What They Don’t Tell You

userpic=plumbingI hate water. Well, to be more specific, I hate dealing with water problems in a house. What’s the latest? Ah, there’s a story….

Way back in 2004, in our old house, we bought one of the first top-loading high efficiency washers. It was a Kenmore Elite, that Sears-branded Whirlpool Calypso system. These were problematic machines, but somehow we figured out how to keep it running and together. After a recent incident where my daughter washed a sandy towel without shaking it out first, the Sears repaircritter told us that if it acted up again, given that parts were no longer made, we should replace it. Last week, that happened. We were getting an “LD” indication — long drain — on the rinse cycle. This likely meant that one of the boards was dying, as the wash drained just fine (if it was the pump, it would have shown up on the first drain).

Pulling out the latest Consumers, we decided on an LG model that was a best buy. I toddled over to Lowes last week, ordered it, and it was delivered on Sunday. We start it up… and on the first drain, water back up the drain pipe. Thinking it might be a clog, we snake the line… but no luck. We got a plumber out here today. The problem isn’t the washer. The problem isn’t a clog in the line.

The problem, dear friends, is the pipe. We have a 1″ standpipe drain. The old washer had a 1/2″ drain line that fit in the pipe, allowing air flow. The new washer drain hose fits snugly in the pipe, allowing no airflow. Further, the new high-efficiency washer pushes water down the narrow standpipe so fast it backs up. Our house was built in 1962 with a 1″ standpipe. Post 1990 construction has a 2″ standpipe.

Thus, our $700 washer has just gotten more expensive — we’re going to need to open the wall and replace the standpipe with something larger. This is something they don’t tell you when you buy a new high-efficiency machine. It is just one of the reasons that I’m pissed at pipes today.

(Another reason: Time Warner’s Internet service was also down most of the day. Grrrr. Pipes.)