(206) 949-5683, Top Rated Plumber, Seattle
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 20

Thread: HELP! Previous owner was draining washing machine into sump pit. No drain. (pics)

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member Pchanizzle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Columbus, OH
    Posts
    16

    Default HELP! Previous owner was draining washing machine into sump pit. No drain. (pics)

    I just purchased this home, and have well water and city sewer. During the home inspection, I didn't even notice that there was no drain for the washing machine. I can only assume that the previous owner was draining the washing machine directly into the sump pit. I suppose it's not terrible since he was pumping it straight out to the sewer system rather than a septic tank, but it's still a no-no, right?

    The waste stack is horizontal as you can see by the pictures:






    If you want to look at the full size image, here you go : http://i.imgur.com/4A0jqB3.jpg


    I have been advised to install a utility sink with a drain pump and drain the washing machine into the sink, and pump the grey water up to the stack. If I have to do this, I will, but are there other options?

    Can I get by temporarily by draining the washer into the sump pit until I get the sink/pump installed?


    If I go with the sink/pump set up, how would I tie the pump's grey water output to the horizontal stack above?

    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    Posts
    25,687

    Default

    YOU don't show us the sump pump setup. If it pumps to the sanitary system then it IS okay, but you cannot just hang the drain hose into the pit, if you want to have any water in the washer to wash clothes. That drain system must have been installed by someone who had a lot of fittings he wanted to get rid of. I think I count at least 7 fittings that could have been eliminated by if a "good plumber" had installed it.
    Last edited by hj; 07-18-2013 at 06:52 AM.
    Licensed residential and commercial plumber

  3. #3
    DIY Junior Member Pchanizzle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Columbus, OH
    Posts
    16

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by hj View Post
    YOU don't show us the sump pump setup. If it pumps to the sanitary system then it IS okay, but you cannot just hang the drain hose into the pit, if you want to have any water in the washer to wash clothes. That drain system must have been installed by someone who had a lot of fittings he wanted to get rid of. I think I count at least 7 fittings that could have been eliminated by if a "good plumber" had installed it.

    Doh! Thanks for your response, I really appreciate the help.

    The only picture I have of the sump setup is here :



    Here's a much larger version if you want a closer look : http://i.imgur.com/HQOPiyo.jpg


    Notice the black pipe that goes up the wall - just above the crop of the picture, it goes OUT through the wall. Is it possible that the sump is really pumping straight UP six feet and then out of the house? I'm fairly sure the sump pumps out to sanitary sewer, but I'm not 100%. How can I tell?

  4. #4
    DIY Junior Member Pchanizzle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Columbus, OH
    Posts
    16

    Default

    After some conversations with a couple old timers, I'm now more certain that the sump is draining into the yard underground and not into the city sewer, which means I'm going to want to drain the washing machine into the waste stack. I will most likely be going with the sink/pump install for this operation.

    I think I'm pretty clear on everything except the vent. The vent for these pump systems - does it need to tie into the main vent for the waste stack? I believe the vent is the 2nd pipe from the top left in this image:



    Any other advice?
    Last edited by Terry; 07-21-2013 at 11:56 AM.

  5. #5
    DIY scratch-pad engineer leejosepho's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    200 miles south of Little Rock
    Posts
    2,474

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Pchanizzle View Post
    I think I'm pretty clear on everything except the vent...does it need to tie into the main vent for the waste stack?

    Any other advice?
    The sump you already have in the floor has no vent line connected because it (the sump) is open to the atmosphere, and the pump in that sump might discharge out into a drywell or field system that could continue handling wash water just fine like for the previous owner. However, I do not know what an inspector might say about a simple riser pipe and a fitting or two for getting that water over there. With a sealed sump, yes, the vent line needs to be done properly, and I think that could even mean having its own vent line all the way up and out through the roof. So, check this out:

    http://www.hydromatic.com/Residentia..._hpusp125.aspx

    Connect that pump in place of the trap under your utility sink and forget about any DWV plumbing other than its discharge line.
    "Great minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events and small minds discuss people." --Eleanor Roosevelt

  6. #6
    DIY scratch-pad engineer leejosepho's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    200 miles south of Little Rock
    Posts
    2,474

    Default

    Oops, double post.
    "Great minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events and small minds discuss people." --Eleanor Roosevelt

  7. #7
    DIY Junior Member Pchanizzle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Columbus, OH
    Posts
    16

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by leejosepho View Post
    The sump you already have in the floor has no vent line connected because it (the sump) is open to the atmosphere, and the pump in that sump might discharge out into a drywell or field system that could continue handling wash water just fine like for the previous owner. However, I do not know what an inspector might say about a simple riser pipe and a fitting or two for getting that water over there. With a sealed sump, yes, the vent line needs to be done properly, and I think that could even mean having its own vent line all the way up and out through the roof. So, check this out:

    http://www.hydromatic.com/Residentia..._hpusp125.aspx

    Connect that pump in place of the trap under your utility sink and forget about any DWV plumbing other than its discharge line.
    Wow, that's a great suggestion, and that pump is a good brand, and cheaper than the Zoeller that I was looking at anyway. What's the downside to this pump, or should I say, why would someone buy a pump that required a tie in to the vent stack instead of this one?

