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Old 01-27-2011, 03:02 PM   #1
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Toilet backs up with soapy water

I've lived on the first floor of a low rise condo for several years. A few months ago my toilet started to gurgle up air and back up with soapy water. It seems to happen only when the upstairs laundry machine is being used. I can hear their washer running and they do laundry frequently, maybe 5 to 7 loads per week. They said that they have had the same washer for a few years. It isn't a front loader. The property manager had a plumber check the sewer lines and common roof vents but they didn't find any clogs. They snaked both of these and used a camera on the sewer lines. All clear. But the toilet is still backing up. The toilet flushes fine. No sewer gas smells. No dirty water coming up. If the sewer lines and common vents are clear, what else could be causing this back up of soapy water? In addition to the common vents, is there typically a (possibly clogged) vent just for one toilet?


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Old 01-28-2011, 06:00 AM   #2
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I think there is more than one vent..


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Old 01-28-2011, 10:07 AM   #3
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Where did they run the snake and the camera from?

They probably used an outside cleanout that was beyond the blockage.

It's either a blockage in the building drain between your unit and where it leaves the building.


Your upstairs neighbor uses too much detergent or the wrong type of detergent. The soap suds fill the pipe and don't allow for proper ventilation.
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Old 01-28-2011, 11:24 AM   #4
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Thanks for your replies. The snake was used on the sewer lines in the parkade under the building. They cleaned out a section about 30 feet before and after the branch that comes from my toilet. Another branch that comes from my neighbour's toilet is also located on this section. But I don't think they have the same problem that I have with my toilet. The plumber then used the camera on this section to confirm it was clear. The snake was also used on the plumbing vent from the roof of the building. They didn't use the camera on this vent and there is a chance that they didn't snake far enough to reach my toilet. For the laundry soap, what would be the wrong type of soap if they don't have a high efficiency front loader machine? Or if too much soap is being used, would this alone (without clogs in the vent) cause the back up?
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