            Re: Drain backs up when you run washing machine

            That does look like the cleanout but I don't have a reference of scale to judge the size. From what I've seen, companies will charge 200-400 to clean your mainline through a ground level cleanout. Price isn't the only factor when choosing a plumber.

            I believe the 2 most important things to know when looking for a plumber are:

            -how much advertising do you do?
            -how long have you stayed in the area under the current owners?

            Companies that do lots of advertising often need new customers because they burn out they're old ones. Don't discredit a new company that's starting up. However, if you can find a company that's been in the area for 10+ years and do little advertising, that's the company you want because all their business is word of mouth.

            I strongly suggest you call a plumber because you mention the new addition. Let them check the new plumbing as well, your home is an investment. Water and sewage damage can greatly offset any saving you might of had by doing the job yourself.
            Buy cheap, buy twice.

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            • #7
              Re: Drain backs up when you run washing machine

              a pro is on the way, thanks guys

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Drain backs up when you run washing machine

                No problem, Glad to help. Good luck with this and any future plumbing problems you may have!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Drain backs up when you run washing machine UPDATE

                  OK the plumber came through, started by snaking at the p trap for the washer. pulled out a rag. tested the drains, still backed up. Next took the cap off that clean out I posted a picture of. As soon as the cap came off water rushed out. so after that stopped snaked the clean out.. Really tough going, more rags, some roots. next went the camera down the main line. Hit a wall with that. Next came the pipe tracer, he decided that there was a break in the main. Told me where to dig and left. 375.00, not that bad I guess, I did learn a lot because I stayed with him the entire time.

                  I dug down about 2' where he said to dig and found the problem. Collapsed clay pipe. So what I am looking at is cast iron to clay to PVC. sewage flowed nicely through my hole and into the pvc once i cleaned it out. Not a fun job but a Hilti TE905 with a clay spade that i borrowed helped the digging go quickly. I ran the shower for a minute and the water flowed through and out of my trench.

                  I think I still have a clog in the main. Should I snake it out before repairing the break? What next?

                  What do I do now, excavate out the broken clay pipe and????

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Drain backs up when you run washing machine


                    On the bottom is the rubber coupler and the pvc on the top is the broken clay

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Drain backs up when you run washing machine

                      Your option. You could replace that collapsed section but realize that the rest of the clay pipe may last 10 weeks or it may last 10 years. Many cities still have clay pipe that still works. It's just hard to say how to judge it's longegity. It's your piece of mind and money so you should decide. At a bare minimum, the collapsed section should be replaced.

                      Biggest thing is your worried about saving money and rightfully so. Talk to over with a plumber to see what can be done to lower cost. Example; do all his digging and backfill for him. You can also get his pipe on site for him. Keep in mind, if he gives you a materials list and you burn him and do the job yourself, goodluck finding another plumber. For what this guy did, 375 doesn't sound that bad. If you were comfortable with him, I'd stick with him as that price sounded honest.
                      Buy cheap, buy twice.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Drain backs up when you run washing machine

                        my gut tells me to replace the section of clay. I just dont know what lengh it is going to be? Is there a standard for a section of 4" clay pipe?

                        Would it be wise to go pvc to cast iron? and just cut the clay part out of the equation?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Drain backs up when you run washing machine

                          Typically 5' lengths on clay pipe but it also has a tendency to have carcks at every joint. I would replace the line with pvc. Forgot to add, not sure of your intentions with this house, but if you replace the lateral (or anything else)without a permit, you can't list it on the the house when you resell. I just moved here from va and they would fine you if you tried to backdate a permit.

                          At this point, I would suggest you go more with your plumber's recommendations than mine. He can see the entire situation so he can give you a better options to your problem than I could.
                          Buy cheap, buy twice.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Drain backs up when you run washing machine

                            I live in San Rafael I'll send You a P.M. From what You've told Us ,You have an Excellent Man out there. I would stay with Him !! I'll give You My phone # for free advice. I will also give You the phone #of an excellent 2 nd. plumber from this forum,Glkearns [excellent plumber,Quality human being], in Your Hood.I can't help You with the work. Give Me a call if You like. Tool
                            I can build anything You want , if you draw a picture of it , on the back of a big enough check .

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Drain backs up when you run washing machine

                              Forget using the clay for repair. Pvs ,and use Quality BANDED COUPLINGS on the 2 connections.I feel this helps with roots Also do You have a clean out?? No / ,put one in Now at this connection. I use double sweep [ kelly fittings] Than You can snake to the house and the street [ I'll get beat up on this here] What You NEED TO DO is make a plastic tag that says DOUBLE SWEEP.
                              Use a short section of chain and connect this to the clean out plug. Before back fill I run 2 pieces of 1" pvc to surface. I have roots ,on this same repair, on My own home. Once a year I run copersulfate with hot water to kill roots. Go ahead Brothers take Your Wacks at Me.
                              He He
                              I can build anything You want , if you draw a picture of it , on the back of a big enough check .

                              Comment

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