    Thanks a bunch, I am almost certainly going to order this pump today.

  8. #8
    DIY scratch-pad engineer leejosepho's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    200 miles south of Little Rock
    Posts
    2,474

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Pchanizzle View Post
    Wow, that's a great suggestion, and that pump is a good brand, and cheaper than the Zoeller that I was looking at anyway. What's the downside to this pump, or should I say, why would someone buy a pump that required a tie in to the vent stack instead of this one?
    A sealed sewage sump (and even if only for gray water) would need a vent line, and that would be no big deal during new construction. But in my own case like yours, I once just drained the washer into an atmosphere-vented 55-gallon plastic drum with a submersible pump inside it (which was really no different than the sump you already have in the floor)...and that very same kind of hydraulic configuration on a smaller scale is actually what you will have if you use the pump I have mentioned. The sink drain with pump attached will be vented to the atmosphere, and you just need to be sure that pump has a check valve so a downstream backup cannot drain back through it and overflow your new sink.
    Last edited by leejosepho; 07-21-2013 at 10:15 AM.
    "Great minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events and small minds discuss people." --Eleanor Roosevelt

  9. #9
    DIY Junior Member Pchanizzle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Columbus, OH
    Posts
    16

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by leejosepho View Post
    A sealed sewage sump (and even if only for gray water) would need a vent line, and that would be no big deal during new construction. But in my own case like yours, I once just drained the washer into an atmosphere-vented 55-gallon plastic drum with a submersible pump inside it (which was really no different than the sump you already have in the floor)...and that very same kind of hydraulic configuration on a smaller scale is actually what you will have if you use the pump I have mentioned. The sink drain with pump attached will be vented to the atmosphere, and you just need to be sure that pump has a check valve so a downstream backup cannot drain back through it and overflow your new sink.
    Yes, that Hydromatic pump comes with a check valve. Thanks again for your help, I've ordered everything and will be installing this week.

  10. #10
    DIY Junior Member Pchanizzle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Columbus, OH
    Posts
    16

    Default

    So this solution works, sort of. The pump is too slow to keep up with the washer drain, and can't empty the sink in time before it fills completely up and overflows. If I set the washer to do a "small" load, the sink tub can hold all the water and it eventually pumps out. On a normal large capacity load, the sink fills up completely and overflows - the pump can't keep up.

    Any way to speed up the draining of this pump?

  11. #11
    DIY scratch-pad engineer leejosepho's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    200 miles south of Little Rock
    Posts
    2,474

    Default

    Oops, I/we had not thought of checking your washing machine's output against the drain pump's specs:

    HORSEPOWER: 1/3
    MAXIMUM HEAD: 14 ft. (4.3 m)
    MAXIMUM CAPACITY: 40 GPM (151.4 LPM)
    FLOW at 10' LIFT: 15 GPM
    DISCHARGE PIPE SIZE: 1-1/4" NPT

    I would think 15 GPM at 10' should be sufficient, but maybe it is not. Are you using 1-1/4" pipe, and how high is your lift? A larger pipe would reduce its lift. Also, how quickly and/or how much does the pump lag behind the washing machine?

    With the right size pipe and all else being as good as things can be, this might be at least a temporary inexpensive solution:

    A solution to your problem is to put a restriction in your washing machine discharge hose to slow down its flow to what your drain can handle. Just don't slow it down to the point that your washing machine timer times out and goes on to the next step in the cycle! I think I used a copper reducer fitting (copper solder fitting) that would fit inside the discharge hose and reduce down to 1/2" or so. I placed the fitting inside the drain hose where it connects to the back of the washing machine and then put a hose clamp around it to hold it in place.

    https://www.google.com/search?q=wash...discharge+rate
    Last edited by leejosepho; 08-06-2013 at 04:49 AM.
    "Great minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events and small minds discuss people." --Eleanor Roosevelt

  12. #12
    DIY Junior Member Pchanizzle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Columbus, OH
    Posts
    16

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by leejosepho View Post
    Oops, I/we had not thought of checking your washing machine's output against the drain pump's specs:

    HORSEPOWER: 1/3
    MAXIMUM HEAD: 14 ft. (4.3 m)
    MAXIMUM CAPACITY: 40 GPM (151.4 LPM)
    FLOW at 10' LIFT: 15 GPM
    DISCHARGE PIPE SIZE: 1-1/4" NPT

    I would think 15 GPM at 10' should be sufficient, but maybe it is not. Are you using 1-1/4" pipe, and how high is your lift? A larger pipe would reduce its lift. Also, how quickly and/or how much does the pump lag behind the washing machine?

