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Question DetailsAsked on 2/18/2018

My washing machine is drawing into my bathroom sink and overflowing it and then the sink want even drain after ward

My washing machine is draining into my bathroom sink and over flowing it then the sink want drain tried plunging it and it still want go down tried a snake and still nothing even tried draino and rid x what could be wrong

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1 Answer


OK - the washer and bathroom sink are on the same drain branch or stack (drain line routing), and there is a blockage DOWNSTREAM of the junction of those two branches. Remembering the washer discharges into a standpipe about 3-4 feet high usually, the washer discharge will back up into the lowest elevation drain (sink, toilet, tub/shower, floor drain, etc) which is on that same branch line. So - if bathroom sink is NOT the lowest elevation drain in the house, the blockage is between the lower elevation drains which are NOT backing up and the washer/bathroom sink which arem and while a good snaking might clear it, jetting is usually much better at clearing the pipe.

If the bathroom basin backing up IS the lowest elevation drain in the house, then the blockage could be anywhere downflow of that - including in the underground line going to septic tankor street sewer, and I recommend a full-diameter scraping with a sewer router to clear it out. Jetting is safer for the pipe itself if your sewer line is known to be highly corroded cast iron or is very old or broken clay tile, or is Orangeburg or aspestos fiber pipe or similar fiber material, but generally does not clean as reliably and does not cut root reliably unless it has an on-board camera to prove it is doing the job. [Full-diameter cleaning of the sewer line to septic tank or street should normally be done every 10-20 years depending on how much truly hot water goes down the line (good) and how much garbage disposal debris and grease goes down (bad), because fibers, soap scum, and grease build up in the lines and gradually reduce the inside diameter, gradually choking off the flow.

Your snaking evidently did not get to the clog, because a snake will almost always at least punch enough of a hole to allow for slow draining - after which using Draino (I prefer Liquid Plumber Gel - sticks to clogs better so has time to dissolve them rather than just flowing on past like regular drain cleaners) may work to clear it more, though rarely does a drain cleaning chemical like that totally clear a stack or sewer line clog - generally they are only really effective in clearing traps where the entire clog area is immersed in the liquid. Drain pipe clogs may partly clear with a snake or drain cleaner, but commonly much or most of the upper portion of the pipe stays blocked - the clearing just punches a hole through at the bottom of the pipe.

Here are several previous similar questions with answers explaining the situation more, and about the cleaning options. Generally, if the sink does not drain down, Draino and such will not clear it because the standing water keep it from getting to any clog beyond the immediate basin/sink trap, so snaking/routing is what you need.

Note using any other water source on the same branch or stack which are upstream of the clog and leading to the line the clog is on will also cause the backup to the sink (and/or possibly to other low-points depending on exact piping, so be careful about that. If that basin is the low point drain in the house, your entire house drain system is likely out of action until the blockage is cleared.

Answered 2 years ago by LCD

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