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Old 02-15-2011, 07:02 AM   #1
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Bubbles in bathroom toilet


For months now, there are bubbles in the toilets when I wash a "large" load of clothes. I have paid a plumber about $200.00 to snake out to the street and to check the roof vents. I still have the same issue and the plumber says there are no blockages and the vents are clear.

Any further suggestions -- do I need a second opinion or is this just something I have to live with? The house is only 7 years old and this just started a few months ago. Helps and thanks so much.

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Old 02-15-2011, 08:17 AM   #2
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Bubbles in bathroom toilet


If you can, post some pics of the plumbing that serves your toilet, washer and vents. There are some good plumbers on here that can help but pictures are very helpful. Just off the top of my head it sounds like something is not quite adequate there even if it is all clear. Possible your vent is too small, too far away etc.

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Old 02-15-2011, 08:41 AM   #3
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Bubbles in bathroom toilet


Jim,
Thanks for the info. But one last question, if the vent is too small, why would this just now be occurring -- house was new construction, been in it 7 years and this has just become a problem.
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Old 02-15-2011, 11:47 AM   #4
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Bubbles in bathroom toilet


Where are the toilets (you used the plural) in relation to the washer?
- In different rooms on the same floor but back-to-back
- or on the same floor but down the hall
- or on a different floor but directly above the washer
- or on a different floor but not directly above the washer?
- About how far away in feet?

Do the bubbles happen only during draining of the soapy water, or only during draining of rinse water, or both?
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Old 02-15-2011, 12:01 PM   #5
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Bubbles in bathroom toilet


My house is one floor. One bathroom is right next to the laundry room. The second bathroom is down the hall, across a 20 foot wide family room and through a 15 foot wide master bedroom, so I would say that is approximately 35 to 45 feet away. They both bubble when washing machine is in the final rinse.

Thanks for your input.
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Old 02-15-2011, 12:49 PM   #6
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Bubbles in bathroom toilet


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Originally Posted by repairlady View Post
My house is one floor. One bathroom is right next to the laundry room. The second bathroom is down the hall, across a 20 foot wide family room and through a 15 foot wide master bedroom, so I would say that is approximately 35 to 45 feet away. They both bubble when washing machine is in the final rinse.

Thanks for your input.
Since the second toilet is about 40 feet away, I assume it has a separate vent up through the roof. (If you look at your roof, you probably see two vent pipes, one above each location.) That being the case, it seems to eliminate a venting problem. The plumber verifying that the vents and drain to the street are all clear makes it even more of a mystery since there weren't any bubbles for 7 years.

By chance, did you change your washing machine or detergent just prior to your bubbling problem? Just as an experiment, maybe try your next large wash without any detergent first and see if the bubbles still happen.

After that, I'm out of ideas,
HRG
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Old 02-15-2011, 01:40 PM   #7
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Bubbles in bathroom toilet


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Originally Posted by Homerepairguy View Post

By chance, did you change your washing machine or detergent just prior to your bubbling problem?
I agree... is it an HE washer and maybe you are using standard detergent... that would create extra suds...

is there an odour to the bubbles??? does it smell like detergent???

rod
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Old 02-15-2011, 01:52 PM   #8
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Bubbles in bathroom toilet


I would have to say that I do not think it has anything to do with the detergent. I have had the same washer for the past five years and continue to use the same liquid detergent that creates very few soap suds.
I am not a plumber, but I feel it has to be something in the lines because they cannot handle the large surge of water during the final rinse which is when the machine spins the fastest and most likely the time that the largest amount of water is going into the sewer lines.

The water in the toilets just bubbles, there's no odor or suds at all. If you do flush the toilets immediately after the bubbling the water totally disappears and slowly fills back up.
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Old 02-15-2011, 02:16 PM   #9
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Bubbles in bathroom toilet


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I would have to say that I do not think it has anything to do with the detergent. I have had the same washer for the past five years and continue to use the same liquid detergent that creates very few soap suds.
I am not a plumber, but I feel it has to be something in the lines because they cannot handle the large surge of water during the final rinse which is when the machine spins the fastest and most likely the time that the largest amount of water is going into the sewer lines.

The water in the toilets just bubbles, there's no odor or suds at all. If you do flush the toilets immediately after the bubbling the water totally disappears and slowly fills back up.
OK, same washer and detergent so another thought. Is the toilet that is 40' away from the washer, closer to the street?

