Water gushes out of drain

I live in an apartment building...and the last 2 days have been crazy. Since yesterday the apartment below me has flooded. Now they believe it's my washer drain, but it's never when I'm using the washer...it's hours and hours later. Plus the water not only is going into their apartment, but it's gushing out of the drain in my apartment.
Our landlord is more of a slumlord...so he basically will eventually fix it...next year. :/ We are all trying to figure it out ourselves.
Does anyone have any input as to what may be causing this? It only happens in the evenings.
  23 answers
  • Carole Carole on Oct 06, 2015
    Get a plumber out to take a look. Flooding cannot wait till next year. If your landlord does not see the urgency, get the plumber to fix it now and send the landlord the bill. If you flood the apartment below then it will be an insurance issue for them and they cannot have it keep happening for 3 more months or more.

  • Z Z on Oct 06, 2015
    Being the water is coming out of your drain, I'd check and see if your local health department would get involved in helping you get your landlord to fix it. ASAP.

  • Rachel Z Rachel Z on Oct 06, 2015
    I could try getting a hold of HUD...since this is a mandatory kinda thing. I live below poverty levels and def couldn't afford to call a plumber or anything like that.

    • Z Z on Oct 06, 2015
      @Rachel Z if you feel you've already given your landlord enough reason to get a plumber out there and he/she refused, then my all means. contact HUD.

  • Sherry Gipp Sherry Gipp on Oct 07, 2015
    Contact HUD, if your landlord refuses to fix himself, or call a plumber. It sounds like the washer discharge drain is clogged. the drain will need to be snaked to clear the clog.

  • Peggy Peggy on Oct 07, 2015
    main drain line is clogged. drain water from building is building up. Most water is used in the evening.

  • Arlene Gordanier Arlene Gordanier on Oct 07, 2015
    Had a similar problem in the apt where I live----as said above it is probably a bldg.problem esp if there are garbage disposals. The landlord cleaned out the drain and I am diligent to use "earthworm" from food coop to keep my drains clear and my downstairs neighbor flood free

  • Darla Darla on Oct 07, 2015
    Get recommendations for a good plumber from your neighbors, then call him and split the cost with the other tenants.

  • Judyms9 Judyms9 on Oct 07, 2015
    Tenants who ante up for the cost of the plumber should withhold their amount from their rent with a written explanation of why. Keep records of notifications to the slumlord and his/her response or lack of same. If most tenants take action, the landlord has a very weak legal hand here. Good luck.

  • Emily Emily on Oct 07, 2015
    first of all determine if it really is your washer. Don't use it for a while and see if the backup is still happening. Good luck, this sounds like a real problem esp with an uncooperative landlord.

  • Kincaid99 Kincaid99 on Oct 07, 2015

  • Rachel Z Rachel Z on Oct 07, 2015
    Can't move due to having pets. Nobody in this area allows them but my landlord. No, getting rid of them is not an option...I'd rather live in an abandoned shack. I am not using the drain...gonna see if there is still water coming out this evening. My washer is a mini-washer...uses only 3 buckets of water to wash & 3 to rinse. Drains slowly as well...so there's not a massive amount of water going into it. Either way...still gonna see how tonight goes.

  • Judy Judy on Oct 07, 2015
    Would add to what JudyMS9 wrote to also contact your local housing authority as well as consumer protection agency. Most important advice is to COA by keeping a running record of the incident, and all contacts made to the landlord (preferably follow-up with written notice) and any other person or agency contacted., date & time.

  • MaryAnn B MaryAnn B on Oct 07, 2015
    I'm not even close to being a plumber, but you can research air vent to the roof or vapor lock. Both of these can cause a problem. I would definitely not use the washer for a few days and see if the flooding occurs then.

  • Cynthia Nye Cynthia Nye on Oct 07, 2015
    Are you on septic? Tank could be full.

  • 861650 861650 on Oct 07, 2015
    There are laws, rules and regulations the landlord has to follow. You call look them up on your computer. Contact the city inspector. When he/she comes out you stay with them. Don't allow them to blow you off. (It happened to me). If there is an issue, get their supervisor's name and their manager's name and how to contact. And, to put pressure, send a detailed email to the city mayor plus the city attorney. Continue to call the inspector's office if you have not heard from them.

  • Rachel Z Rachel Z on Oct 07, 2015
    Like clockwork...7 pm hit and water, old food, & some black stuff is all over my floor. I have not used this drain since yesterday. It doesn't do this when the drain is used...only at 7 pm :/ I personally called the landlord & left a message. I live in a very small town...so not sure we even have a city inspector here...

  • Rachel Z Rachel Z on Oct 07, 2015
    He has one of his guys come by...but not much getting done. I guess they are getting a snake and starting in the basement and working their way up. So far I'm the only one who is getting the brunt of the damage. Me and directly below me anyways. The smell is just plain awful downstairs...sewage smell. Could be all the rotting food coming up causing the smell....I can't imagine how food could get in there but some people aren't exactly responsible renters, either.

  • Sherry Gipp Sherry Gipp on Oct 08, 2015
    does the water have your laundry detergent smell?

  • Wanda.ll Wanda.ll on Oct 08, 2015
    I think you have to notify him by mail registered/certified that there is a problem with something( way it is in Texas). If he doesn't fix it you can have it fixed and take off rent save the bill and a copy.Call the near by court. health inspector and see if they can help. Might have to call your state office to see too. Don't give up get help ASAP. This is a major health problem with sewer gasses and all . Place can explode if enough gas builds up.

  • HouseLogic.com HouseLogic.com on Oct 08, 2015
    You should call your local attorney general's office ASAP and report your landlord. You can find more info about this here. Your flooding issue is a major hazard that needs to be addressed ASAP. http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD?src=/states/pennsylvania/renting/tenantrights

  • Jan Munroe Jan Munroe on Oct 08, 2015
    I have friends who were flooded twice because the nearby restrauant was flusing things down the drain. They were blocking the main and it was backing up into my friends basement. Is any business close by that may be dumping something at that time as regular maintenance? The city may need to check the main sewer.

  • Rachel Z Rachel Z on Oct 08, 2015
    The temporary cap we put on seemed to have stopped it. No water anywhere tonight thank god. Luckily I have a mini washer so I can put it anywhere there's an outlet & a drain...so basically I can put it in my kitchen or bathroom and it'll do the job.

  • L L on Oct 09, 2015
    Check with code enforcement in your town. They will be able to make your landlord fix the problem but it may take time. Also...BE AWARE...if he does not fix at first notification and code enforcement has to take him to court they may have to condemn the apartments if a health hazard exists. It is a difficult thing....I hope you can get relief. When the hubs gets home I'll have him read this and post more if he has a suggestion.