A malfunctioning laundry drain or a washing machine overflow is a common problem in your laundry room encountered by homeowners.
Your modern washing machine’s drain pipe starts to overflow during a wash cycle, and your washer drain becomes blocked for various reasons. Older washing machines use a lot of water compared to newer models. When these large volumes of water flow with pressure into the drain pipes, they often cause overflows. When your washing machine drain overflows, they can have different plumbing problems, but the most common ones are blockage and leaking. If the water pools around your washing machine for too long, then chances are that it will cause irreparable damage to the machine or even to your plumbing system through a clogged drainpipe.
Avoiding an annoying puddle of water around the machine is essential and relatively easy. With the proper knowledge, you could eliminate any unwanted blockage in the washing machine drain pipe that can otherwise lead to overflowing, backflow, or clogging in the main sewer line.
This guide will take you through all you need to do to stop the laundry drains from overflowing effectively. We will discuss preventative measures and what can be done if your washing machine drain pipe and the situation have already gotten worse.
So, without any more delay, let’s dive right in!
Reasons Behind An Overflowing Laundry Drain
Before knowing how to fix an overflowing washing machine drain, you must figure out the main causes. If you identify the causes early, then the chances are that you will be able to fix them at the right time.
This problem arises when the pipe is too narrow for the load. Sometimes the pipe is insufficient to drain the entire volume of water that the washing machine discharges.
In some extreme scenarios, the washing machine drain hose may go too deep into the drain pipe. As a result, it gets difficult for the wastewater to drain correctly. Or a kinked discharge hose can sometimes cause the drainpipe overflow issue.
2. Clogging Or Blockage
Remember that when water comes out of the washing machine hose, it is not just water but much other stuff. This discarded water is filled with grime, dirt, and, most importantly, soap scum or soap residue.
The waste accumulates with use at the end of the drain hose attached to your washing, slows down the water passage, or causes the washer drains to overflow, eventually leading to a clogged drain. And you will soon see that it will start creating back pressure and make the discarded water flow backwards. But don’t worry because a clogged or blocked drainpipe is avoidable when you take corrective measures. You can equip your washing machines with a lint trap or filter and clean them at least once a month.
Ways To Stop Laundry Drains From Overflowing
There are multiple ways to fix laundry drain blockages and prevent washing machine drain overflow. Some methods are long-term solutions, and sometimes they are more temporary. You can go for a DIY solution, a cheap alternative, replace your laundry with a high-efficiency washing machine or call a professional plumber who can better fix the situation.
On that note, let’s take a look at all the methods.
Permanent/ Long Term Solutions
1. Replacing The Pipes
One of the best ways to deal with malfunctioning washing machine drains is to prevent items from causing blockages. Or you can replace your laundry drains with new ones. Older buildings often have outdated pipes unsuitable for handling the modern water load.
You should consult a professional plumber whenever you think of replacing the pipe or even replacing your aging discharge hose. They are best suited to tell you what problems are in the pipes. If there are major problems, the plumbers might need to look behind the walls and find ways to replace the pipes.
Calling a plumber to help you is indeed an expensive affair. But once you finish it, the problem will not crop up anytime soon.
2. Changing The Washing Machine
When compared to new models, old models often release more water. When the pipes cannot handle this heavy water flow, there’s always a chance of backflow.
Don’t worry; there is a way out of this problem! Change your old washing machine and get your hands on a new, more efficient one. High-end machines are not only efficient in preventing backflow, but they also prevent water wastage.
Although it might seem a hefty investment initially, you can conserve money and water in the long run.
3. Installing A Laundry Sink
Sometimes, laundry drains get blocked when you hand wash items like shoes and clothes. So, we’d suggest installing a dedicated laundry sink to tackle the load.
It prevents the drain from overflowing but also performs a range of other functions. To further enhance its utility, you can even place a lint catcher at the end of the hose to prevent blockages. This one-time investment would prevent you from paying for the hourly service of your plumber.
1. Using A Drain Snake
When dealing with a blockage manually, it is best to use a drain snake. And finding a good one on the market would not be challenging. The task of a drain snake is to snake through a clogged pipe and clear the blockage manually.
You must keep inserting the drain snake into the laundry pipe until you face some resistance where the block is located. Once you find it, keep turning it and tugging it to ensure the residues come out and the blockage is cleared.
We’d suggest using the drain snake frequently and not waiting for the problem to arise. If you keep cleaning it regularly, the blockage issue won’t occur. And this, in turn, would prevent the chances of an overflow.
It works better to pour boiling water after clearing your drain pipes with your drain snake. Mix baking soda and vinegar for a homemade drain cleaner solution to unclog drains.
2. Lint Catcher
Every homeowner has faced the problem of lint clogging different pipes in the house, especially the laundry pipes. Hence, using a garment or lint bag. Or better yet, installing a lint catcher (use a wire mesh lint catcher over the end of the drain hose) can be a good idea to keep the problem in check before the problem gets any worse.
Lint catchers come in various forms, such as metal and fabric mesh, and you can choose what you like. Since it catches lint and other debris, remember to clean your lint catcher regularly to ensure that it is free from any lint residues and that the drain does not overflow.
If lint catchers and drain snakes are not enough, using a suitable enzyme can also help you deal with a clog. Lint catchers are suitable for eliminating the lint, but to get rid of the soap scum, it is essential to use enzymes at least once a month for effective unclogging.
You can use multiple enzymes, but the most common ones homeowners use are Bioclean, Flo-zyme, and Zep. This is more of a preventive measure, and when done regularly, it can keep your drains from clogging frequently.
Stopping The Laundry Drain From Overflowing
With that, it is a wrap for today!
After reading this guide, we hope you will better understand how to deal with blocked laundry drains. Time is of the essence here, and we recommend that you resolve the issue as fast as possible to prevent it from worsening.
Handling an overflowing laundry drain with the proper techniques and tools will become straightforward. But contacting a plumber is better if the issue worsens or you don’t have much experience with DIY repairs.
If you have any further queries, write to our licensed plumber in the comments below. And keep a watch on this space for more exciting reads.
Until next time, adios!