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Thread: improving washer drain? duct tape or ??

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member stinkyx's Avatar
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    Question improving washer drain? duct tape or ??

    The combo washer/dryer in my unit was installed about 10 years ago. At some point it started leaking during the drain cycle if I didn't interrupt the drain cycle. I thought it was leaking from within the unit itself, but it was only recently that I removed the transition panel on the washer/dryer and clearly saw the source of the leak.

    The landlord who installed it used duct tape to bind the 2" drain pipe to the 1-1/4" pipe/hose that goes down and to the wall. The duct tape seal had deteriorated and that's where water was coming through. I have read elsewhere that such use of duct tape can be okay if everything else is fine.

    I realize there may be blockage somewhere. I made a half-hearted attempt at snaking and need to try again. But my only access to the area is through the washer/dryer transition panel area so it's a pain to work through it. The combo unit is wedged between a wall and a hot water heater. Ideally I'd just have my landlord deal with it, but moving the washer/dryer unit would involve lots of hassle, so I'm seeing what I can do on my own. (The current landlord is not the one who installed it.)

    I have attached some photos to show you what's back there.

    I'm going to try to snake again by running it through the curved pipe/hose - I'm hesitant to unclamp that part since it's cumbersome to reach further down.

    Should I try to apply new duct tape and see how that works?
    Or should I be looking into a better and more elegant solution?


    Short term (before I stripped off the old duct tape), I would let the drain cycle run for 10 or so seconds, stop it for 10 or so seconds, and repeat that until the tub was empty.

    What I found:
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    After removing the old duct tape:
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    Removing hose so I can snake through it:
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    Down below:
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  2. #2
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    The whole idea of connecting the washer drain hose to the standpipe is wrong. This is supposed to be a air gap drain. In other words, the hook end on the washer hose is meant to be hung in the open end of the drain pipe. Probably the biggest problem is the drain pipe is way too small. You said it was 1-1/4", but I see 1-1/2" on the pipe. However, today's washers dump water so fast that it requires a 2" standpipe into at least a 2" drain (larger would be better. I can not tell of sure, but I think the rest of the visible drain is 1-1/2" as well. Also, I don't see a vent in the drain between the P trap and where it enters the wall. So there are 3 issues that need to be dealt with. No duct tape needed, just some proper plumbing.

  3. #3
    DIY Junior Member stinkyx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Swart View Post
    Probably the biggest problem is the drain pipe is way too small. You said it was 1-1/4", but I see 1-1/2" on the pipe. However, today's washers dump water so fast that it requires a 2" standpipe into at least a 2" drain (larger would be better. I can not tell of sure, but I think the rest of the visible drain is 1-1/2" as well.
    You're right, the standpipe I suppose is just 1-1/2". I was measuring too quickly. The washer hose is smaller than that standpipe though; there is that gap you can see in the photos. The bottom part of the hook section widens out where it clamps to the vertical section. The rest is 1-1/2" I think though, at least that orange sticker that can be seen mentions that it's for connecting 1-1/2" to 1-1/2".

    For the "today's washers" and the 2" rule, how old of washers fall under that? This unit was installed over a decade ago. It went a number of years with no troubles.

    Thanks!

  4. #4
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    Not sure of when the 2 rule came into effect. Yes, the washer hose is smaller than the standpipe, it is not supposed to be a solid, watertight connection. The washer pumps the water through the hose so it is under some pressure. The small pipe will not drain the water quickly enough because it is not under pressure. Compounding the problem is the lack of a vent. Now, somewhere in the drainage system, that 1-1/2" pipe is connected to the main drain line with is going to be at least 3" and very possibly 4". To fix this right, you will need to find that connection which is somewhere behind that wall and connect a properly sized drain from the washer, and install a vent. Even if you washer is and older model that still could drain with a 1-1/2" drain, sooner or later that machine will have to be replaced and you will be forced to fix the problem then for sure.

  5. #5
    Test, Don't Guess! cacher_chick's Avatar
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    If it worked before and it does not now, it has to be because of a partial clog/restriction in the drain. We cannot tell if there is a vent, because it would be inside the wall. In any case, a vent or lack thereof should not cause the standpipe to overflow.

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    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    quote; In any case, a vent or lack thereof should not cause the standpipe to overflow

    By itself, no, but if there are other problems in the system, then the lack of a vent could cause overflow. But that is probably irrelevent in this case, because there is probably a proper vent inside the wall, otherwise they would not have piped it that way.
    Licensed residential and commercial plumber

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    TROJAN WORLDWIDE SALES RP MACPLUMB 777's Avatar
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    You need to get a real plumber out there and run the drain though the roof vent if possible,
    or if not then pull the washer dryer out from the wall to get access
    to the drain pipe and run a electric power snake down the drain to clear blockage,
    lint builds up in old cast iron pipe in the wall and under the floor
    causing a restriction in the drain
    the 11/2" pipe is fine just as it is !

    MACPLUMB 777

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    JERRYMAC@TROJANWORLDWIDE.COM


    35 YEAR MASTER PLUMBER, HEATING, ELECTRIC, DRAINS, FIRE SPRINKLERS, WATER HEATER
    AND BOILERS SINCE JAN, 1989

    281-706-1631 7 DYS A WEEK SALES AND TECH. SUPPORT
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  8. #8
    DIY Junior Member stinkyx's Avatar
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    Ok, thanks for all the responses.

    I'll work toward getting the landlord/plumber to deal with the issue, although I may try a little more snaking first.

    For the time being though should I wrap new duct tape around that section?

  9. #9
    Test, Don't Guess! cacher_chick's Avatar
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    The only purpose for any duct tape is to keep the hose from blowing off the pipe, which would never happen if the drain was clear.

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    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    The only purpose for any duct tape is to keep the hose from blowing off the pipe, which would never happen if the drain was clear.
    Pick up a snake and clear the line.

    If more work is ever done in the future, you can make the standpipe 2" above the p-trap. It takes very little time and material.
    However, not much reason to do it either. If your 1.5" drain is clear, it should work. Adding more volumn to the standpipe would help to buffer.
    The connection between the standpipe and the washer hose has to allow some air in. They even make fittings that have small holes to allow air in, but clamp the hose so it stays. I have seen hoses done with a "tight" connection, and I had to drill a 1/4" hole to get it draining correctly again.

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