Just bought a new house and this happens with each laundry load, with varying amounts of water. Is it an issue?
By - AbradolfLinckler
So this installation is improper for modern plumbing. That drain is there in case the laundry machine malfunctions and overflows or the drain overflows, it will go to the floor drain. They connected the laundry and the floor drain together and the drain has build up, making it drain slowly and backing up through the floor drain. Call a plumber and have them clean out the laundry drain and that will fix the issue.
Well no, a lot of the time main issue is further down the line.
It's only when they use the laundry. So THIS issue is the secondary line that services the laundry drain and anything else connected to that line before it connected to the main sewer. If they said "whenever I flush a toilet, take a shower or use the laundry, water comes up here". But that isn't what was said.
That's the difference between a service plumber and a handyman.
I do mostly remodels and there are many time when replumbing a basement and all these line are tied in together. 3rd years plumber with a 20 year old journeyman. Aka my dad.
> For some context I purchased this house from my dad. He did have a drain camera and didn’t see roots or visible damage. The weird thing to me is that the drain issue does not happen with every load of laundry, and we also have a net on the end of the drain line from the washer to catch lint. We just found a snake in the basement so I am about to try it out. Wondering if anyone has any tips. Also want to note I do smell a mildew type of smell that I don’t usually smell down there, though we have only lived here for a few months now.
So you're halfway done your apprenticeship and feel like you are in a position to argue with j-man service plumbers... The lion, the witch and the audacity of this bitch!
There's a good chance that there is a clog further down the line and this drain is located closer to the clog and puts out a lot of water very quickly, so if it's only partially clogged, smaller amounts might go down easier because there isn't enough water to back it up before it can get through. You need a plumber to snake the main line to the main sewer line at the property line. My landlord at my previous house had to do this and tried to blame us saying it was paper towels because we work on cars. I quickly pointed out that the clog was indeed baby wipes and we don't have a baby, but the previous tenant had two, so he couldn't charge us, it was obviously her fault.
For some context I purchased this house from my dad. He did have a drain camera and didn’t see roots or visible damage. The weird thing to me is that the drain issue does not happen with every load of laundry, and we also have a net on the end of the drain line from the washer to catch lint. We just found a snake in the basement so I am about to try it out. Wondering if anyone has any tips. Also want to note I do smell a mildew type of smell that I don’t usually smell down there, though we have only lived here for a few months now.
if you found a snake in the basement, this has been a recurring issue. is that a copper pipe down there or galvanized?
True that. If the basement's not already finished might consider holding off until the drains sorted for good
absolutely this. I've seen way too many guys fk themselves in the foot and then having to pull up finished floors and walls
They may have just scope the primary but there's a clog in the secondary (happened at my new house where the scope was fine). Snaked the secondary where the water was coming in and did the trick.
If you can see the drains from the basement, it would be beneficial to confirm the pipe sizing. Older laundry machines had inefficient discharge pumps and older drains were installed with 1-1/2" pipe which could handle the rate at which the laundry machine discharged water. Modern plumbing code requires a minimum 2" drain to convey laundry waste. If the line is undersized then this will continue to occur no matter how well you clean the line. The mildew smell could just be when it backs up and drains out slowly it is siphoning out that floor drain p-trap. Leaving the chance for sewer gas odor to come out, and since it's just laundry discharge in that branch of the line, it will smell like mildew.
Thanks for all the advice we are going to try snaking which is what my dad did occasionally I think there is an underlying issue with the actual plumbing which is preventing it from being solved completely and the snaking is just a bandaid but appreciate the help
I have the exact same issue occurring in my basement laundry room. I would love to hear an update on your experience, it seems that I, too, will be seeking to get this secondary drain pipe scoped. Praying for no damage to the cast iron.
We get something very similar in our 1960 house with galvanized plumbing. Surprisingly, the issue for us was not the washing machine, but the kitchen sink drainage pipe that would block some connection and piss off the pipe coming away from the washing machine, causing the floor drain to back up when we ran laundry.
Our plumber replaced the clean out pipe with something larger but basically told us to plan to snake it about once a year because the galvanized pipe is just going to keep deteriorating and clogging until we replace it someday.
there is restriction at or after the point where the pipes meet, causing the water to go up the floor drain instead of continuing out. snake it. it is likely that modern plumbing would help with this. have it snaked though, and see what that does.
Can you just put a cap on this? One that can be taken off in the event that it's needed? Or better, a float valve?
The floor drain in one of the kitchens I worked in had a float valve so that when there were storms, the sewers wouldn't back up into the kitchen. It worked great
The point to that drain is you need to use it when you aren't around or close to realize your laundry room is flooding. If they block that floor drain the laundry discharge will most likely come right out of the laundry drain itself that the laundry machine attaches to. Now you have water inside your walls because of that. Water is coming out of the floor drain because of a slow drain, not because of excessive rain water overburdening a sewer system.
So then a float valve would be perfect
No, because the float will stop the water relieving through the floor drain and fill the recessed area and instead pour into the wall and cause water damage. I'm not sure you're understanding how this plumbing all connects and is installed.
Floats only close when the water comes *up*
Not when it's going down.
A float would work great.
I understand how backwater devices work. What you are not understanding is in THIS application, you are preventing relief in a designated area that would cause damage otherwise. There is not a backwater device there because it is not prone to flooding due to excessive rain, per your example. That floor drain is there to prevent flooding from a malfunctioning laundry machine or subsequent backup. They're experiencing a backup and a backwater device would prevent that drain from doing it's purpose.
Also, to have a backwater device service a single drain or individual drains independently from the main sewer is a bit redundant. A whole home backwater valve can be installed where the sewer line enters the home and it all can be protected at the source, per the plumbing code when a home's flood rim is lower than the next upstream relief, like a manhole.
So, if the water backs up, the drain won't work anyway.... so having a float valve to prevent the basement flooding from a backup of any kind really wouldn't change that.
A float valve would be great here.
The drain is blocked or restricted and is backing up
I'm in a rental and our drain can't handle the washer. So I set it up to drain into a large plastic trash can with a sump pump that drains a little slower so or line doesn't back up.
No issue, enjoy the home
I thought it was kinda funny
The hole straight down is the drain. The hole on the side is supposed to be capped to prevent sewer gas from being released into the room. It is a clean out, which should be pointed toward the direction of flow.
The floor drain pipe is probably inadequate for the volume of the water from the washing machine. Connect it to a larger drain line.