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fixin the hack jobs
I'm plumb baffled about what I should try...

Hello Readers!
I will apologize for all words and explanations now...Sorry.

I did let people with supposedly more experience & know-how talk me into using 1 1/2" PVC instead of 2" PVC for a drain line from the clothing washer to a septic vault(gets pumped every 3 yrs. by the Village)...my mistake.

So, let's assume I get 2" PVC run to my junction from the kitchen for purposes of this question, which will end up a lot more questions...each building on the other.

Let's start with what I have that functions fine ---

1) Washer dumps out a hole in the wall on the ground...and then runs under an enclosed porch causing unseen problems which I will not worry about addressing for now. I want to fix the washer draining improperly.

2) Kitchen sink drains out a 1 1/4" PVC (black...old-school code color) which is a branch drain line from the main trunk drain(?- is that what it is called) that drains into the septic vault.

3) the tub & toilet drain into a large (3 or 4") PVC into the septic, with a 'Y' for the branch for the kitchen drain line.

All this works fine and is vented and has the traps that are fine.......back to my washer draining on the ground...

So, I let others talk me into using 1 1/2" pipe instead of 2" pipe. I used a 'Y' into the kitchen branch. The problem is that it did not work - When I let the washer exhaust water, pressure built up and the water reversed course. I sloped it plenty to promote the draining process. While making sure it would not work, the kitchen sink clogged! My guess is that the pressure that built forced the gunk into the 1 1/4" drain for the kitchen sink. The clog was easily removed.

Now the kitchen sink is fine and I have a 'Y' with a 1 1/2" PVC pipe in the ground (easily removed) that drains nothing and the bathroom fixtures operate just fine.
Will using 2" PVC for my washer instead of the 1 1/2" PVC fix the pressure problem? Should I get something bigger? Should I not be adding a branch for the washer to the branch for the kitchen sink? Should I have spent the $1200 for a plumbing company to do it?(I have spent 30 hours and $50, which is a LOT less than $1200 which I cannot get) Are any other plumbing issues recognizable in this dissertation?

Sorry for all the words again.........:(:confused:

Re: I'm plumb baffled about what I should try...

I don't think the 1.5" pipe is the problem and a 2" pipe will not solve it. Since this is all new, what comes to mind is that one element in your drain had a plug in it, that is it was capped off until used and you forgot to remove the cap.

I am assuming that you are using a standard wall mounted laundry drain and faucet assembly. I would remove the washers drain hose and poke something down that drain. If it was capped on the end, it won't take a very long screwdriver or snake to hit the cap.

Re: I'm plumb baffled about what I should try...

Can you find a way to upload photos?

Seeing what has been done will make it easier to suggest what to do.

Re: I'm plumb baffled about what I should try...

Just one more thought, could you have pointed the Y in the wrong direction? The bottom of the Y has to point to the septic system.

fixin the hack jobs
Re: I'm plumb baffled about what I should try...

Hello again,
Thanks for reading! --- And the suggestions keith3267 and dj1!!!:)

It is not a rag or anything plugging the line - I didn't use anything like that.
It is not a washer drain box - That would have been too much good work for the 'hackers' to do.
It is not an improperly-placed 'Y' - The assembly would have not been able to work. The 'Y' points to the septic.

We have a nice, soaking rain(yeah! actually...this area needs the rain) for tonight-tomorrow. I just dug-up the trunk line with the 'Y' (4" PVC & Y) for the kitchen drain. the PVC leading to the kitchen drainpipe(that old-school black 1 1/4" PVC), & the new 1 1/2 line for the washer...yesterday. I covered it with tarps etc. to keep out as much rain as I could.

I think I can use characters to 'draw' a picture...

_____________________________________________(house wall)
..I(1 1/2")...........I(1 1/4")...........I(4")
......-------------------(a 'Y' here)----------(4" 'Y' here)======== SEPTIC

(DISREGARD ALL '.' as they represent air or dirt. I hoped that works for you all.)
All the '-', 'I', and '\' is 1 1/2", except for the kitchen '\' to the 'Y' which is 1 1/4" and the bathroom 'I' which is 4" and the trunk, of course...

