Clogged washing machine drainage pipe

Written by andrew leahey
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Clogged washing machine drainage pipe
A clogged washing machine drain can cause water to back up into the machine tub. (Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images)

A clogged washing machine drain can be a serious problem for a homeowner. When a washing machine's drain is clogged, the waste water that should be deposited in the main sewer line overflows back and either remains in your machine or spills out onto the floor, potentially damaging carpeting and flooring. Remedying the issue can be made easier by isolating the problem to a particular portion of the machine pipe or drain.

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Locating the Clog

Isolating the clog to a particular portion of the drainage system of your washing machine can help you decide how to attack the clog. Remove the hose from the back of the machine, and inspect it for clogs using a wire coat hanger. Pour water directly into the drainpipe to see if it drains properly.

Clogged Drain Hose

A clogged drain hose is the least involved problem you can have with your washing machine. A rubber washing machine hose can easily be cleaned out using a plumber's snake or wire coat hanger and, if this fails, can be replaced at little expense. Ensure the hose and machine is not installed in such a way to create sharp turns or kinks, which can help clogs get a foothold on the inside of your hose.

Clogged Drainpipe

A clogged drainpipe, which is the pipe that leads to your main sewer line, can be difficult to fix without proper plumbing equipment. A plumber's snake will make the process of reaming out any clogs significantly easier. Use a snake to push down the pipe towards the main sewer line, and continually check on your progress by removing the snake and pouring water down the drain. It should not accumulate or overflow from the pipe and should quickly drain without bubbling or delay.

Clogged Main Sewer Line

Your main sewer line runs through your house and out to the sewer in the street. A clog can occur anywhere in this pipe, with some contributing factors being tree root interference or new construction in the area that may cause the ground to shift. A professional, licensed and insured plumber should be called if you suspect the problem to lie in the main sewer line. A symptom indicative of this problem is additional appliance drain issues, such as backing up dishwashers, tubs or toilets.

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