Our house has one water inlet (from the well) and three outlets – one to the septic tank, one from the kitchen to a grease trap with its own field lines, and one that is just a pipe that drains the washing machine out into the woods. It is a system that has served us well for almost forty years.
Over that time, I have had to use a roto-rooter on the septic field lines once or twice, and have had to empty the grease trap several times, but until this weekend the washing machine drain had never been a problem. I was washing my sheets this weekend when the drain decided not to drain anymore and soapy water filled the utility room and most of the kitchen. I caught it while the machine was still about half full, but a gallon of water can go a long way.
After mopping up the mess, I tried using water pressure to open the drain, and thought that it worked. The rest of the wash water drained without incident, but then, when the rinse cycle ended, it flooded again.
At that point, I went out and dug up the end of the pipe, then ran a water hose up the pipe from that end. Kneeling in the mud with my arm shoulder deep in freezing water and shoving a water hose up the pipe ain’t fun. Okay, it wasn’t freezing, but 36° is close enough!
I think it’s okay now, but I’m going to work on it some more this afternoon to be sure.