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  • Jun 28, 2008, 12:11 PM
    terp77
    Floor drain floods when using washing machine
    Whenever I use my washing machine, the floor drain across the room next to the water heater overflows. The washer drains into a laundry tub and the water seems to go down the drain fine. After it drains awhile, you can hear "blub, blub, blub" coming from the floor drain and then it overflows. We have snaked the floor drain and run lots of water down it with a hose without it having any problem. We thought that the vent pipe on the roof might be clogged, so we snaked it and put a hose down it as well. Lots and lots of water went down and then water started coming up out of the floor drain as well as out of the laundry tub drain. If I start and stop the washer when it is draining, I can keep the drain from overflowing, but if I let it continually drain, it always overflows. Help! What should we do?
  • Jun 28, 2008, 01:38 PM
    massplumber2008
    1 Attachment(s)
    Hey TERP:

    Sounds like your main drain may be getting clogged.

    Look around the basement for a 4" main drain sewer cap (brass or plastic). If you are on city/town sewer look near the front of the inside basement or the outside of the basement within 1 or 2 feet of the foundation. If on septic system, usually can find the main cleanout at the back wall near foundation inside or outside the house.

    Anyway, find the cleanout and see if you can remove the cap. Then run that washing machine full on again and see if it backs up and out the main drain.

    If it does, then you will need to rent a large cable machine (see picture) with leather gloves and goggles to snake the main drain line and see what is clogging the drain line up.

    The trick with clearing the main drain line will be to let the main drain remain full of water (means run/drain the washer) while you are snaking the drain line. This way, when you hit the blockage you should see some BOBBING in the water to tell you that you are in the area that is causing trouble.

    After you hit area of trouble, you want to work the area for a minute or so then pull cable back and see if there are any roots or any diapers or anything like that, etc. on the end of the cable.

    If nothing, just continue to work the drain line to clear it all the way to the street. If roots, then want to go back in and really work the drain to remove as many of the roots as possible but keep pulling back cable periodically so you don't get so wrapped up in the roots that your cable machine gets STUCK down the drain. After cleared, you may want to consider a foaming root killer to maintain the drain line clear of drains... for awhile anyway!

    Let me know what you think here...

    MARK
  • Jun 29, 2008, 07:49 PM
    terp77
    Thanks for your response, Mark. If there is a blockage in the main line, though, I'm wondering why the drain only backs up when the washing machine is draining. We have taken the cap off the main drainline and used a hose full blast for a really long time and there was no back up. We also blasted huge quantities of water down the drain that backs up, and again, no problem. We put a lot more water down it than would typically go down the drain when the washing machine drains . I HATE PLUMBING PROBLEMS!! :(
  • Jun 30, 2008, 02:46 AM
    massplumber2008
    Hey TERP...

    It's all about VOLUME of water...

    Washing machines, especially the newer models pump water out at such a rate that if a drain gets even slightly clogged it will start to back up... depending on your plumbing.

    What I wanted you to do was to remove the cap and then flood the main drain line using the WASHING MACHINE , and you might as well add the hose into the mix as well... ;) Here, while washer drains also let water drain down the main drain line. Do this a few times...

    See what happens then (washer and hose). If only comes up the floor drain, then may just need to snake the floor drain line. If start to see/hear drain backing up out the main drain.. well, then as stated... need to snake the main drain!

    Let me know what you find!

    MARK

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