If you have ever noticed water all over the floor in your laundry room, then you likely have an overflow problem resulting from your washing machine drain pipe. Homes built prior to 1970 are susceptible to this issue as the newer-model appliances often come with drainage flow rates that tend to overwhelm older plumbing systems. Thankfully, there is a way to slow down the leak should this happen to you:
A temporary solution to this problem includes putting a restriction in your washing machine discharge hose. This should slow down the water rate enough to prevent the drain from overflowing. Just make sure not to restrict the hose too much, as this will cause your washing machine to time-out and/or prematurely advance to the next cycle.
Now that you know the best way to slow down water from a washing machine drain, let us take a closer look at this further and in more depth below. We will discuss how to fix and prevent a drain overflow as well as what causes the problem in the first place. We will also explain whether (or not) you can seal a washing machine drain and how to know for sure if your drain is plugged.
So, if you are reading to more about washing machines and overflowing drains, then please continue reading…
How Do You Fix a Drain Overflow on a Washing Machine?
To fix or slow down an overflowing washing machine drain, the best thing to do is to replace the drainage pipe.
Older homes usually have smaller pipes (around one-and-a-half inches in diameter), which may work for high-efficiency models but are often too small for standard washing machines.
Installing a two-inch drainage pipe should remedy the problem.
Another possible solution is to use a wire lint catcher. This device traps the loose dirt, lint, and hair from fabrics that inevitably exit the washer, preventing them from getting into and thus clogging the drain.
You must be prepared to either change or clean it monthly if you want it to work effectively. However, if properly maintained, it can last up to twenty years!
How Do You Prevent a Washing Machine Drainpipe from Overflowing?
The best ways to prevent a washing machine drainpipe from overflowing is to do the following:
Invest a Laundry Sink
Installing a laundry sink will allow you to use a mesh lint catcher over the end of the drainage hose.
This will help prevent dirt, lint, and hair from moving down the drainpipe.
You must, however, monitor the lint catcher and clean it frequently. Otherwise, it will get clogged and become a problem in and of itself.
Purchase a High-Efficiency Washing Machine
A high-efficiency washing machine uses less water than its standard counterpart, thus reducing the amount of liquid going down the drain afterward.
If the drain should happen to clog and you have installed a laundry sink, then the water should fill up in the sink before it overflows from the standpipe.
Snake the Drain Routinely
Snaking the drain once every two or three months (depending on how often you use your washing machine) should help prevent an overflow problem.
When you start to notice the water draining slower than usual, then it is probably time to clear it out.
Use Hot Water Mixed with Baking Soda and Vinegar
Pouring a full kettle of hot water – followed by a cup of baking soda – down the drain once every six months is recommended.
Afterward, pour a mixture of one cup water and one cup vinegar down the drain and cover it with a drain plug.
Allow the mixture to sit for ten to fifteen minutes and then pour another full kettle of hot water down the drain.
Or you can simply purchase an enzymatic drain cleanser such as Bio Clean online from Amazon to get the same result.
What Causes a Washing Machine Drain to Overflow?
There are different reasons why your washing machine drain is overflowing. The most likely culprit is a clogged drainpipe.
Over time, different materials including dirt, lint, and hair from fabrics slowly build-up inside the pipe and block the water from fully draining.
Other causes include a twisted discharge hose, old or deteriorating pipes, incorrectly sized pipes, a missing p-trap, and/or a blockage in the main sewer line.
How Do You Unclog a Washing Machine Drainpipe?
To unclog a washing machine drain pipe and fix your overflow problem, begin by making sure your machine is turned off.
Next, locate the drainage hose in the back of the appliance. Then, disconnect the hose by taking a pair of pliers and pinching the clip that is holding the drain hose to the washing machine.
Proceed by using a long metal coat hanger or an auger and removing any blockage caught inside the drainage hose. Follow by taking a bucket of water and flushing the drainpipe.
Afterward, straighten the hose and use a flashlight to look inside it, making sure all debris has been extracted.
Finish by reinstalling the hose to the back of the washing machine – give it a slight tug to ensure it attached snuggly.
If you subsequently still have a leakage problem, then your best bet is to call a professional plumber.
Otherwise, you run the risk of possibly damaging your home’s infrastructure or foundation should the leak continue.
Can You Seal a Washing Machine Drain?
With regards to slowing down water from a washing machine drain, you cannot seal the washer standpipe.
You can, however, seal a washer drain hose. To do this, follow these seven steps:
- Unplug the appliance’s power cord.
- Around one end of the hose, attach the loosed hose clamp by sliding it one inch up the end of the hose.
- Place the hose end and the clamp over the bottom of the outlet at the back of the washing machine.
- Use a flat-head screwdriver to tighten the screw on the hose clamp – this will cinch the band and seal the drain hose securely around the outlet.
- Insert the opposite end of the drain hose into the drain standpipe – ensure that the area where the hose meets the standpipe is at the same height as the maximum water level of the tub.
- Use a nylon tie and attach the drain hose to the standpipe – make sure not to overtighten the tie otherwise the water will not be able to drain properly from the machine.
- Plug the appliance’s power cord back in.
How Do I Know if My Washing Machine Drain is Clogged?
The tell-tale sign that your washing machine drain is clogged is an overflow of water. The easiest way to check whether (or not) the drain is clogged is to blow air through it with a compressor.
If the drain is clear, then the issue probably with the appliance pump.
If the hose is kinked, badly worn, damaged, or attached incorrectly, then you will need to replace and/or reinstall in properly to improve the machine’s ability to pump water effectively.
To conclude, there are different reasons why your washing machine drain is overflowing. The most likely culprit is a clogged drainpipe.
One possible solution is to restrict your appliance’s discharge hose. This should help slow down the rate enough to keep the drain from overflowing.
Just be sure not to restrict the hose too much or your washing machine will not function properly.
As a final thought, it is important to note that unless you have some plumbing experience, it is always best to seek the advice of a professional plumber to avoid a potentially bigger complication down the line!
Hopefully, this article has been of help to you. Thanks for reading and good luck fixing the problem!
Cheers, tools owners!