water spraying up through drain by washing machine when shower is on

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by vandjmp, Dec 10, 2011.

  1. vandjmp

    vandjmp New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    Toronto, ON
    I just moved into a stacked condo that was built in 2004. The washing machine is upstairs on the second floor near the full bathroom.

    I first noticed that there was water on the ground in the washing machine room. I assumed it was coming from the washing machine, and that maybe the pipes needed to be cleaned out or washers replaced to make the seal tighter on the pipes (this has not been done).

    But then I noticed that when the shower in the bathroom is on, water splashes up from the drain in the washing machine room. The toilet does not always flush fully and the sink drains water very slowly. What could it be? Is it a clogged pipe? Are these things all connected or separate issues? Could a clogged pipe effect the washing machine's ability to drain without leaving a leaky mess on the floor?

    Please help!
  2. Hammerlane

    Hammerlane Member

    Messages:
    263
    Location:
    Ohio
    When you say water splashes up from the drain in the washing machine room, is this drain a floor drain or is it a standpipe.
  3. Tom Sawyer

    Tom Sawyer In the Trades

    Messages:
    3,313
    Location:
    Maine
    You have either a drain obstruction or someone piped the whole thing wrong.
  4. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    27,267
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    You say that the shower AND the washer are both on the second floor, therefore, unless you have managed to change the rules of physics, water flowing into a shower drain at the floor level CANNOT overflow, much less spray, out of the washer drain three and half feet above the floor. Either you have misdiagnosed the problem or have misstated it to us. It takes a VERY unusual stoppage to create ANY problem on the second floor plumbing.
  5. vandjmp

    vandjmp New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    Toronto, ON
    The drain that has water spraying up from it is a floor drain. This floor drain is right beside the washing machine. It is about 10 feet from the shower. Both are on the second floor. Maybe it is not a blockage at all, maybe it is loose washers on the pipes leading to the washing machine? The spraying is more like water splashing up from the drain. It is not a huge amount, but enough to get the floor and baseboards wet around the washing machine.

    I also see that from the previous owner there had been a problem: down on the first floor they had to remove wet dry wall, but don't know what that previous problem was about.
  6. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    27,267
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    HOW they installed the piping for the floor drain would determine whether it is because of a drain problem, which can be fixed, OR because of a poor installation which MIGHT NOT be fixable.
  7. mtcummins

    mtcummins In the Trades

    Messages:
    380
    Location:
    Pittsburgh PA
    If you have a snake (or can borrow/rent one), you might as well try snaking the line through the floor drain, but I doubt that's the problem from your description.

    This doesn't sound like something that can be diagnosed online. You probably need to call a local plumber to come take a look at it.
  8. Hammerlane

    Hammerlane Member

    Messages:
    263
    Location:
    Ohio
    Since it's a floor drain, take a bucket of water and pour it in and report your findings.
    Also what "loose washers" are you talking about on the pipes leading to the washing machine? It would seem if your "pipes" as you call them or supply lines are leaking that would be a constant leak.

    Do you mean the flexible hoses from the shutoff valves to the washing machine like the photos below?


    Can you post a few photos of your setup?

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    Last edited: Dec 13, 2011
  9. leejosepho

    leejosepho DIY scratch-pad engineer

    I wonder whether the trap for the floor drain might be serving as a running trap for the shower coming in from the side and then that lateral flow splashes up when it hits the far wall.
  10. thomasp

    thomasp New Member

    Messages:
    1
    Location:
    Ontario
    this exact thing is happening to me, when the diverter for the shower is pulled up there is water fed to the laundry drain to keep it fresh...but right now it's spraying 3 feet in a mist straight up. this is the first time this has ever happened in the ten years i've lived in this house. any suggestions.

    one thing i do know is if i take the shower head off and run the shower it doesn't spray....
  11. fullysprinklered

    fullysprinklered Member

    Messages:
    306
    Location:
    Georgia
    Toronto? Ontario? Looks like the malicious Canadian trap-feeder saboteur is on the loose again. What say you, Watson?
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