After 5 years of using the same washing machine, suddenly the drain pipe backs up and overflows onto the floor during the drain cycle. House was built in 2008. We have done the following and cannot duplicate the problem: 1.) Run water from hose into drain. No backup 2.) Snaked pipe from behind washer. Snaked cleanout. 3.)Used clog buster on end of hose 3 times for 5 minutes. No backup. 4.) Went to roof and inspected vent. Ran water down vent. No backup.

It was suggested that it could be something with the washing machine pump, but we would like to understand that before purchasing a new one. Ideas?

  • 1
    Where does the "overflow" originate from? What opening is the water coming out of?
    – Hot Licks
    Commented Nov 23, 2020 at 22:53
  • Is your washing machine on the lowest plumbed floor of your home? Have you had any other drains back up? Is all the overflow happening through the washing machine standpipe? If so, does its trap have a cleanout? A washing machine drain cycle can pump more water volume than a garden hose, and a lot of suds, so it's hard to reproduce that. Commented Nov 24, 2020 at 0:21
  • Before doing anything drastic like buying a new machine, see if your drain hose can reach a nearby sink or if not, get a large water-tight garbage can -- the 30-gallon ones you see in commercial settings will do. Let the machine pump into the garbage can (stop the cycle if it gets full) and if the machine is doing anything ridiculous, record a cell phone video and share it. Make sure you have a plan for how to drain the garbage can after testing. A small submersible pump or aquarium cleaning pump works; direct the water into the laundry drain. Commented Nov 24, 2020 at 0:27
  • 1
    the pump probably moves water faster than your tap, thus you find it hard to recreate. It has nothing to do with the washer or hose. Use a small wash cycle until you figure it out.
    – dandavis
    Commented Nov 24, 2020 at 5:18
  • Is the washer drain tied to another drain that may have water running at the same time? My washer, dishwasher, kitchen sink, and disposal all tie into a common line in the basement before going under the slab to the main drain. I had a partial blockage 30 ft across in that underslab line that would back up with the washer and one of the others draining at the same time. Clearing the blockage solved my problem. Now I clean it yearly as preventive maintenance. Commented Nov 25, 2020 at 21:45

1 Answer 1


We have been dealing with drain overflow for six months now and finally found a solution. This might work for you too.

My case:

  • New washer (2022) installed, worked fine for a while but water started to come out of the drain pipe. Still check out this fix even though you have a 5 yr old washer.

  • Snaked and cleared the drain pipe and issue still persist

  • resorted to turning drain cycle on and off when the drain appeared to over flow (with every wash).

Oct 2022 came across an article about this issue. Seems this is very common. Older homes had a 1 1/2" drain pipe installed for washers. Today's washers need a 2" drain pipe to accommodate the evacuation of waster. Check your local building codes.

So the article suggest to insert a hose (inside diameter) to the washer drain hose and the length should go down the drain as far as you can go. Mine went down 50" with an 1" ID. Because the connection was a little loose I used duct tape to close the gap and tighten down with a stainless steel clinch.

This worked! No more water over flow.

Hope this helps.

  • welcome to Home Improvement and thanks for sharing your success. You've done the right thing by including the explanation of what to do, but it would also be very helpful to credit the source. Please edit your answer to include a link to the article. Especially since your description of the solution is a little unclear to me - maybe being able to read the original might help.
    – FreeMan
    Commented Oct 14, 2022 at 11:33

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.