Washing Machine Drain Problems
LESLIE: Nancy in Nebraska, you’ve got The Money Pit. How can we help you today?
NANCY: My problem is the shower floor in the basement bathroom. My washer drains into the shower floor …
TOM: Hmm. OK.
NANCY: … and then when it backs up, until it starts draining back down, it sits there for a while and I suppose the soap and all the residue from the shower or from the washer water – but anyway, when my husband tiled, put ceramic tile on the walls, he also put ceramic tile on the floor.
NANCY: And the water, of course, gathering underneath that ceramic tile, made it real musty and moldy and that’s when we had to take that up.
NANCY: And he painted it and of course the paint peeled.
TOM: Yeah, you’re fighting a losing battle there, Nancy. There’s no way you’re going to get paint to stick under water, which is essentially what’s happening. I mean it’s not the right way to drain a washing machine. You know, you’re sort of cheating, so to speak, by trying to dump it into a shower fixture. If you had a proper drain, we wouldn’t be having this conversation. But if it’s going to be wet all the time like that, there’s no way that it’s going to not peel and rather quickly because the base – is it a concrete base?
TOM: Yeah, so that’s very hydroscopic. It’s like trying to paint a sponge; it just ain’t going to happen.
NANCY: Yeah. So there isn’t any product then that they make that could be put on there.
TOM: No, I mean an epoxy paint – if you got it really, really dry – might work better than, say, a floor paint.
LESLIE: Well, it’ll adhere better but you’d still have to get it super-dry.
TOM: Yeah. An epoxy paint might be the only shot you have but I still think it’s probably going to – it’s probably going to peel.
LESLIE: (overlapping voices) Eventually pick away.
TOM: Eventually. Alright?
NANCY: You know, some of the hospitals, where they have their showers, have something on the floor. I don’t exactly know what it is. I was kind of wondering if something like that would work.
TOM: Yeah, I’m not quite sure what you’re referring to but, in your situation, you’re talking about a concrete surface, you’re trying to paint it, almost an impossible situation. You might want to talk with a plumber about another way to drain that washer.
Are you on a septic system?
TOM: You’re on city water.
TOM: Well, there ought to be a place where you can get to a waste pipe and drain that washer. I mean that’s really the key.
LESLIE: Mm-hmm, that’s the best solution.
NANCY: (overlapping voices) Yeah. OK. OK.
TOM: Alright, hope that helps you out. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.