Washing Machine Rinse Water Backs Up in Kitchen Sink

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by Francoise, Jan 8, 2005.

  1. Francoise

    Francoise New Member

    Messages:
    2
    My washing machine rinse water backs up into my double kitchen sink and my wonderful plumber is stumped. I'm only able to wash a mini load (which fills up both sinks) as a medium or large load causes my kitchen sinks to overflow. It's been doing this for over a year now and I'm tired of living with it.

    My plumber has worked all week snaking lines and blowing them out. He cut into the wall behind my washer and did some stuff (I'm plumbing-challenged so I don't know everything he's done). He also brought his son-in-law out to try to fix it and neither of them have been able to stop the water from backing up.

    The water that backs up into the sink used to be extremely dirty and black, it almost looked like oil. But after all the work they've done the water is now fairly clear, but it leaves a thick sediment in my sink, not only dirt but also trashy looking stuff. I scoop out about 3 tablespoons of stuff and throw in the trash. Because of this sediment, they think it's possible that the drain line under my concrete floor is too small to accomodate the rushing water and that a connection has probably come loose under the concrete. My house is 30 years old and my washer is about 12 years old. He said the drain lines in older houses were not big enough to accommodate newer washers.

    My plumber said we may have to reroute the drain line out the front brick wall of my house, lay pipe across the front of my yard (which means digging across my concrete walk to my front door), then down my side yard to connect to the line in my back yard. He said he would only do this as a last resort and wants to think about it for the next week and talk to some other plumbers to see if they have any better ideas.

    Does anyone have any suggestions I could pass on to him?

    Françoise
  2. Plumber2000

    Plumber2000 Plumber

    Messages:
    196
    Location:
    Eugene, Oregon
    Might need to have it rerouted, sorry you have this problem
  3. Deb

    Deb Plumber

    Messages:
    200
    Location:
    Idaho
    Deb

    See if you can give me some more info. What size is the drain line for the washer? What material is your drainage piping? What kind of snake did your plumber use? Find out what the plumber did behind the wall.
    There are places that have 1-1/2" washer drainage lines and have no trouble and a 12 year old washer is an older washer.
    I would recommend a second opinion. I always recommend getting at least 2-3 estimates on larger jobs.
    Deb
    The Pipewench
  4. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    15,130
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    I would check to see if the p-trap on the washer is vented.
    I've seen unvented washers back up in the kitchen sink before.
    Also make sure that the hose into the standpipe is not air tight. Some air needs to pull down the standpipe when the washer drains, even if you have to drill a hole for that to happen.
    They do make clamping devices that haveair slots built in for attaching washer drains to the plumbing standpipe.
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2005
  5. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,837
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    drain

    Without being there it is hard to diagnose, but even that long ago, the drains were large enough for a washing machine. There is something else happening, but as I said, without being there and snaking the line personally, I cannot tell you what needs to be done. I can say, that if you reroute the line that far, without oversizing it, it will probably still back up.
  6. jrejre

    jrejre New Member

    Messages:
    61
    Location:
    Minnesota
    Has it alwasy behaved this way or is this a recent problem?
  7. Francoise

    Francoise New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Wow, I'll never again underestimate the importance of a second opinion. I asked a licensed plumber to come snake my drain line. I didn't mention anything about the supposed break under my slab because I wanted to see if he came to the same conclusion as my first plumber. It took him two hours, but he got my line cleaned out and my washing machine is now draining properly. While he was working on it, the rinse water did back up into he kitchen sink once, with all the dirt and oily sediment. I asked him if there could possibly be a break and that's where the dirt was coming from. He said no, the dirt and trash was coming from buildup in the pipes but he was sure he had cleaned it out well. He ran the washer three times while he was there and I ran it again after he left and everything seems to be working well. He recommended that I go to Wal-Mart and buy a lint 'cage' and put into the pipe behind my washer to help keep the drain line clear.

    He did say that whoever plumbed my house when it was built did it in a strange way. So maybe my first plumber was snaking the wrong lines, I don't know, I haven't talked to him yet.

    I'm just so very relieved and grateful plumber #2 was able to get my problem fixed.

    Thanks again for all your responses and help - it's nice to know you're here when we "plumbing-challenged" people go into panic mode!!
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