Under normal circumstances, the washing machine and the sink are connected to the same wastewater drainage pipe. After used water from the machine, the sink, and any other household appliances drains into the pipeline it is carried away for disposal. This ensures that the wastewater is channelled away from the house in a hygienic, streamlined fashion. But what occurs when the sink backs up into the washing machine instead of going down the drain? The problem lies with the design details of the drainage system. A faulty plumbing system can cause the discharged water from the washing machine to flow back, or back up- in technical terms; into your sink. The result is both an unpleasant sight and often becomes a hygiene issue in many domestic spaces.
Common Causes of the Problem
- The problem of reverse flow occurs when the drainage pipeline is in any way clogged or blocked. In many cases there are dirt sediments that accumulate over time resulting in the partial or complete blocking of the plumbing system. As a result, water cannot be channelized is a systematic method and it backs up into the appliances. Hence the backing up of water from the washing machine into the sink is a result of clogged pipes.
- In some cases, however, the problem lies not with the drainage system as much as it does with the entire infrastructure of the house. In older houses where there was a previous lack of washing machines or new-age appliances, the plumbing network might be ill-equipped to handle the multiple load points.
What to do if the Sink Backs Up
In cases of the sink backing up into the washing machine, there are two methods to be followed:
- Self- Service: Sometimes, the cases of clogged pipes can be fixed at home itself using ready-made pipe cleaning agents. These generally come in small, handy packages. Insert it into the clogged pipe and wait for a few hours while it frees the passage of any unwanted dirt. If that fails you can use a plunger or plumbers snake to try and free the clog.
- Plumber: In cases that the problem is larger than expected, a plumber should be called. Plumbers are trained to identify pipe issues and fix them quickly. In some cases they can repair or replace sections of pipe for better service. It is better to call your plumber than risk damage to the drainage system due to someone else trying to force the clog out.
Water backing up is in most cases a fairly common problem in most households. However, it is always better to take precautionary measures such as ensuring that there is a regular cleaning of all pipes and a monthly checking of the plumbing system as a whole. Systematic steps such as this ensure the smooth and hassle free running of a household and lead to a comfortable and hygienic life.