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Thread: drywell venting or runoff?

  1. #1

    Default drywell venting or runoff?

    My washer unloaded its soapy water load on the floor after 7 years of use. I found the mess after the fact, so didn't see where the water was coming from. The washer was checked by a repair service and found to be OK and in good shape. The washer drains straight into a plastic pipe next to the washer, through the floor, with a 2' exposure under the house before entering the ground and running to a dry well. There is no vent or trap. I've run subsequent washer loads since this experience and have had no problem with the washer draining. Tis a mystery. Should I put in a vent or connect a runoff pipe to take up any possible future backup?

  2. #2
    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    It could be that some clothes were piled in such a way as to force water over the top of the tub.

    Washers should have 2" drains, and the p-trap should be vented.

  3. #3
    In the Trades Bob NH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Choral View Post
    The washer drains straight into a plastic pipe next to the washer, through the floor, with a 2' exposure under the house before entering the ground and running to a dry well.
    You must be in a rural area to permit the washer to dump onto the ground. Therefore, I suspect that you have not had this installation inspected and you don't plan to get a permit and inspection for any changes.

    Since the water is just dumping onto the ground, you could connect the hose directly to a 2" PVC pipe using a rubber coupling and adapter to make the pipe size just large enough for the hose. Make the pipe vertical and as short as possible.

    You would get the same effect, but less elegant in appearance and less permanent, if you use a generous supply of duct tape to seal the connection of the hose to the pipe.

    When the washer pump shuts off the short pipe will not be able to maintain any siphon effect so it will not suck anything out of the washer.

  4. #4

    Default Dry well venting.

    The 2 inch pipe from the washer runs into the ground and to a dry well. No washer water runs on the ground, but into the dry well.

  5. #5
    DIY scratch-pad engineer leejosepho's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Choral View Post
    My washer unloaded its soapy water load on the floor ...
    The washer drains straight into ... a dry well. There is no vent or trap.
    Had you run previous loads that day?

    Quote Originally Posted by Choral View Post
    I've run subsequent washer loads since this experience and have had no problem with the washer draining.
    Had it been raining prior to the load that overflowed?

    Quote Originally Posted by Choral View Post
    Should I put in a vent or connect a runoff pipe to take up any possible future backup?
    How far is your washer above ground level at the drywell? A tee in the line where it enters the drywell would make an overflow/vent possible, and that is the kind of setup I have for rain water. If the drywell ever fills, the overflow will simply come up and out the vent and onto the ground.

    Also, you definitely need to be filtering the lint from your discharged wash water. Lint destroys drain fields and drywells by plugging them up.
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    Last edited by leejosepho; 11-18-2007 at 04:18 AM.

  6. #6

    Default Dry well venting.

    Thanks for your reply. It had not been raining. I have run washes before and after the episode. The washer is 2-3 feet above the dry well. It may have been a suction problem? In any event, I decided to put in a y vent in the 2" pipe above ground, out of doors, close to what you suggested to discharge any backup before it gets into the house. I will follow up on filtering the drain pipe. Live and learn.
    Thank you.

  7. #7
    DIY scratch-pad engineer leejosepho's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Choral View Post
    It had not been raining. I have run washes before and after the episode. The washer is 2-3 feet above the dry well. It may have been a suction problem?
    Not sure what you mean there, but who knows?! Yesterday I happened to knock the top off the vent pipe for the lowest of my drain fields, and I was quite surprised to look down the inspection pipe and see that chamber completely full. Looking around further, I found standing water in a bottomless distribution box over 35' away, and I had never seen that before. It has not rained all that much here lately, but I am going to abandon that low chamber and re-route the output of one of our septic tanks before we might end up with the kind of trouble you had!

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