Assume that the toilet 40' away from the washer is closer to the street. When the washer drains the final rinse, the water in the drain is compressing the air in the drain as the water runs toward the street. This could cause bubbling in the toilet 40' away since it is downstream of the washer. BUT, there should be a vent for that toilet which prevents any air compression from bubbling in the toilet. Now if the vent for that second toilet is clogged, then that toilet could bubble. Did the plumber verify that both air vents are clear? Or only that the vent by the washer and adjacent toilet is clear?

Last edited by Homerepairguy; 02-15-2011 at 02:18 PM.
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Old 02-17-2011, 02:21 PM   #10
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Bubbles in bathroom toilet


Quote:
For months now, there are bubbles in the toilets when I wash a "large" load of clothes. I have paid a plumber about $200.00 to snake out to the street and to check the roof vents. I still have the same issue and the plumber says there are no blockages and the vents are clear.
I'm guessing the plumber missed the blockage. Where did he snake from? If it was an outside cleanout, then the blockage is either upstream of that or you have a belly in the line between the house and the street. Did he run a camera down the line?
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Old 02-17-2011, 02:35 PM   #11
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Bubbles in bathroom toilet


I had the plumber come out yesterday for the third time and he went back through the line from the front of the house back to both toilets and he put a camera through the line.

I am not a plumber (I'm a beancounter) so I do not understand your terminology "belly" -- I assume you mean a bent pvc pipe.

Yesterday the plumber said for the third time that the lines are clean, but he claims now that there has been settling under the concrete slab and about six feet from the mainline opening at the front of the house the ground movement has caused the pvc pipe to sag therefore when the water hits that there is a slow down which causes the bubbles. Does this make sense.

After he left I washed a huge load of towels which normally causes bubbles, but there were no bubbles. I'm going to give it another test tonight -- I'll wash a large rug and turn on the dishwasher.
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Old 02-17-2011, 02:49 PM   #12
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Bubbles in bathroom toilet


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Yesterday the plumber said for the third time that the lines are clean, but he claims now that there has been settling under the concrete slab and about six feet from the mainline opening at the front of the house the ground movement has caused the pvc pipe to sag therefore when the water hits that there is a slow down which causes the bubbles. Does this make sense.
Yes, that makes perfect sense. (aka "belly").

The only way to fix it properly would be to excavate and replace that section of pipe. Probably not what you want to hear. You can maintain that section however, by periodically flushing it out with a high pressure jetter. The low spot in the line will gather solids over time leading to a soft or partial blockage. Running a snake through it doesn't do much good. It passes right through the sludge.
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Old 02-17-2011, 02:52 PM   #13
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Quote:
I'll wash a large rug
Re-read your post. Just a hint... make sure you have a lint trap (screen) on your washing washing discharge.
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Old 02-17-2011, 02:54 PM   #14
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Bubbles in bathroom toilet


Yes you are correct, I do not want to Jack Hammer through a concrete slab.

So if I ask a plumber to come out an flush it out with a "high pressure jetter" -- will they understand. How often should this be done.

Thanks a million for your input.
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Old 02-17-2011, 03:07 PM   #15
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Bubbles in bathroom toilet


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Originally Posted by repairlady View Post
Yes you are correct, I do not want to Jack Hammer through a concrete slab.

So if I ask a plumber to come out an flush it out with a "high pressure jetter" -- will they understand. How often should this be done.

Thanks a million for your input.
No problem. Yes, they should understand. They may or may not have the equipment to do it, in which case they should know a local company that can. I believe you mentioned the house was 7 years old and this had just recently become a problem. That being said, every few years should be just fine.

The likelihood of a back-up would be decreased with regular periodic maintenance as well as paying close attention to what goes down the drains and toilets. i.e., avoid dumping grease and oils in the drains, use lint traps on the washing machine, nothing but TP and human waste goes in the toilet. No feminine products, baby wipes, cleaning wipes, etc. (even if they say flushable). Educate other members of the household as well.

This is a good guide.

http://www.facebook.com/album.php?id=108723065832453&aid=10325#!/photo.php?fbid=176488299055929&set=a.1266876240359 97.10325.108723065832453&theater

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