Washer/plumbing advice

8 Replies

So last week my tenant let me know her washer was not draining so I checked it out and it looks like the old iron drain line is clogged. So I decided to just simply drain right into the sum pump. 

Now the washer is getting stuck on wash cycle and not doing anything.  I noticed that during the sensing portion of the cycle that water was draing into the sum pump. What I think is happening is that since the drain hose is not going up then down into a drain that water level in the machine is not being met and the cycle doesn't start. I thought that the drain had a stop vavle and a pump, I guess that's not the case. 

I wanted some advice before I go call a repair man or try to replace the iron drain pipes worth PVC. Does it sound like my reasoning is correct and I should replace the pipes or does it sound like a Washer problem and I should call a repair man? 

it definitely sounds like the wash water is syphoning out of the tub. Normally the pump would force the water out via the upright drain hose so there is no need for a check valve per se.

For a QUICK FIX reconfigure the hose into a PVC feed (above the tub water level) that then flows into the sump pump. But you need to correct the blocked cast iron pipe. If you have clear access to the cast iron sewer pipe it should be an easy job to 'wye' into it.

Good luck

I agree that it sounds like its siphoning. 

Just thinking outside the box... if you decide to start replacing drain pipes. I don't know what type of property it is but here in TX if I had that issue in an SFR I could legally (unless banned by a local code) run a very inexpensive greywater disposal system if I was close to an exterior wall. This would be separate from the main drainage system with the sump being the backup.

For homes here its great because everything is buried under a slab.  In nj I don't know if it'd be worth it.  Just thought I'd throw out the alternative. 


Is the sump pump in a pit?  And you put the drain hose down to that pit?  Yeah, that's not going to work.  The drain hose does have to go up and into the drain.  Fix the drain lines.

Sorry; you have to fix the drain line. That is the only correct solution. Anything else is not per code and temporary at best. Draining it into the sump pump pit is not good. You may be able to call a Roto Rooter type guy with a camera and you can see what the issue is and then hopefully snake it especially if it worked previously.

It sounds like the drain is full of lint. Happens all the time. I would snake the line with one of these:

Drain snake

If that doesn't work, you can find a plumber to snake it for about $75. Have the tenant use lint traps on the washer discharge in the future.

Yes,  definitely try the cheap/easy fix first. 

Snake the drain,  if you decide to replace drains think about the next section that will need to be replaced.

Sometimes when I buy a property if the old cast iron is easily accessible,  I replace everything proactively. 

New standard is 2" for washing machine. Try and clog that with lint, Ha. 

Just wanted to mention.  Are the metal pipes galvanized metal (silver) or cast iron (black).  Galvanized rust from the inside out and clog like an artery.   I generally replace the galvanized waste lines with plastic.  Cast Iron I would definitely try snaking

I had a washer that wasn't draining.  I pulled a child's sock out of the drain pump and it's worked great ever since.  Easy to check for that even though it may very well be the drain line.  I like to start with the low hanging fruit!

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