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mfinley
Washer hookup to kitchen drain causing backup

We have a BIG problem with a recent kitchen renovation on a previously renovated 100+ year old building in which we installed a washer/dryer unit in the old pantry closet causing water backup with our downstairs neighbor's kitchen sink. The management for the building claims they have a plumber come out and rod the drains out to the street every year, but we still think there is some kind of blockage b/w the 1st floor neighbor's kitchen drain and the main for the building. We plan on swapping out the current washing unit with a front-load HE unit (which is what should have installed in the first place), but we were also thinking about putting in some kind of excess overflow tank so that it is never a problem again. Can you please tell me how those tanks work, where to purchase them, about how much they cost, how and where the best place to install one, and your overall thoughts on this as a solution to our problem? Any other suggestions for our issue would be much appreciated. Thank you so much for your help! :)

bp21901
Re: Washer hookup to kitchen drain causing backup

The outflow from our washer goes into a laundry tub/sink and that drain has been throttled back to slowly drain into its pipe..

mfinley
Re: Washer hookup to kitchen drain causing backup

Since Washer/Dryer unit is hooked up in the kitchen, unfortunately this is not an option. Thanks anyway! Still struggling for a permanent solution! :D

meppizza
Re: Washer hookup to kitchen drain causing backup

You are on the right track to get an overflow tank and throttle the drain from it. Find out what the maximum amount of water is drained from the washer at one time. That gives you an idea of what size of a container you will need (allow extra room for suds). The container would not have to be right beside the washer. Just plumb a drain line to it and then a line from it to the kitchen sink drain.
Another line of thinking would be to see if it was possible to throttle down the drain from the washer so it would take more time to empty the washer. Most washers run the pump longer than what it takes to get the water out. So if you found out how long the washer was set to pump water out you could in theory use the whole amount of time to drain the water at a slower rate.

johnjh2o
Re: Washer hookup to kitchen drain causing backup

If the waste line serving the kitchen and laundry is 2" there should be no problem with it. It sounds like there is a partial stoppage in the line. Just because the line has been snaked in the past year doesn't mean the line is OK at this point in time.

John

bsum1
Re: Washer hookup to kitchen drain causing backup
mfinley wrote:

We have a BIG problem with a recent kitchen renovation on a previously renovated 100+ year old building in which we installed a washer/dryer unit in the old pantry closet causing water backup with our downstairs neighbor's kitchen sink. The management for the building claims they have a plumber come out and rod the drains out to the street every year, but we still think there is some kind of blockage b/w the 1st floor neighbor's kitchen drain and the main for the building. We plan on swapping out the current washing unit with a front-load HE unit (which is what should have installed in the first place), but we were also thinking about putting in some kind of excess overflow tank so that it is never a problem again. Can you please tell me how those tanks work, where to purchase them, about how much they cost, how and where the best place to install one, and your overall thoughts on this as a solution to our problem? Any other suggestions for our issue would be much appreciated. Thank you so much for your help! :)

I'm wondering if your washer drain is tied into the vent for the apartment below?

mfinley
Re: Washer hookup to kitchen drain causing backup

Thank you all for your suggestions! It IS a 2" drainage pipe (from what I am told standard for most old kitchens), and IS connected to both the 1st floor neighbor (the problem), as well as the 2nd floor unit below us. It does appear to have some blockage that we are trying to get a plumber out to clear, and are looking into an HE front-load washer to cut the water usage by 60%. Will look into throttling back the drainage flow on the unit, if that is an option. Just wanted to say thanks again for all the great responses - they are much appreciated!!!

mfinley
Re: Washer hookup to kitchen drain causing backup

FINAL SOLUTION: After doing much research, and agonizing over the difficulties in attempting to hook up an excess overflow tank, the actual answer to the problem was to replace the standard top-load washer/dryer unit with a small LG High Efficiency front-load w/d unit! These units only use 8-12 gallons per load, whereas the top-load unit we had uses 30-45 gallons per load. Pulled out the old unit, installed the new one (super easy!) and have run several tests without merely a gurgle in the downstairs neighbors sink!! Big shout-out to Abt Electronics for the great price and free delivery. Highly suggest this unit for ANY kitchen w/d installations. :D

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