Washer Machine Drain Overflowing

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & ' started by Wren523, Nov 24, 2004.

  1. Wren523

    Wren523 New Member

    Messages:
    5
    Location:
    North Shore Boston, MA
    Hi- I would appreciate some advice. Yesterday I had a plumber come to check the drain from my washing machine which has been overflowing. He cut the PVC pipe, scraped and snaked it, put some biodegradable declogger in it and said that it was a problem outside the house. We have a septic system and he said the water was flowing fine from the washing machine, but was coming back in from the outside.
    We have recently (9/28/04) had our tank pumped.
    After charging $120, the plumber left with the cut pipe piece lying on the floor.
    I called our septic people and they are going to get back to me, but I'm just wondering if this plumber was legit. I got him off the internet - he had a license # and lots of consumer "high star" ratings. Why wouldn't he fix the pipe? And do you have to cut the pipe, can't you pull it apart?
    Thank you.
  2. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    WM standpipes are often glued , so cutting is easy; but putting it back together is also easy, so I don't understand why he didn't.

    I don't know what source you used on the internet to find a plumber; but on internet sites like ebay I tend to assume that a lot of the "stars" and such are bogus.

    Even a sight like this....you don't know me from Adam! I could be making this all up! Now, if you follow a forum for a while you get to realize that most of the responders here DO in fact offer good advice. At least it's free, and we don't make a mess in your kitchen!
  3. Wren523

    Wren523 New Member

    Messages:
    5
    Location:
    North Shore Boston, MA
  4. Bob's HandyGuy

    Bob's HandyGuy Senior Member

    Messages:
    131
    I'm not a lawyer but I believe he could put a lien on your property for non-payment. I would pay the guy and chalk it up to experience.
  5. Wren523

    Wren523 New Member

    Messages:
    5
    Location:
    North Shore Boston, MA
    Washing Machine Drain Overflow

    Hi - 2 items
    1) Why would the plumber be allowed to put a lien when he did not complete the job? I will have to pay another plumber to come do the job he should have. I don't see how he has any recourse when he was negligent and I especially don't see why I should have to pay twice- and obviously, I don't want him to come back.
    2) Could RidX solve my problem w/ the septic after it's gotten to this point. The reason I'm wondering is when the septic was pumped at the end of September 2004, the septic man gave me some suggestions of things I could do. Use liquid, not powder, dwasher detergent, single ply tp and RidX once a month. The noticeable smell has gone since we started using RidX- now 3 x.
    So since it must be doing something, I wonder if a few more treatments could solve the problem that's causing the overflow.
    Thanks
  6. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,485
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    drain

    If the water from the washer was draining okay, but "the water was coming back from outside'' it would come up in the tub or shower, or the toilet would not flush. I have seldom had to "cut' a pipe, have never "scraped the inside" or put a chemical in the drain to make it work. So far you have not told me anything about what he did or said that would boost my confidence in his abilities. I do not register with Internet sites or other referral services because in many cases, probably not yours, the people are looking for inexpensive, contractors, or discounts on the pricing.
  7. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,485
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    referrals

    I was curious as to who in my area would be listed, but since you have to submit a phone number first I could not determine the quality of contractors who would be listed, or if they would supply one name or a list of several.
  8. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,889
    Location:
    New England
    Do you have a neighbor you don't like? Use their number! Or that of a business in the area.
  9. Bob's HandyGuy

    Bob's HandyGuy Senior Member

    Messages:
    131
    If you make a contract with somebody you must fulfill your part. This means paying when the work is completed. Whether it's a mechanic or a plumber your property can be attached with a lien. If the work is of poor quality, find relief through the courts. You could file in small claims court. You don't need a lawyer but they charge a fee. This takes your time as well which is your most valuable possession. You should have made out a check and wrote "paid under protest" on it. As I said before, let it go. Most of my jobs come from call backs, people who approve of my work. If this is how the guy treats customers he will soon be in another business. Next time, check with the Better Business Bureau. Does he have a good work record? Will he provide a reference from his last job? Will he guarantee his work or no pay? Can he repair and diagnose the complete system, septic field included?
  10. Wren523

    Wren523 New Member

    Messages:
    5
    Location:
    North Shore Boston, MA
    Trying to understand

    "If the water from the washer was draining okay, but "the water was coming back from outside'' it would come up in the tub or shower, or the toilet would not flush."
    Well, to be honest, since I didn't want to pay for another plumber call, I duct taped the pipe back together! :rolleyes: I did a small load of laundry and everything was okay. Then I did another small load and I had to get out the wet vac. Today I did two small loads but hours between the first and second and no overflow. So do you think the RidX is fixing the problem?
    The reason I think it is only the washing machine drain that overflows is because the amount and pressure of water going through it is greater than other water. I OBVIOUSLY am not a plumber so my thinking may be kooky. But why else is it only the washing machine pipe that overflows? Sometimes the toilet doesn't flush if we do laundry or it rains alot.
    Thanks
  11. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,889
    Location:
    New England
    How old are your leach fields? If the tank fills up for whatever reason, stuff that is not supposed to go out into the leach fields goes over the top and can plug them up even worse. Even if you had the tank pumped out recently, if the leach fields can't do their job, it will quickly fill back up again. Not saying this is your problem, but if it gets worse after a rainstorm, it sounds like to me that the leach fields may no longer be able to do their job.
  12. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    A couple of questions we have not asked you yet:

    What size is the drain pipe? 1½" or 2" (inside measurement). 1½ is too small. WM may pump water faster than the pipe can handle, especially sudsy water.

    Have you tried a low suds detergent?

    How far into the drain did he do the "scraping"? If it was not snaked far enough, you may still have a clog.
  13. rdjirasek

    rdjirasek New Member

    Messages:
    1
    Location:
    Troy,Texas
    There is a product that will prevent washer drain overflow.Its called GVii washer drain valve.This product pressurizes your drain and keeps it clean as well. For more info go to gviivalve.com. Its also on ****.This is a patented,proven product with thousands sold. Thanks
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