Friday, June 29, 2007

in which we attempt to install a washing machine

The POs took their washing machine with them. A friend (N) gave us their old one as they were upgrading. Sounds great, until we enter the twilight zone that is this house.

Day 1 (Tuesday)

The washing machine is delivered by N.

The pipe from the previous machine was still attached to the drain hole - they'd just hacked it off part way down. The pipe removed easily enough, and the waste pipe for the machine fit into the rubber connector. All seemed well.

That is until we tried to actually use the machine. At which point the water just drained right out the bottom and down the drain hole rather than filling the machine. Not helpful, and inexplicable. Until you learn that the machines require the pipe to travel up above the top otherwise they do just this, and it's only recently that a few manufacturers have come out with machines that don't have this fundamental design flaw!

So I investigated what this was supposed to look like. Everything I could find said that there should be a 2" wide stand pipe (there wasn't), with a p-trap (basically a ubend) in it, and that it needed to be open ended (not sealed to the drain hole). Fixing this seems simple enough. I should know better by now.

The rubber connector was 1" wide, and connected to a 1.5" adapter to a 2" drain hole. The rubber connector removed easily enough, but left a bent metal connector on the 1.5" to 2" metal adapter, which was screwed into the actual drain hole.

Day 2 (Wednesday)

First trip to Home Depot provided pipe (helpfully pre-cut to the lengths I needed), along with a replacement seal for the bathroom toilet tank (a separate issue - that tank was running continuously).

This connector was, of course, a non-standard octagonal contraption that was thoroughly stuck and too large for any tools I had, something I'd neglected to check the night before.

The evening also gifted us with a thunderstorm, leaking back windows in the rear bedroom, a small lake in the "family room" (that's a whole other DIY disaster courtesy of the the POs), and a power outage to go with the 95F heat.

Our Swimming Pool

Day 3 (Thursday)

A second trip to Home Depot for tools did not solve this problem - the weird octagonal adapter did not quite fit in the "universal" plumbing tool (due to its octagonalness). A side trip to Lowe's for an energy efficient (or as much as there is) air conditioner (seeing as Home Depot doesn't stock such) was successful - both in acquiring said air conditioner and a sudden downpour dropping the temperature by 20F and making it less urgently needed.

Day 4 (Friday)

N to the rescue with tools that might defeat the octagonal monster. They do indeed fit, but the monster refuses to move in the slightest, even when doused with WD-40. The application of one of the pipe pieces to the tool handle provided enough leverage (simple tools win again), and the monster gradually yielded.

The pipes all fit snugly together (even without any form of glue they appeared to be water tight, and very hard to take apart again). So I connected them to the drain hole, connected up the washer and turned it on. All seemed to go well, at least until the machine started to empty out. Which is the point we discovered that the drain itself does not empty. Or at least not anywhere close to the speed required.

Day 5 (Saturday)

In which we attempt to clear drains.
(This is a scarier process than might be obviously apparent - I found popcorn, among other things, in the dryer vent when I cleaned the laundry room... -S.)


the reluctant remodeler said...

Wow. What a mess. I'll never complain again. But I feel frustrated and disappointed with our house, too, on many levels. Where are you? My initial guess was CA, but you mentioned poison ivy, so I'm guessing the midwest now.

Good luck with your projects and hang in there!


Suileeka said...


Nowhere near either one, actually; we're in Pennsylvania.

Thank you!