Apparently Common Washing Machine Drain Overflow
Asked Aug 27, 2006, 12:32 PM
We live in a townhouse, about 35 years old, with a washing machine, about five years old, that does super load sizes, very high spin rate, really pumps the water out. It's installed on the groundfloor draining via hose to a vertical drain pipe -- installed in a pretty standard water closet. The drain pipe isn't very large in the first place, it's old and narrowed by crud and the washer really pushes it's capacity. Today it's overflowing again. We've had both the washer drain and the main drain snaked by a professional; the first time it made a huge difference, buying us about 3 months of clear draining; the next time it made little real difference. Although there may be some temporary partial blockages coming and going in the drains, probably the main drain, I think the real problem is this washing machines flow rate versus that tiny old drain.
Here's the question, though. With a large load water capacity, but run on delicate instead of regular cycle, the washer doesn't spin as fast during drain, so it doesn't push the water out as fast, and the drain pipe doesn't come near to overflowing. This made me think, the flow rate is really the issue here, since the problem keeps coming up. And everywhere else I've lived there's been a little elbow shaped pipe used to hang the drain hose in the drain pipe. Here they just installed it by connecting some rubber hose to the washer's exhaust hose and dropping that hose maybe a foot into the drain pipe. Doesn't that hard turn in the V-shaped pipe act as an engineered bottleneck? To keep the flow rate of the washing machine from overcoming the skinny drain pipe? Should we try installing one of these drain pipe kits at the end of the washer exhaust hose, then dropping that into the drain?
Also, if anyone knows, is there any reason we can't just wash all our clothes, towels, sheets, etc. on delicate until we get this drain problem fixed? I've even noticed the regular cycle beats the heck out of some things, like the quilt we keep on our bed. Our clothes and the kids/baby clothes will still get clean enough on the delicate cycle, won't they?