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Question DetailsAsked on 1/30/2018

I have a gray water pipe going in my yard where the washing machine and tub drain so why does my washing machine ba

My washing machine is drain out but backing up into my bathtub

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1 Answer


Since it is backing up in the tub, you have a blockage in the pipe DOWNFLOW of where those two branch lines come together, and it is backing up into the lowest elevation drain on the draim lines - which because of the standpipe behind the washer, is the tub (or for blackwater systems can be a tub, shower, or floor drain commonly). Could be due to blockage with lint and soap scum over the years so needs routing or jetting out, could be freezing up of the line if you have had unusually cold conditions recently - either the buried portion of the line having frozen (either locally or perhaps pretty much filled in with ice), or frozen where it exits the house and is exposed or maybe glaciered over at the outlet.

Run a bit of full hot water in tub and see if water comes out the outlet of the gray water drain pipe outside. If so, then try runing full hot or as much as it will take without backing up (watching in house and right outside foundation for backup anywhere on graywater system) and it might melt it out, if from freezing.

If frozen up in the pipe itself, you might be able to run a hose outside to the outlet from a hot faucet or water heater, and using hot water (hose may not handle full hot, may have to use less than full hot - if hose starts getting soft and limp use less heat) run the pipe into the outlet and thaw it out from there - having someone watching inside the house for any backup. If you start getting backup inside from the hose then you have established a connection through the pipe, so you could then quit with the hose and swap over to running full hot water in the tub to finish the meltout.

Commonly, a freezeup occurs first where an exposed or shallow pipe exits the house, or where the drain pipe comes to the surface at or near its end, so commonly it does not take too much time to thaw it out, if only a local (as opposed to full-pipe-length) blockage.

A fully frozen pipe (you might be able to use a bright flashlight in outlet to check for how much blockage you have) may take an hour or so of hot water flushing to thaw out, perhaps even requiring a couple of attacks with water heater recovery in between - and usually restricting the outlet a bit so the pipe runs full (watching for interior backups all the time) works better than just gravity flow, because that will commonly just melt out a channel in the ice but not totally thaw the ice out. Just running water through the bottom of the pipe also does not thaw the pipe itself or the surrounding ground well- a full pipe does that better. Once it is flowing full flow you can cause some backup in the pipe by blocking the outlet a bit with a bord or rocks or such and thenslow down the flow rate, just using enough water to keep the pipe full of good warm to slightly hot water. OF course, remembver to remove any blockage you put in afterwards.

Otherwise, Sewer Cleaning out be the normal Search the List category to find a vendor to have it routed/jetted out.

Answered 2 years ago by LCD

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