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Thread: Overflowing Washer Drain

  1. #1

    Default Overflowing Washer Drain

    I have a similar problem as Intrepid, however, my drains are all PVC, the main line out of my house is SCH 40 4" PVC, and it has a good slope, it just started backing up last night while my wife was doing her third load of laundry. Could a 4" drain need snaked? I just have a hard time believing it. This morning it drained fine when the washer drained the first time, but after the spin cycle I was down there monitoring it, it backed up. Please help a carpenter out! I thought maybe the vent on the roof was blocked up with snow, but there isn't any over the top of it but should I climb up there and look down it? It's only on a first story roof no biggie. I got a 3/8" snake, but if I need to snake a 4" drain, that won't do I'll have to get something bigger. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

  2. #2
    Plumber Cass's Avatar
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    It sounds like the main going out to the street may have a stoppage.

    How old is the home?

  3. #3

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    Built in 1914. When the first load drained last night the toilet gargled, when the second load drained and the toilet gargled I plungered the toilet. The when the third load went to drain it backed up. There isn't a cleanout for the main 4" line so I was thinking of having a plumber come in, cut into the main line going out, putting in a clean out and butterfly valve so if it backs up again it won't come into the house. I've been on a construction crew where a sewer backed up into a crawlspace, lets just say we had to rip up all of the subfloor, it wasn't good. Any way, I just want if fixed as cheaply as possible, but correctly. Thanks.

  4. #4
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    If your main drain line is crowding 100 years old, I would not be at all surprised if the line has failed. This may not be something just a repair job and snaking can take care of. Don't waste time and effort trying to fix this yourself, it going to be way beyond a DIY job.

  5. #5
    Commercial Plumber markts30's Avatar
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    Agreed with the hire a pro answer...
    Partial blockage on the main line may just need cleaning or may need more work...
    Get a pro out with a camera and jetter/snake...
    Make sure to get a tape made for future referenece if you need any sewer work...

  6. #6

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    The main line isn't 100 yrs old. PVC wasn't around back then, probably updated 6-7 yrs ago. Sounds like a partial blockage, get a bigger snake? Snaked with a 3/8 25' snake and didn't get stopped, but there were a few times where I had to work it back and forth. When I pulled it out had some bits of tp on it. My wife is going to bring some industrial strength "bugs" home from work and dump down the line to see if they will eat it clear. I'd rather not call a serviceman on a Saturday, but if this don't work today, I'll call him tomorrow. A weekend charge is a weekend charge no matter what day you call them.

  7. #7

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    Depending where you live, often the Water Department will come and make sure it's not their line causing the problem. Worth a call for them to check before you try to fix the unfixable.

    Are your neighbors having the same problem?
    -i

  8. #8

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    What did you end up doing with your drain Intrepid?

  9. #9
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    I glad your drain will not have to be replaced, your first post did not mention the fact that the drain had be replaced recently with PVC. What you do need to do is to get a professional drain cleaning service to properly auger the drain. The handy-dandy DIY snakes are not capable of cleaning a main drain line. MOST IMPORTANT! DO NOT POUR CHEMICALS INTO THE DRAIN. They will not clear a major clog and they will create a very dangerous condition for the plumber who you will finally end up calling.

  10. #10

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    The "bugs" I was referring to are bacteria that we can get from a friend of ours who has hogs. It's a pit remedy that he pours in his pits at the end of his barns and they eat all of the manure and solid organics in the pit so they can be pumped into the lagoon. So far we can use all of the other water appliances, but the washer so I'm going to try the bacteria first and if that doesn't do the job I'm going to call a pro on Monday. I can't imagine their rates for a weekend call. Thanks for everyone's help so far and if anyone can add a tidbit of knowledge or experience please do.

  11. #11

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    Ruminating. Considering. Letting clothes pile up.

    Mostly I'm wondering how I'm going to haul a 25' piece of pvc onto my crawlspace

  12. #12

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    Me too. I don't have a cleanout on my main line so I'm considering cutting one in and my wife borrowed her parents 1" 100' snake. I put the bacteria down last night, but haven't gotten up the nerve to try the washer yet. Going to have to today, like you, clothes are piling up.

  13. #13

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    YUK! Get a clean out PRONTO! You don't crap flowing back into your HOUSE!!

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