Basement washer/utility sink drain problem

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by jwumpus, Mar 29, 2011.

  1. jwumpus

    jwumpus New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Location:
    Fredonia, NY
    Hi,

    I'm having an issue that I can't quite resolve. Maybe someone here knows. My washer is in the basement. I recently tried to put in a utility sink next to the washer and tie the sink drain into the washer drain. The washer drains into a 1 1/2 inch galvanized pipe that runs along the floor. Here is a picture. Note that, as far as I can tell, it is not connected to the main house drain.

    two_lines.jpg

    And here is how the washer drains into that line

    washer_hookup.jpg washer_hookup_close.jpg

    I've been here for seven years and it has always been set up like this and always worked fine. So I remove the trap(?) contraption at the top and adjust the upright pipe so that I can connect the sink drain to it.

    washer_sink.jpg

    So the washer drains into the sink now. But the sink drains very very very slowly. Slow enough that it will overflow before all the water is out of the washer. So I put everything back the way it was with no sink and the washer connected as above. It sort of works now but instead of the washer pump forcing the water through the line, I get jets of water squirting out around the hose along with the draining.

    I've snaked this line to 25-30 ft multiple times but found no obstructions. Perhaps when I loosened the in order to attach the sink I dislodged something in the pipe which is causing the problem? I have no idea.
  2. cacher_chick

    cacher_chick Test, Don't Guess!

    Messages:
    3,260
    Location:
    Land of Cheese
    Nothing you have there meets anything close to a viable and safe plumbing system, so unless you are prepared to make everything meet current standards, you are not likely to get much help here.
  3. jwumpus

    jwumpus New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Location:
    Fredonia, NY
    I have no place to put the washer other than the basement so whatever it is that has to be done will be what gets done.
  4. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    15,316
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2011
  5. burked1234

    burked1234 New Member

    Messages:
    14
    Location:
    Pittsburgh, pa
    I think i would try and see/investigate some more (maybe dye test) that galvanized pipe to see where it drains. just because you can't see it tie into the sewer, does not mean that it doesn't.

    I don't see any vents at all on this work either, which as stated makes this not very viable as a plumbing system. If you're draining a washer direct into a standpipe, it needs to run on it's own 2" pipe all the way into the stack, and needs it's own vent (you can use an AAV if they are permitted)

    If you're draining into the standing tub, you will need to vent that as well, after the trap.
  6. jwumpus

    jwumpus New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Location:
    Fredonia, NY
    I should have mentioned that the galvanized pipe was behind a wall which I took down. I had no idea it was such a screwy setup until I removed the wall. On the other side of that wall it goes into is 7 or so feet of dirt. Unless it's vented past that point there is no vent.

    When I first installed the sink, I had it set up mostly properly. I used this as a guide

    washer_rough_b.jpg

    The sink drain came into the standpipe on a long sweep wye 18 inches above the P trap. The standpipe continued up from the wye 30 inches. The only thing I didn't do was the vent loop. And that would have been the next thing I added if I hadn't decided to stop altogether and get advice. So everything should have been properly trapped. In this configuration the water drained back up into the sink. Which makes sense as it was the path of least resistance.

    The issue, as I see it, is that water drains very slowly down this galvanized pipe unless a pump is pushing it. Why it was set up to drain this way at all is beyond me. I just inherited this mess. I'm not familiar with dye tests so I'll look into that. Any other ways to find out where it goes?
  7. burked1234

    burked1234 New Member

    Messages:
    14
    Location:
    Pittsburgh, pa
    You could get the pipe scoped with a video probe, that will also tell you where it goes. Not having a vent is a pretty big deal in terms of flow, especially on a washer, given the rate of discharge. You also will likely sipon out the trap wihtout a vent.

    If you have a cleanout on your main stack, i would remove that, and run water down the pipe ans listen to see if you can hear it drain into the stack. not ideal by a long shot but a start, and evne if you do hear it, i would still scope or dye test to confim. if ou don;t hear it at all, i would not pass go on this one and get the pump (i'd do that regardless, really)
  8. jwumpus

    jwumpus New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Location:
    Fredonia, NY
    I'm going to go with the pump. I don't like the look of this setup at all. The lady who lived in this house before me was born here and lived in it for 70-80 years. There's no telling how long this has been in place. Decades, I imagine.
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