Heavily considering removal and replacement of 4" 'Y' in the main trunk because of a size adaptor piece that takes the 4" down to 1 1/2" that a friend saw that he did not even recognize! It has threaded pieces towards the kitchen side that screwed together way back when...:eek:
Since my friend built houses for about 20 years before he became the county health department inspector and didn't recognize it, I'm thinking that I (and he) can replace the 'Y' in the trunk, adapt the side toward the kitchen to 3", and run some 3" with the appropriate pieces...overkill, but it will work? ;)(Maybe I can get that dishwasher...:cool:)

Re: I'm plumb baffled about what I should try...

Lets see if I have this right. The washer is furthest away from the septic, then the kitchen and finally the bath is the closest to the septic.

If done right, the 4" line should go all the way past the kitchen and out the wall on the other side to provide a cleanout. The washer should drain down to the 4" trunk and enter it through a Y fitting that has a 4" in, a 1.5" in and a 4" out. The kitchen should be the same. The outs should be pointed to the septic tank.

The bathroom will have two 4" ins and one 4" out with the out pointed to the septic.

Now the kitchen works OK. The washer overflows and will cause a backup into the kitchen sink. This is the part that is confusing. If the sink will drain normally and the washer can cause a backup to the sink, then the washer should drain OK as well.

The washer does pump a lot more water into the drain a lot faster than the kitchen sink would just draining. For this scenario to work out, it suggests to me that the line after the connection between the washer and the sink is restricted. It can handle the sink drain, but not the washer. The problem is between the junction of the kitchen drain and the bathroom drain.

fixin the hack jobs
Re: I'm plumb baffled about what I should try...

Hello again,
Yes, keith3267, nearly perfect. All my words may be confusing...too much info.

Originally, the washer caused the sink to clog. It was easily cleared. The water never did back into the sink. The only 4" pipe is the trunk line with the 'Y' that goes to the septic. The 'Y' cuts down immediately to a 1 1/2" that extends to the kitchen...and then to the washer (1 1/2") using another 'Y' right off the "old-school black 1 1/4."

All lines are clear...the pressure thing happens when the washer dumps.

I dug out everything...covered it with tarps to try to keep the rain we got today (YEAH!!!) from washing dirt into it. Hopefully it worked.

Tomorrow, Saturday, I will uncover it and hopefully my friend will come and we just use 3" from the trunk line 'Y' to remove that strange piece that he did not recognize. When it is uncovered...PICTURES FOR SURE FOR YOU!!! (if TOH website allows me to post them. I do see the [img] icon in blue that I am allowed to post them, so I will for you, and everyone else.

I did talk a bit with another Master Plumber today. He suggests that I should use a 'P' trap to block septic gas...a 'T' at the entry for the washer to dump...and a vent right at the washer, all in the new line for the new washer drain line. He might make it by the house Sunday afternoon. Otherwise, I will bring him the pictures that I post here. (He also suggested that 3" is new code for washer drainlines...using 3" to replace all 1 1/2" will cost about $50, but will bring EVERYTHING to new code! That would be fabulous for my head, and remove another hack job from the house!)

Everything being all exposed, except for what the rain might have put back, this is what I might do...tomorrow or Sunday. I'll post those pictures here in the morning.

Re: I'm plumb baffled about what I should try...

If your horizontal trunk from the washer is only 1.5", that would be a problem. A 3" would be the minimum. You can drop a vertical of 1.5 into the 3" horizontal would be OK. I recommend that the 3" go beyond the washer and have a cap for a cleanout.

I would only use Y fittings, not T's although the washer connection, being the first, a T would be OK. So a Y (or T) 3" in, 1.5" in and 3" out at the washer. A Y with 1.5" in, 3" in and 3" out at the kitchen and then a Y 3" in, 4" in and 4" out at the bathroom.

Do not put a P trap in after the bathroom and effluent would get trapped in it. It would be best to have a P trap at each sink, shower/tub, and washer drain. The toilet doesn't need one as it has one built in.

Re: I'm plumb baffled about what I should try...


Are you sure a 3" line is the minimum requirement for a washing machine drain? I thought it was 2".

Re: I'm plumb baffled about what I should try...

its 2" round these parts

Re: I'm plumb baffled about what I should try...

A picture is needed. Don't understand the 1-1/4 line. You never reduce a drain line size in the direction of flow. Kitchen sink drain should be 1-1/2 unless there is a disposal then it should be 2". The laundry waste should be 2". All fixture should be trapped and vented. The only place that a 3" drain is needed on a clothes washer in in a chimerical laundry. And in that case it serves more then one machine.



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