In October my husband and I bought our first house (a fixer-upper, in true Mustachian style). The first few loads of laundry I did after we moved in in December, everything seemed to be fine. Then, without warning, one day when the machine was draining, water began to spew out of the top of the drain pipe that the machine's drain hose is hooked into. We called a plumber friend who guessed it was probably corrosion build up and told us to use a Drain-O equivalent. We followed the directions on a couple bottles of this stuff, trying three or four times, but still got spewage every time we ran the washer. Then we bought a tool that uses air pressure to force clogs out of pipes. When the drain was empty, we weren't able to get enough pressure built up for this to accomplish anything, so we tried using it when there was water in the pipe as well. Still no success as the pipe continued to overflow on every run. We also tried a drain auger, but it didn't appear to accomplish anything either.
Then my husband's parents visited for a long weekend, and hubby and his dad bought a "bladder" (a little balloon that you attach to the end of a hose and then it blocks the pipe and forces water through it). They hooked that up to the pipe just beyond the trap (detached the joint there), ran it for a while, and it appeared the clog was cleared. I ran a load with no overflow, but then I ran a second, larger load (I had quite a bit of laundry waiting to be washed, by this point), and it overflowed just a little on the first drain cycle. That was about a month ago, and it's gotten progressively worse again since.
Since then, I tried to do a load when it was raining, and the drain tried to back up every few seconds. (Thankfully, our machine has a pause button that makes all of this a little more bearable, but boy, what a pain to babysit the washer!) Then, when my husband went to run the garbage disposal in the kitchen sink, the water came spewing back out the washing machine drain pipe. So my husband guessed we had a blockage that had moved from the washing machine pipe to the kitchen (where the main drain is). The next day he used the bladder again and noticed what looked like sand in the opening where he inserted it. We ran the water through the bladder for quite a while, but the pipe is STILL backing up.
One more thing--my dad thought we might have a broken pipe, which is entirely possible--the house was built on a slab foundation with copper pipes running through the slab. We were told that in the late 60s, when the house was built, builders didn't know that concrete and copper don't mix, so we inherited disintegrating pipes. We fixed leaky pipes downstairs by re-running them through the ceiling, but that really isn't an option for a drain...
This is driving us crazy... We really don't want to call someone to take care of it after all the time, money, and effort we've put into it, but we're starting to feel beaten. Does this sound like a broken pipe? Could it be something is still clogging it? Any suggestions for addressing the issue? Or are we truly beaten?
Thanks for any help!