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Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Washing Machine War

Washing Machine War
Not my actual hook-up
I have declared war and I am losing.
Our washing machine in the basement does not drain fast enough on spin to keep suds from bubbling out of the discharge pipe and over onto the wall.  It does not overflow much, but enough that it will eventually soften the plasterboard wall.
The problem is water and suds have to be periodically pumped out as the basement pipe does not drain downhill.  It is not a big problem, but it bothers me enough to declare war on the overflow of suds.
I figured that if I eliminated any openings out of the drain pipe, it would force the suds uphill and out while waiting for the pump to periodically force the flow in the correct direction.  I fitted a hunk of rubber around the hose from the machine which then sealed the opening from the hose down the drain pipe. 
Problem solved.
Except I misjudged the power of water and suds to find the easiest exit.  Apparently, the easiest exit is not uphill and out the correct drain pipe.  The shortest and easiest exit is straight up and then pressuring out what is apparently not a perfect seal.  Up to this point, Mrs. Cranky was allowing me to try and fix the problem.  When she saw me head downstairs from the garage with a roll of duct tape, she started to object.
“What are you going to do with that?”
“The seal is not tight enough, I need duct tape to tighten it up.”
“You can’t jury rig a fix, it will look horrible.”
“You’d rather have the wall slowly disintegrate?”
“Do it right…it will look terrible.”
“Who the hell is going to see it…it is a laundry room?  If we have company, just don’t take them downstairs and show off our crappy laundry room.”
“I’ll see it and I won’t like it!”
“It will be a temporary fix.  If it works I’ll figure out a nicer looking fix, but for now this is better than nothing.”
It almost worked.  It did not stop the flow completely, but it did stop it enough to barely keep the suds from dripping onto the wall.
I need a better and nicer looking fix and soon.  Until then, please do not ask to see our laundry room.

23 comments:

  1. Are you related to my husband by any chance? Anyway, he does the laundry so problem solved in my house. Good luck.

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  2. I want Yaya's husband! I had to "talk" hubby through how to run a load of laundry the other day and we've been at this house almost a year with the then newly purchased washer and dryer. In all fairness, he does work hard and has a long commute, so I do the clothes and the other housework :)

    I'm of the mind if it works and it doesn't cost much to fix and it isn't where anywhere else is going to see it, go with your fix and save some money, but that's just the miser in me.

    betty

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  3. Have you had this problem all along? It almost sounds like the pipe under the house may have a plug or a crack in it. I'm no plumber, but ...

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    Replies
    1. The pipe is clear, have made sure of that. Problem is new machines pump out the water faster and greater volume that our old machine, and the water is pumped up and out of the basement, which allows the suds to build up and expand out between pumps.

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    2. Maybe try a laundry soap with less suds? How about one for a front loader?

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    3. or just use a lot less powder. Most package recommendations can be halved or even quartered and still get your clothes clean, unless you're a grease monkey or coal miner.
      People these days just don't get that grubby anymore.
      "They" recommend X amount because it means you'll have to buy more often which means $$$ for them in profits.

      Delete
  4. I've never seen such a thing! At our last house, the water drained into the utility sink, and it was quite forceful. I can't imagine that little pipe keeping up with it.

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  5. I have to confess that my first thought on reading about 'suds' overflowing, was that too much soap powder is being used; when the first wash is done, there shouldn't be any suds left. Either too much soap or not the correct sort of soap powder/liquid.
    My second thought was that this is the fault of the washing machine - it has been designed incorrectly - the takeaway pipe not being of sufficient width to cope with the speed and volume of the output.
    So either blame your wife if it is she-who-washes or have words (rant) with the supplier of the washing machine.
    Failing that - give in gracefully and let her book a Man Who Can. Good luck!

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  6. We had a laundry room run in this past weekend ourselves....the floor drain spit up a whole lot of ugly looking (insert word of choice here). Good luck with your fix...any fix is a good fix if it works no matter what it looks like.

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  7. I'll be there to inspect your laundry room in a few days. I'll bring dirty wash with me.

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  8. I agree that you have to figure out the fix before you worry about the looks. I'm with you on that.

    Have a fabulous day. ☺

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  9. I agree with your wife -- except your way is cheaper...

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  10. There is nothing wrong with the good old Mickey Mouse fix. Worry about making it look good later! Just get er done.

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  11. I regret not having a basement every tornado season but posts like this make me Ok not having one. I agree, laundry rooms are not part of the home tour. Have you seen the commercials for Flex Tape? It will glue a boat back together that was sawed in half. I'm curious if it really works.

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  12. Duct tape will do the job. If it doesn't, use MORE duct tape!!

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  13. Sudsy bubbles, eh? Sounds like gas. Suggest you drop a couple of Bean-o tablets into your rinse cycle. ;)

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  14. Whatever fix you find, ugly or pretty, you better find a fix. It's amazing what damage a little water can cause over time.

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  15. As a person who has battled a leaky house for years, i can promise you that water goes where it wants to no matter what you do to try to stop it. Get a plumber.

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  16. "I hope that plan works out for you," said Val smugly, her own washer in a laundry room off the kitchen, draining 16 feet straight down to a pipe in the ground that slopes toward the drain field.

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  17. Why is your laundry room not tiled on walls and floor like a bathroom? All laundries world wide should be waterproofed in my opinion. I've never known a laundry that isn't.

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  18. It's possible your pipes simply aren't wide enough to cope with the outflow, if your house was built in the days before automatic washing machines. Installing wider pies is costly, so I'd try using less soap powder so you don't get so many suds, but you'll still have the heavier outflow problem. One reason I'm glad we don't have basements here, laundries in Australia are on the same level as the rest of the house. In two story homes, laundries are on the ground floor.

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  19. A buddy of mine had a similar problem and a similar set-up. We did 2 things: 1) Increased the size of the basin that the helper-pump collected water in 2) Extended the pipe inlet up as high as the washer outlet tube would reach. He hasn't had a problem in the 15-ish or so years since. Oh, and use less soap, excess suds usually means excess soap.

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  20. I'd much rather have an ugly fix than water damage.

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