Understand Laundry Machine Standpipe

Users who are viewing this thread

Joseph Skoler

Member
Messages
258
Reaction score
9
Points
18
Location
Sullivan County, NY
I'm trying to understand why a standpipe is necessary and required for the use of a laundry washer.

In my own situation, I have 4" main sewer stack in the basement, with screwed in cleanout plugs.

If there is a clog in the main stack, it will back up to the first floor, and I can snake it from there, or use the cleanout in the basement, or use a cleanout in the front yard.

If I put a laundry machine in the basement I am required to use a standpipe which will allow the sewage to come up and out of the open standpipe in the event of a clog.

Why is that a good thing? And, if it is a good thing, why am I not required to have one if I don't have a laundry machine in the basement?

Thank you.
 

Fitter30

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,620
Reaction score
409
Points
83
Location
Peace valley missouri
Drain hose end shaped like a hook to rest in the stand pipe that has a minimum height requirement listed in the install manual that came with washer. This keeps a water level in the drum. If you take the hose move it to the floor all the water will drain out of the drum. Washers have a pump to drain water out of the drum
 

Joseph Skoler

Member
Messages
258
Reaction score
9
Points
18
Location
Sullivan County, NY
Drain hose end shaped like a hook to rest in the stand pipe that has a minimum height requirement listed in the install manual that came with washer. This keeps a water level in the drum. If you take the hose move it to the floor all the water will drain out of the drum. Washers have a pump to drain water out of the drum

Thank you - I didn’t know that.

The confusion that I knew I had was why I would want an open pipe in the basement as opposed to a closed system.
 

Reach4

Well-Known Member
Messages
35,105
Reaction score
3,580
Points
113
Location
IL
If I put a laundry machine in the basement I am required to use a standpipe which will allow the sewage to come up and out of the open standpipe in the event of a clog.
The confusion that I knew I had was why I would want an open pipe in the basement as opposed to a closed system.
Good points. I think the deal is that you need a trap to block out sewer gases. So how about using a sealed line from the WM to the input of the trap? Hmmm.

Or is the problem that you would be pumping into a sewer line and pressurizing it? But if that's it, why can you pump from a vented and sealed septic pit into a sewer line? Points to ponder.

But while pondering, note that under IPC you can have the standpipe up high. An most washing machines are rated to pump 96 inches (8 ft) above the floor. That probably needs an extension, which they sell.

So Joseph, do you have a floor drain in your basement?
 

John Gayewski

In the Trades
Messages
2,220
Reaction score
566
Points
113
Location
Iowa
If your sewer backs up I think you may want it on the floor instead of in the internals of your machine. If not no one is stopping you from putting the washing machine on the first floor. The machine is ruined once poopy back fills into the machine. Unless you like poop flavored clothing. It also kind of depends on where this imaginary plug is located in the system. A clog downstream of the basement may be better to show itself coming from the standpipe.

Also the sytem isn't closed. It very much i open to atmosphere.
 

Joseph Skoler

Member
Messages
258
Reaction score
9
Points
18
Location
Sullivan County, NY
Good points. I think the deal is that you need a trap to block out sewer gases. So how about using a sealed line from the WM to the input of the trap? Hmmm.

Or is the problem that you would be pumping into a sewer line and pressurizing it? But if that's it, why can you pump from a vented and sealed septic pit into a sewer line? Points to ponder.

But while pondering, note that under IPC you can have the standpipe up high. An most washing machines are rated to pump 96 inches (8 ft) above the floor. That probably needs an extension, which they sell.

So Joseph, do you have a floor drain in your basement?

Nice conceptual and abstract questions raised -- too bad they're all way above my pay grade.

The basement has a small pit in the corner, but the concrete walls have spray foam from floor to ceiling and if sewage got all over the floor it would be impossible to clean it out from the crack between floor and wall foam.

The idea of a high standpipe is nice but it would still be the first place sewage would leak out in the even of a clog downstream.

