LESLIE: Pete in New Jersey has got a washing machine that’s causing a bunch of trouble. How can we help?
PETE: Yes, my washing machine, every time we run the washing machine for the first load of the week or a couple of days, it’s got a very stagnant water; almost like a pond smell to it.
PETE: We have to run the water and let it out and then …
LESLIE: Like the load empty. This sounds like a trap issue.
TOM: Yeah, it sounds like you may be having sewage gas that’s backing up into the washing machine. The drain on this is the first place I would start looking at this, Peter. You want to make sure that the water is going through a trap. Do you know what a trap is? It’s like a U-shaped pipe.
PETE: Yes. And actually, you know what? It does not appear to be going to a trap?
LESLIE: Well then …
TOM: And that is part …
PETE: It’s coming straight out of the back of the – out of the washing machine and then to the hose …
PETE: … that goes – and then the hose runs into a septic system.
LESLIE: Well that’s why you’re getting – right?
TOM: Ah, yeah.
LESLIE: That’s why you’re getting the scent.
TOM: Well, I mean it’s going to come out in the hose but where it connects into a pipe the pipe has to have a trap in it. So you may be pulling septic – you may be pulling sewage gas back up that drain hose into the machine. You need to take a look at the drain plumbing on this, Peter. I think that’s going to solve your problem.
PETE: And just put a U-shaped trap in there, in that connector line, and then I should be OK?
TOM: Yes, it has to be a fairly tall trap.
PETE: Right, right.
LESLIE: Because that water is going to sit there in the bottom and trap those gases …
LESLIE: … and keep that scent from coming up and that should really do the trick.
TOM: Make sure that drain is higher than the washing machine, too, or you’re going to have a leak issue.
PETE: OK, I appreciate that.
TOM: You’re welcome. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.