A Unique Washer Drain Problem

Discussion in 'Drain Cleaning' started by TeacherMan2013, Apr 3, 2021.

  1. TeacherMan2013

    TeacherMan2013 New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2021
    Location:
    Texas
    Hey everyone,
    First time to this forum. My house was built in the 60s. The washer drain pipe had a crack in it and instead of paying thousands to do tunneling and such, the previous owner decided to install a gray line out into the lawn. He had a drainage company create the gray line that goes out from the house with a 2 inch PVC that eventually goes underneath the grass and then becomes a French drain with 4 inch French-drain PVC placed a foot down and sloping downward the further it goes out into the lawn. The pipes are wrapped in fabric and gravel. Thankfully, they left all the paperwork about this otherwise I'd have no idea about any of what I just typed above.

    My problem started a couple of weeks ago. Water was coming back up from the washer drain and flooding the garage. I tried a drain opener. Nothing. I tried snaking it. Nothing. Eventually cracked and had a plumber come and they snaked it with their commercial snake for an hour. Nothing.

    I bought a bladder to see if that would work. It worked as best as I could tell with no water coming back up. I ran it for a solid amount of time too. So, I run my washer AND IT STILL BACKS UP. Any thoughts on what the source of my problem could be?

    Thanks,

    TeacherMan
     
  2. WorthFlorida

    WorthFlorida The wife is still training me.

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2009
    Occupation:
    Retired
    Location:
    Orlando, Florida
    The fabric around the pipes are probably totally clogged or the gravel lost its drainage properties and most likely both. Also depending on what size holes in the pipes were used also can clog up. Wash water has a lot of lint in it and it is just another maintenance issue. A snake would not help much here as you found out where a jetter might be better to dislodge and clean out the drain holes. But it would cause water to back up since the jetted water would have nowhere to go.
    To be sure you'll need to dig down and expose the pipe and check the conditions. From there you can figure out what to do. What was built was a low cost drainage field which apparently work good for many years. It is the same as with a septic tank system and a drain field. Eventually the drainage field stops purculating for several reasons. The fix is usually the entire drain field needs to be removed, dirt removed and replaced to build a new drainfield. With gray water it may not have to be that drastic.
     
  3. Sponsor

    Sponsor Paid Advertisement

     
  4. James Henry

    James Henry In the Trades

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2019
    Occupation:
    Plumber
    Location:
    Billings, Montana.
    Worth Florida sounds logical, If you end up replacing the pipe go up in size and look into installing a lint trap on your drain line before it exits the house.
     
    MASTERPLUMB777 likes this.
  5. TeacherMan2013

    TeacherMan2013 New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2021
    Location:
    Texas
    Thanks both WorthFlorida and James. There was no lint trap on the washer drain hose and I'm sure that all that lint is playing a huge factor. I started digging it up today and in the made a makeshift drain pipe that leads out to the yard with a pool hose for the meantime. Will update once the job is done. Thanks again!
     
  6. Sylvan

    Sylvan Still learning

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2004
    Occupation:
    plumbing - fire suppression - boiler inspector
    Location:
    New York
    If you do not have a lint trap then get a woman's stocking and place it on the end of the hose and check it after several washers
     
  7. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2013
    Location:
    IL
    If you are on city sewers, consider running this down the sewer.

    Otherwise, you could put a cleanout at the end of the 4-inch, I think. Dig down at the end, and cut the cap off. Run a long sweep up to the surface with a cleanout plug at the top. Maybe a 45, but that makes the surface part tricky, requiring some digging to access the cleanout port.

    You could also consider extending the trench, 4 inch perforated pipe, and gravel. I made a french drain by drilling a load of 3/16 holes in pvc, and putting gravel around that. Mine was intake for rain drainage, rather than an output for laundry. I am not a pro.
     
  8. Sylvan

    Sylvan Still learning

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2004
    Occupation:
    plumbing - fire suppression - boiler inspector
    Location:
    New York
  9. TeacherMan2013

    TeacherMan2013 New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2021
    Location:
    Texas
    Hey y'all,
    After some digging, I discovered the problem. The pipe comes out of the house, goes into the ground, and then y's out (almost looks like the flux capacitor from Back to the Future) about 15 feet away from the house. Where the pipe splits off/Y's into the leach field had pretty intense back flow. Come to find out, neither of those leach field pipes had been glued in AT ALL, which I'm sure didn't help things. Readjusted and fixed and seems to work like normal again. Plumbing company wanted to charge me $500 an hour to discover the problem, then who knows how much to actually fix it. Aside from the sweat and grunt work of digging, the entire thing cost me $1.27 for new garden staples for the soil separator fabric!

    Thanks y'all for your advice.

    Best,
    TeacherMan
     
Similar Threads: Unique Washer
Forum Title Date
Drain Cleaning Washer Standpipe floor drain Dec 26, 2017
Drain Cleaning Clothes washer backup Apr 19, 2017
Drain Cleaning Dishwasher/Sink/Disposal Jun 2, 2016
Drain Cleaning Double Sink Island w/ Dishwasher Clog Apr 15, 2014
Drain Cleaning The ole washer backup Feb 22, 2014

Share This Page