What I'd prefer is a system that is closed in the basement, despite the sewage-damage risk to the washing machine. Does anyone hard pipe the washing machine into the drain lines?

Thanks!
 

Joseph Skoler

Member
Messages
258
Reaction score
9
Points
18
Location
Sullivan County, NY
If your sewer backs up I think you may want it on the floor instead of in the internals of your machine. If not no one is stopping you from putting the washing machine on the first floor. The machine is ruined once poopy back fills into the machine. Unless you like poop flavored clothing. It also kind of depends on where this imaginary plug is located in the system. A clog downstream of the basement may be better to show itself coming from the standpipe.

Also the sytem isn't closed. It very much i open to atmosphere.

I understand that, and it would definetly be a crappy situation, but I'd rather lose a washing machine than have a permanently poop scented basement.

This concern is all in the case of a clog downstream of the standpipe, where I have a couple of cleanout plugs.

I've been wondering if there was a way to use the cleanout plugs without making a big mess and came across one device that locks onto the drain cap so the user can drill a hole through the drain cap and open a valve connected to a hose and into a bucket. Is this a good way? Is there a better way?
 

Reach4

Well-Known Member
Messages
35,105
Reaction score
3,580
Points
113
Location
IL
The basement has a small pit in the corner,
That likely is a sump pit for ground water. Such pits are normally not sealed, and only have one pipe out of the top -- an output.

A sewage pit is sealed and has both an output and a vent pipe.

Some dump the washing machine into the sump pit, and for some of those it is allowed.
 

John Gayewski

In the Trades
Messages
2,220
Reaction score
566
Points
113
Location
Iowa
Why would your basement smell permanently? You can't easily clean a washing machine, but you can easily clean a floor.

I think your over thinking (underthunkung actually). If in theory the standpipe did overrun, it would not then keep coming. There wouldn't be some kind of flood. I think the point at which it did flood, would be the same time you'd know there was a problem and then you wouldn't use the bathroom until it was fixed.
 

Reach4

Well-Known Member
Messages
35,105
Reaction score
3,580
Points
113
Location
IL
Why would your basement smell permanently? You can't easily clean a washing machine, but you can easily clean a floor.
Concern is that a sewage backup of other people's poop could exit a standpipe that has its entrance below ground level.

Joseph may even be concerned about a standpipe with its entrance above ground potentially being an exit for a backup, tho in that case, it would not be from strangers.
 

John Gayewski

In the Trades
Messages
2,220
Reaction score
566
Points
113
Location
Iowa
Concern is that a sewage backup of other people's poop could exit a standpipe that has its entrance below ground level.

Joseph may even be concerned about a standpipe with its entrance above ground potentially being an exit for a backup, tho in that case, it would not be from strangers.
This is a common design. I'm not trying to imply there is no possible way that things can happen. It just not a common thing. Generally city sewers are run pretty deep and there would be a lot of head pressure to get up to his basement and up to the standpipe. Not that it never happens. I just don't think it's a common thing or likley.
 

Joseph Skoler

Member
Messages
258
Reaction score
9
Points
18
Location
Sullivan County, NY
My house (3 full and 1 half bath) has a 4" vertical main stack (and a couple of small vertical stacks for individual wet rooms) that comes down to the basement and turns horizontal. Just before it exits the house, it changes into a 6" pipe which runs out of the house and into a private septic system.

I'm sure I'm not expressing my concern well, but Reach4 did. I'm concerned that a clog in the 4" or 6" downstream from the standpipe will cause an overflow at the standpipe. It would not be difficult at all for people to continue using the bathrooms and kitchens and not realize the standpipe was overflowing. Whereas, if the system were closed (no open standpipe), someone in the shower on the first floor would likely notice the water backing up.

Doesn't anyone (I'm thinking fancy finished basement) not use a standpipe but rather a closed solution?

I do believe the small corner pit (which is about 20" x 20" and does not have any pipe in it) was at some time in the past the place where a sump pump lived. I've been thinking about digging it down (it's got dirt at about 8" below the top as of now) and seeing how well it drains (then maybe filling with a pipe with gravel around it).

