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Thread: drain pipe for washing machine. (discovered mine has 2 -22 degree joints)

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member nickyv's Avatar
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    Default drain pipe for washing machine. (discovered mine has 2 -22 degree joints)

    HELP...
    my wife and I purchased a house and after 1 1/2 years of living in the house we ran into a problem.
    I always had an uneasy feeling on the issue with the utility room, laminate floors were warping a bit and i think I figured out why..

    wife discovered a pool of water in the utility room and we located the water issue with the drain pipe for the washing machine, the water draining will overflow every once in a while. since we are not sitting over the washing machine box we never took note of the overflowing water. Plus, since the washing machine box was not sealed the water went behind the sheet rock, hence no pool of water on the floor.

    once the mushy sheet rock was discovered I also discovered that the stud in the wall was cut out so that the P-Trap would fit and the installers placed 2- 22 degree joints just so that the drainage pipe would reach/fit in the middle of the washing machine box.

    the question that I have is:
    1- if I place a straight pipe replacing the pipe from the p-trap to the washing machine box should this alleviate the overflow? ( I will use a washing machine box that has a right side drain pipe placement)

    2- would the 2- 22 degree joints in the pipe leading from the P-Trap to the washing machine box cause enough issues so that the water draining would back up every once in a while? we have no clue on the frequency of overflow, 1 in 5 maybe could be more or less.

    I attached an image of the washing machine box and crooked drain pipe. (circled the 2 joints(connectors) in question)


    Name:  washing machine drain pipeb.jpg
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  2. #2
    Plumbing Contractor for 49 years johnjh2o1's Avatar
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    The 22* fittings should have little effect on the flow of the drain. You may have a partial stoppage in the line.

    John

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    In the Trades mtcummins's Avatar
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    Agree with John...

    While you have everything torn apart, you should think about installing a cleanout in the vent above the trap. Some people like to put them high enough that you can get to it w/o moving the machine, some would rather it be behind the machine, but either way, I'd get one in there and have the cleanout come out through the drywall for easy access if you have any future problems. You'll probably need to cut into the pipes to snake them anyway, so perfect time to install the cleanout.

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    In the Trades mtcummins's Avatar
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    In looking one more time at your pic... can you post a couple more with different angles showing the trap more? That looks like an S-trap with some goofy attachment to the drain...

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    Plumbing Contractor for 49 years johnjh2o1's Avatar
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    What they did was use the st. end of the trap into the sanitary tee instead of into the trap. What that did was make the trap seal a little deeper but it shouldn't have any effect on the washer draining.

    John

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    Test, Don't Guess! cacher_chick's Avatar
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    Also agree that the bends in the standpipe are not an issue. You have a restriction in the trap or further down the line.

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    In the Trades mtcummins's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnjh2o1 View Post
    What they did was use the st. end of the trap into the sanitary tee instead of into the trap. What that did was make the trap seal a little deeper but it shouldn't have any effect on the washer draining.

    John
    I see what you're saying, but something still looks off to me. Can you post a picture taken from a different angle? I think that's an S-trap with a different pipe behind it... it doesn't look like what we're assuming is the vent connects to the top of the trap arm to me, looks like a pure S-trap with another line tucked behind it.

    Regardless, this shouldn't stop the flow, but if that is the case, you have an illegal setup and could have sewer gasses venting into your house if that trap were to siphon.

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    DIY Junior Member nickyv's Avatar
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    thank you for the input so far.. I will take more photos.. a couple of things to add...

    1) I bought a smaller snake that attaches to a drill and it seams that I just cannot get it past the 90 to go down into the vertical pipe after the p trap. (it is the small version, neighbor has larger snake that we will try much thicker and is on a steal frame with wheels, he mentioned that they even used the wrong pipe after the P-trap, neighbor is a retired plumber)
    2) also used one of those bladder things that go onto the end of the hose, worked but again it still backs up every so often, it can be a `1/2 a cup or more never really know since we are not standing over the machine. some times it works, you can "hear" the water coming up the pipe, sometimes it stops and others it over flows.
    3) previous owners had plumbers here for 3-4 days, not sure if it was to fix this problem..

    will take more pictures and add, need to knock out dinner..

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    DIY Junior Member nickyv's Avatar
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    thanks, I will look into a cleanout in the vent pipe that connect to the "elbow" or corner pipes that connect to the P-Trap ( i have no plumbing experience)

  10. #10
    DIY Junior Member nickyv's Avatar
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    here are a few more pictures of the drain pipe for the washing machine.
    - the pipe that is curving down into the p-trap and from the connecting pipe from the vent pipe is not 90* vertical, it is pitched a little bit leaning towards the right. (1/8th of an inch off from 90*)
    - this 90 * joint/elbow is 4 to 4 1/2 inches tall.