    With the right size pipe and all else being as good as things can be, this might be at least a temporary inexpensive solution:
    My lift is about 5' and I am using 1-1/4" pipe, which ties into a horizontal wye that goes to the 3" horizontal waste stack. The pump lags pretty far behind the washing machine. The manual for the pump suggests to adjust the ball valve on the discharge pipe so that the pump runs constantly and doesn't cycle on/off. This means the ball valve in the discharge line is about halfway closed.

  13. #13
    DIY scratch-pad engineer leejosepho's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    200 miles south of Little Rock
    Posts
    2,474

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Pchanizzle View Post
    The manual for the pump suggests to adjust the ball valve on the discharge pipe so that the pump runs constantly and doesn't cycle on/off. This means the ball valve in the discharge line is about halfway closed.
    Ah, so there is a restriction being imposed...

    Open that valve completely! That direction about stifling the pump has to do with something like keeping the pump from cycling while you are washing your hands or something since the float switch (or pressure switch or whatever) is within the pump body. Once your washing machine begins sending water into that sink, that kind of situation will only possibly come up at the end of a spin cycle while the washer might be trickling out the remainder of its discharge. So, open that valve completely, then *possibly* close it down just a bit to where the pump can still comfortably and always remain ahead of the washer.
    Last edited by leejosepho; 08-06-2013 at 11:46 AM.
    "Great minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events and small minds discuss people." --Eleanor Roosevelt

  14. #14
    DIY Junior Member Pchanizzle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Columbus, OH
    Posts
    16

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by leejosepho View Post
    Ah, so there is a restriction being imposed...

    Open that valve completely! That direction about stifling the pump has to do with something like keeping the pump from cycling while you are washing your hands or something since the float switch (or pressure switch or whatever) is within the pump body. Once your washing machine begins sending water into that sink, that kind of situation will only possibly come up at the end of a spin cycle while the washer might be trickling out the remainder of its discharge. So, open that valve completely, then *possibly* close it down just a bit to where the pump can still stay ahead of the washer comfortably.
    After re-reading the instructions, (smack self in the head) you might be on to something. Here's what the pump manual says:


    Adjusting The Flow

    The drain pump can pump up to 27 gallons per minute
    (GPM). Normal sink drains allow only 5 to 6 GPM to
    flow. Adjust the discharge shut-off/flow balancing valve as
    follows so that the pump does not cycle on and off when
    the faucets are on full.

    1. Run water into the sink. The pump will start when it
    detects water.

    2. Check for leaks. If leaks are found, unplug the pump
    power cord and fix the leaks before proceeding.

    3. Put a stopper in the drain and allow the sink to fill up
    a few inches.

    4. Open the discharge shut-off valve, open the faucets,
    and remove the stopper to drain the sink.

    5. The pump will start. Adjust the discharge shut-off/flow
    balancing valve until the pump runs continuously
    while the faucets are running and the sink is draining.
    If the water level rises with the pump on, slightly open
    the discharge valve to balance the flow. If it drops,
    slightly close the discharge valve.


    (keep in mind I'm not using this mainly as a sink, it's going to be pretty much 100% washing machine drain usage.)

    Although, the pump does cycle on/off even when the sink is full of water and draining....
    Last edited by Pchanizzle; 08-06-2013 at 11:53 AM.

  15. #15
    DIY scratch-pad engineer leejosepho's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    200 miles south of Little Rock
    Posts
    2,474

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Pchanizzle View Post
    ...the pump does cycle on/off even when the sink is full of water and draining....
    That seems odd to me, but maybe someone else here might know why that pump is doing that. Are you seeing any swirling action possibly pulling air down into the pump body? I doubt the company would suggest throttling the discharge to prevent cycling after intentionally engineering the pump to cycle!
    "Great minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events and small minds discuss people." --Eleanor Roosevelt

Similar Threads

  1. basement washing machine drain in top of sump?
    By ncsu in forum Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 05-01-2013, 07:55 PM
  2. Washing Machine Draining Hose Question
    By mln46 in forum UPC Plumbing Code Questions
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 10-19-2012, 03:26 PM
  3. Draining a Washing Machine in the Basement
    By Ben Wilson in forum Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & Tricks
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 10-21-2009, 08:11 PM
  4. Washing Machine not draining properly
    By Irma Joyal in forum Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & Tricks
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 01-16-2008, 03:31 PM
  5. Drain Lines for Washing Machine and Sump Pump
    By mrmichaeljmoore in forum Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & Tricks
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 07-16-2007, 02:37 PM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •