Basement Drain Backing Up When Washing Clothes – Causes and Solution

Liquids used for washing the clothes take the lowest path of the basement for disposal. As the basement drain is the easiest opening to the drainage system, grimy water passes through it. But, the basement drain may overflow sometimes when cleaning the clothes. 

The blockage is the common problem in this circumstance. Some other reasons may lie behind backing up the basement drain. Knowing the reasons of Basement drain backing up when washing clothes will help you in many ways.

You cannot solve the problem unless you know the reasons. Also, prevention will be easier when the reasons are known. So let’s check out the causes and solution of Basement drain backing up when you wash your clothes.

Basement Drain Backing Up When Washing Clothes

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What Causes Basement Drain Backing up When Washing Clothes? 

Here we are upholding some causes for basement drain backing up when washing clothes. Hence, we’re elaborating on all the causes briefly.

Pipe blockage 

During the time of using the washing machine, a pipe blockage can overflow the basement drain. The amount of leaking water varies according to the model of the washing machine. Leaked water creates a huge amount of pressure while passing the water through the hose. However, pressure from the washing machine is considered the core reason for pipe blocking.

Another reason for pipe blocking can be a clogged drainpipe. Perhaps, narrow drainpipe is the most common factor here. If a user doesn’t use an accurate hose, the pipeline gets clogged easily. So, the extended pressure & resistance is responsible mainly for pipe blockage. And then, the pipe blockage overflows the basement drain. 

The large volume of water

Basement drain backing up may occur for extended quantities of water. The rush of the water depends on the quantity of it. Usually, a washing machine uses around 40 gallons of water in every wash. Therefore, plumbing can’t cope with the extreme rush of water. Hence, the basement drain overflows after getting overwhelmed by the large volume of water. 

There is a strong connection between the old pipes & an extended quantity of water. The old & sluggish-shaped pipe can’t pass the large volume of water. When there is a narrow pipe, it’s also a barrier to a large volume of water. However, all of these facts create a basement drain overflowing situation when passing an extended volume of water.

Plumbing vent pipe obstruction 

The plumbing vent pipe creates great confusion as it’s usually situated at the top of the residence. Therefore, homeowners never think about it as an obstructing issue. As it’s situated at the ceiling, generally people don’t understand its vast expansion. However, a clogged plumbing vent pipe may become highly responsible for basement drain backing up. 

You should know that the plumbing vent pipe is considered the integral of a home plumbing system. So, any kind of blockage on it can overflow the drain. Sometimes, obstacles like debris, micro plants, dry leaves, etc. stuck inside it. As a result, the water can’t successfully perform its duty. In this circumstance, the basement drain backs up & creates an awkward situation. 

Unexpected water leakage 

As we have mentioned earlier, washing machine water leakage causes pipe blockage issues. Hence, it creates a basement drain backing up situation. However, you need to slide your washer away from the wall to determine the exact reason. First of all, inspect the water hose that leads to the washer. Also, examine the drain line then. 

If you find the water hose okay, then the problem may be with the drain line. Usually, a drain line is strongly constructed but unfortunately, it can be damaged. Severe damage to the drain line can obstruct the normal flow of water. In addition, it’s mandatory to have a look at water taps. Sometimes water taps can cause water leakage. Because of this, the basement drain may overflow.

Floor drain cap clogging

If your observation finds the washer leakage problem isn’t happening, then go for the floor drain cap. A fully or partially blocked floor drain cap can be a core reason for basement drain backing up. By the way, the floor drain has an outright conjunction with the main drain. If a certain amount of water doesn’t pass through it, the floor will be infested with dirty water. 

However, the reasons behind the floor drain cap clogging are various kinds of debris. You may use your basement for other purposes as well as bathing. Therefore, debris like mini packets of shampoos, hairs & so on can be an interruption. As a result, the floor drain cap may be blocked. Anyway, irregular cleaning of the floor drain cap is the consequence of this type of situation.

If you end up with water damage to your basement, you can call a professional water damage company to come and restore your basement to its pre-loss condition. If water damage is left untreated, mold can begin to grow in as little as 24 hours.

How to Solve Basement Drain Backing up When Washing Clothes?

Now we will see the solution to this problem.

Fixing pipe blockage

1. Overlook the drain by torchlight for finding explicit blockages. 

2. If blockages can’t be seen clearly, then remove the cap first. 

3. After that, apply an auger through the clean-out plug so that it can reach the blockages. 

4. Remove the blockages with the help of an auger & finish the task by reattaching the cap. 

Preventing too much water

1. Get a professional for fixing the pipe issue. Or else, get your own hands.

2. Increase the pipe’s diameter for accepting the rush of water. Usually, the old pipes are 1¼-1½ inches in measure. 

3. Choose a drain line of 2 inches diameter. Replace it & prevent a large number of water problems. 

Fixing plumbing vent pipe

1. Take aside the cap from the plumbing vent at your ceiling.

2. Clean bulk debris using hands. 

3. Take an auger into the vent pipe to get the desired blockage. Push it emphatically for eliminating the blockage. 

4. Pour some water finally. Then, inspect again if any blockage is left. Otherwise, you’re done.

Water leaking solution

1. First, slide the washer away from the wall. 

2. Start observing the water hose. It’s suggested to use a light for better optimization.

3. Also, inspect the water taps along with the washer drain pump.

4. If there is something wrong with the hose, pump, or taps, then make a replacement. 

Eliminating the drain cap barrier

1. Find if the blockage is partial or complete.

2. Try a stick with a piece of cloth for removing debris.

3. If it doesn’t work, you may require to add some chemical drain cleaner. In that case, we recommend taking an expert consultation.

4. Wash the rear side of the drain cap. You can scrub it to remove the algae. 

5. Finally, put the drain cap back & the barriers are kicked out. 


Do you understand now that overflowing basement drain isn’t only dependent on pipe blockage? There are many causes of basement drain backing up when washing clothes. It can be blockage on pipes, excessive water, leakage, and many others.

We have shown some possible but unpopular causes for basement drain overflowing. The reasons will help you find the solution easily. Also, you can take preventive measurements when you have the reasons known.

Basement drain backing up is a hassle for use when we wash out clothes. You can easily get rid of this hassle after reading and following the guide we have mentioned. Read and apply the solution to ensure a hassle free washing.

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