    I think the pipping wrapped black foam is for the AC unit and the smaller pvc pipe that is inbetween the vent pip and foam pipe is for AC, I think?

    as to what happened to the exterior of the pipes is that the guys putting it in did not use shields and melted the outside of the pipes. There is the foam that you can squirt in and the 2x2 to the left of all of this is a bit soft/rotted push a nail in about an 1/8- 1/4 Name:  washing_machne_drain_pipe 007.jpg
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    In the Trades mtcummins's Avatar
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    Well, I stand corrected... that isn't an S-trap. The perspective looked like it, but I was wrong. That is actually a good thing, you didn't want me to be right

    So, if this was my place, I'd cut out most of that and repipe it. The trap is too deep, which shouldn't stop up the water, but if you only occasionally have problems, and your washer drains really fast, and there's some other minor problem in the plumbing, it could be the last straw that makes it overflow. I'd also want that burned piping cut out and replaced, and a cleanout installed. The 2 bends in the standpipe doesn't concern me at all, though if you're having this problem, I'd also possibly make a longer standpipe. Take it up to 30" above the trap.

    As John said, the 90 coming out of the trap and going into the SanTee on teh main drain line is backwards. They did this b/c of the tight space in there, but this makes the trap much deeper, requiring much more force to push water through the trap. There should be a better way to plumb this, especially considering that stud to the right is already cut out.

    While you have it cut apart, run a LONG snake down the drain... there could be a plug anywhere downstream of this. Then put in your cleanout so that you can do it again if it becomes necessary.

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    In the Trades mtcummins's Avatar
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    Also, what is that other white pipe behind the laundry line? It looks totally destroyed by whoever did the copper sweating in there... that should also be addressed (ie replaced).

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    DIY Junior Member nickyv's Avatar
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    thanks for the tips.
    the small pvc pipe behind the vent pipe I think is for the AC, I need to check. there is another pipe wrapped in black foam next to the small white pipe and I think that is for the AC as well.
    - the top of the drain pipe as of right now is 32 inches from the foundation and i about 30 inches from the bottom of the p-trap.

    i came across a web post that the drain pipe needs to be 32'-44' from the foundation depending on state..

    my thinking is placing the top of the drain pipe around 40-42' from the foundation with a straight pipe to the p-trap with the other items fixed/updated and while I have this all torn out snake down into the pipe that is going into the foundation (vent pipe)

  14. #14
    In the Trades mtcummins's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nickyv View Post
    thanks for the tips.
    the small pvc pipe behind the vent pipe I think is for the AC, I need to check. there is another pipe wrapped in black foam next to the small white pipe and I think that is for the AC as well.
    - the top of the drain pipe as of right now is 32 inches from the foundation and i about 30 inches from the bottom of the p-trap.

    i came across a web post that the drain pipe needs to be 32'-44' from the foundation depending on state..

    my thinking is placing the top of the drain pipe around 40-42' from the foundation with a straight pipe to the p-trap with the other items fixed/updated and while I have this all torn out snake down into the pipe that is going into the foundation (vent pipe)
    I suggest you ask your neighbor for some help with this if you plan to do it yourself. Getting the right fittings, etc is very important, and I can tell from the way you talk about this you don't have the knowledge required to do this properly on your own. For example, the pipe going into the foundation is a drain line, the vent is the pipe that goes up from where the trap ties in. There is no point in you spending the time and money to reinstall all of this wrong again... make sure you have some good help from someone who knows what they're doing, or just pay someone to do it. Maybe you can pay your neighbor to do it, with you as his helper. If he's a nice guy, maybe he'll do that for you for a cheap price compared to the plumbers you'd call in.

    This is how I first learned the basics of what I know about plumbing... I hired a plumber to do work, I worked for free as his helper, and asked lots of questions. Once you have a pretty good base of knowledge, you can better understand the forums and such like this, to expand your knowledge.
    Last edited by mtcummins; 12-13-2011 at 08:46 PM.

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    DIY Junior Member nickyv's Avatar
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    oh yeah I agree, was going to hire him to teach me.. I am a complete novice and would not do this solo..

    the pipe the p-trap goes into heads staight up to the roof and down into the foundation, what looks like to me.. and the drain pipe then goes into the main line where you can see the run off in the front yard popping open the main trap lid. when we were tinkering with the washing machine we would have one guy out in the front yard on the main yelling when the water was going through.

    thanks again for your help

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