Here's a pic of the basement:

IMG_2265.jpeg
 

Weekend Handyman

Active Member
Messages
227
Reaction score
43
Points
28
Location
Nova Scotia
I am not a plumber or a Pro. I can't see how the stand pipe would be any riskier than having a floor drain, toilet, vanity, bath tub, or anything else in the basement.
 
Last edited:

John Gayewski

In the Trades
Messages
2,220
Reaction score
566
Points
113
Location
Iowa
No one "closes" their system. Of course I can't say it's never been done but water and sewer systems are not hard piped together. Your washing machine has something of an air gap in that the water dumps from the top, but there is also a lid. The lid locks. So your water and sewer are tied together without the standpipe.
 

wwhitney

Well-Known Member
Messages
5,262
Reaction score
1,335
Points
113
Location
Berkeley, CA
It would not be difficult at all for people to continue using the bathrooms and kitchens and not realize the standpipe was overflowing.
You could put in a water alarm that would alert you if the standpipe overflows, or a washer hose breaks, or the washer leaks.

Cheers, Wayne
 

Reach4

Well-Known Member
Messages
35,105
Reaction score
3,580
Points
113
Location
IL
I'm concerned that a clog in the 4" or 6" downstream from the standpipe will cause an overflow at the standpipe.
That clogging is unlikely. More likely is the septic tank getting overfilled and/or in-tank filter getting clogged.

How long it should be between pumpings varies. Number of people, what non-human stuff they put down the toilet, whether you have a garbage disposal, and what you put down the disposal/drains.

Getting the system pumped earlier than needed is going to cost you some money. But going too long can cost big money. What I think you want to do is to get the system first pumped maybe ((5 years)/(number of people)). Get an experienced owner-operator. Ask neighbors who have been there for a while. Don't go by who advertises more. Ask the person how full it was, and what percent of really needing it it was. Then you can estimate a new interval, and put that on your calendar.

So how much does it cost you to be early so you were only half way to needing it? The $200 to $300 you pay? Nope. Half of that.

If the entrance is hidden, measure the distance of the center from a fixed thing, such as the nearest point on foundation, and a corner of the house. Make notes on a label on your pipes. Then for next time, you would know that the location was the intersection of a line parallel to the foundation, and an arc from the corner of the foundation. But then your system may have visible risers that make that unnecessary.

I do believe the small corner pit (which is about 20" x 20" and does not have any pipe in it) was at some time in the past the place where a sump pump lived. I've been thinking about digging it down (it's got dirt at about 8" below the top as of now) and seeing how well it drains (then maybe filling with a pipe with gravel around it).
I would try to remove the dirt without tearing out the bottom of the pit. Are there any holes in the walls? Is that pit on the lower level of the basement or the elevated portion?

=========An alarm============
https://www.basementwatchdog.com/watchdog-water-alarm/
https://www.homedepot.com/p/Basement-Watchdog-Battery-Operated-Water-Alarm-BWD-HWA/100038838

Takes 9-volt battery, and you need to remember to change it. There are others, but that is the only one I have tried.
 
Last edited:

Joseph Skoler

Member
Messages
258
Reaction score
9
Points
18
Location
Sullivan County, NY
I am not a plumber or a Pro. I can't see how the stand pipe would be any riskier than having a floor drain, toilet, vanity, bath tub, or anything else in the basement.

Makes sense to me -- I mean, a floor drain will overflow before a standpipe, but other than the timing, all will spill out under the right conditions.
 
Top
Hey, wait a minute.

This is awkward, but...

It looks like you're using an ad blocker. We get it, but (1) terrylove.com can't live without ads, and (2) ad blockers can cause issues with videos and comments. If you'd like to support the site, please allow ads.

If any particular ad is your REASON for blocking ads, please let us know. We might be able to do something about it. Thanks.
I've Disabled AdBlock    No Thanks