Laundry room issues

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by wendyloohoo, Jun 19, 2006.

  1. wendyloohoo

    wendyloohoo New Member

    Jun 19, 2006
    This forum is great and everyone seems so nice and eager to help.

    Ok, I have an outdoor laundry room which also houses the water heater.
    We have two issues here.

    1. The washing machine drain keeps backing up. It doesn't happen everytime, but it happens regularly. It seems that it just can't get the bubbles down quick enough when draining. It isn't backing up clean rinse water just the bubbles. However this is causing a lot wetness on the floor which isn't good. We have the drain hose just in far enough to stay in, it was pushed in about 6 inches and thought that might be the problem but it wasn't. My hubby has snaked it with no change. I know we are not supposed to put draino or anything down there after reading this site. I have seen in HD that there is a soap eating enzyme you can put down drains and thought this might be worth a try. S
    Does it work? Any other suggestions? If it needs augered is this something that could be done DIY? Can you rent them?

    2. The TPR valve on the water heater is leaking, it drips maybe every five seconds or so. It filled a 2 gallon bucket after about a month. I know this can just be replaced. My husband went a bought a new one and said you just unscew the old one and put in the new one. Is this right? He has never done any plumbing before and this seems like a critical componet and I don't want it installed improperly. Is it as easy as he says?

    Thanks for any and all suggestions!
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2006
  2. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Aug 31, 2004
    San Diego, CA
    As for the washing machine, the problem could be if the drain pipe is too small ( 1½" instead of 2"), if the drain is not vented properly, or just too sudsy detergent. WM drains are also susceptible to a buildup of lint. This will not be cleaned out much by running a typical 1/4" hand snake through the pipe. A commercial drain cleaning machine or jetter would be necessary. The enzyme treatments are a good idea. But they are a long term treatment; don't expect overnight results.

    The T/P valve is just screwed in. You will need a good size pipe wrench ( 18") and not just a pair of pliers, to remove it. The new valve may already come with some white thread sealing tape on the threads. To this, you could add some paste pipe joint compound. There are two types of valves....short shank, usually used on the top of the tank, and long shank, usually used on the side of the tank. You could take out the old one and take it with you to the plumbing store to match it.
    I gather that there is a pipe dropping straight down from the TP to a spot near the floor where you have the bucket. This pipe can be unscrewed from the T/P valve, and reinserted into the new one. If this discharge pipe has and bends and turns, then it may need to be cut, and then resoldered.

    By the way, it does sound like just a leaky TP, BUT, if the water pressure in your house is too high ( due to an old, failed pressure regulator) this could cause the TP to drip. So, get an inexpensive pressure gauge and check the pressure at the washing machine tap before you replace the TP.
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