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Thread: Main drain pipe clogged after washing machine

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member Tom W.'s Avatar
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    Default Main drain pipe clogged after washing machine

    Last night we noticed that the washtub in our basement that the washing machine drains into was overflowing. After bailing out the water we also noticed that the kitchen sink draining down from the first floor was backing up into the washtub, thus leading us to conclude we had a clog in the drain pipe below where the washtub drain butted in. (Hopefully the attachment will be visible to clearly represent the configuration). There was no lint trap on the washing machine which probably led to this situation.
    We have tried plunging and gel products for clogged drains with no luck. What would you suggest next?
    Should we try to snake out the pipe from the end cap protruding to the right in the photo? Any suggestions would be much appreciated. Thanks!
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  2. #2
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    1. Get rid of that "abortion" you call a sink drain.
    2. THEN, snake the drain from the plug on the left.
    3. IF the sink is draining down into the top of that fitting, it was installed improperly to begin with.

  3. #3
    DIY Junior Member Tom W.'s Avatar
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    The flexible PVC on the left is where the washing machine is draining from (through the washtub). The kitchen sink is draining down from the first floor from the copper pipe on the right.

  4. #4
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    HJ said it pretty well, get rid of the flex. Flex PVC drains are a cop out to proper plumbing sold to DIY who don't know any better. They frequently clog because of the interior ridges. Now whether that is the location of the clog or not, I can't say, but I can say that your use of "gel products" indicates you have little knowledge of plumbing and plumbing problems. That's OK, that's why this forum exists, but you need to understand that drain cleaning chemicals do not work, can damage plumbing, and create a hazard for anyone working on the pipes. A professional plumber, with a professionally sized snake is the only way to get the clog removed. My suggestion at this point is to contact a licensed plumber in you area to fix the connection and auger the drain.

  5. #5
    Master Plumber-Gas Fitter shacko's Avatar
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    Have to agree with H J, that is an abortion, don't know what's the reason for that hook-up, would like to see where the plactic pipe is hooked into the system.

    Drain cleaning products are usually a waste of money and mixing the wrong ones together can damage you system.

  6. #6
    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    Normally when you have an upstairs sink dropping down to the lower floor, you would have a separately vented p-trap for the laundry tray sink.
    The vent would go up to the second story and revent at 42" on the second floor.

    You could add an AAV between the trap and the standpipe to help the lower sink drain.
    Snaking from the threaded cap is your best option for cleaning the drain.

    I'm glad it was someone else that called it an abortion. Saves me the time typing it in.

  7. #7
    DIY Junior Member Tom W.'s Avatar
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    Thanks for all the input. I ran a snake through and all of the pipes above the floor are clear. I was able to get the snake about 3' down into the pipe below the floor and could not get it further.
    Feels like there may be another bend where this drain angles over to butt into the wider main drain. Looks like its time for a pro with a better snake.

  8. #8
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Yes it is. And maybe he will remove that drum trap and flexible sink drain at the same time. An AAV on the drain would help after the sink finishes draining, but would do nothing for the situation when the upstairs starts, and continues draining.

  9. #9
    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    An AAV on the drain would help after the sink finishes draining, but would do nothing for the situation when the upstairs starts, and continues draining.
    hj
    And that's why plumbers like to run vents and not AAV's
    A vent will always work.

  10. #10
    Journeyman & Gas Fitter Doherty Plumbing's Avatar
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    Get rid of that bell trap and flexible drain.

    Run a snake through the piping. Hire a professional with a good contractor-quality-machine.

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