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View Diary: Saturday Morning Home Repair: v7.16 (150 comments)

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  •  Plumbing question (7+ / 0-)

    When the washing machine is draining, bubbles come out of the toilet in the adjacent bathroom. Any ideas?

    The only trouble with retirement is...I never get a day off!

    by Mr Robert on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 11:31:06 AM PST

    •  Glen the Plumber would be best to answer this (6+ / 0-)

      My uneducated self says the drainage is not right. Where the hose from the washer goes into the drain pipe, is it sealed? If so, it may be some type of vapor-lock occuring.

      Like I said, I'm no plumber, so take with a grain of salt.

      "The less time you have, the more you need to use it wisely." - Cpt. Avatar, Starblazers

      by DeathDlr73 on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 12:20:54 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  very odd...when you say bubbles...do you mean (7+ / 0-)

      gurgle or suds.

      could be connected to the vent piping for the toilet...or a slow drain pipe after the toilet...washing machines drain very quickly and could be partial back-up into toilet.

      actually need to go to work...I'll be thinking about this one...

      •  I agree - venting issue or back-up? (7+ / 0-)

        Can you be more specific, give more details?

        One test you can easily do is throw a package of Kool-Aid (something blue or red) into the washer and switch on the spin/drain cycle to see if any of the color shows up in the toilet. If not, it's probably a venting issue - washers are supposed to drain into a "slop-sink" (and the hose should have an old nylon stocking tied over the end to catch lint, etc, so it doesn't go down the drain - old tip), so that any "whoosh" into the drain is mitigated - but mine is piped directly into a "stand-pipe"  I made that goes into a floor drain in the basement, so we never have an issue with bubbling in other drains, but picture it this way - as all that water rushes into a drain pipe, depending on where it's connected in your house, the pipe may be as small as 1-1/4" (bathroom sink drain) or 1-1/2" (kitchen drain size) before it goes into the sewer "stack" - usually 3"-4" diameter, so the water from a washer can easily fill the pipe, displacing a lot of air quickly, which might be coming back up INTO the house as bubbles, just as you describe.

        But without more info, like where it's draining, what kind of connection the outlet pipe has to your house plumbing, etc - all we can do is guess.

        "...greed and selfishness and striving for undue riches can never bring lasting happiness or good to the individual or to his neighbors." FDR

        by CodeTalker on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 03:01:25 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  The washer has a drain hose (3+ / 0-)

          that has a U shape on the end and that goes into what I think you mean when you say standpipe.

          The only trouble with retirement is...I never get a day off!

          by Mr Robert on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 09:56:26 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  and what changed to cause the back up? roots... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Bronx59, Glen The Plumber

          spoons, grease, toys..something is slowing the main drain if it used to work before?

          I agree that the bubbles are from the smaller lines backing up because the main line is now slow, and why?...if it used to work properly in the past....  good tip about the kool aid.

          However, the bubbles should not appear in the toilet unless the toilet vent is plugged, right? So unlikely both things are happening, unless something is cloggin the vent and slowed the drain lines enough to build up gumbo... maybe.

          I'd probably start with a simple snake down the vent to start with...but it's not that, heh.

          And if you can uncap the main drain, have a go and see if Mr Snake either
          1. appears..especially if a live snake

          2. can pass down the drain without meeting any such root mass (since it seems to happen quickly, any blockage may be near or in the house maybe..), still, do the math, that amount of water can be calculated even to give an idea of where the blockage is...if you like maths...and can see the drain pipes to calculate sizes and lengths..mah snake stopped just before the eventual root mass!..next:

          Another possibility: I was amazed to see in our slab 1956 house that there was cast iron drain pipe under the slab that went to a paper/resin product right at the slab edge, then 25' to the septic tank...this gets eventually crushed and root clogs...solution, dig it up and replace it with ABS.  
               It's dirty, easy, and manly, you will be a hero, and maybe don't ask the city, yours if you are on septic may have a Plan to heavily bother and tax septic tank owners, like our town does because of creeks and the like, but mostly corrupt politicians.
            We had the same symptoms, bubbles, slow draining..and a leaky toilet base wax finally was It., gumbo all in the bathroom and under the wall plates even and into the closet!!..rooter man scoped it, showed us the collapsed resin pipe, he derooted it, but roots were going to come back in it .
             We sold the house soon after and we plotted out and showed the new DIY owner exactly where and how, he was right on it.

               Maybe plug/cap  the toilet vent and see what mayhem occurs when you drain the washer, many more bubbles means that some air was going up the vent, just some was getting to the toilet...cap it, the blockage/slow drain would fill the drain and the now being displaced air would have to almost all go out the toilet or even other toilets or sinks on that circuit?...have scrap towels handy, lots.. That will show the vent was probably working correctly and you are seeing just some of the air being displaced as the drain fills. As it drains slowly the vent allows enough air so you probably aren't seeing the toilet water get sucked down like when the city uses a vacuum truck on the main drains.  My bet, clogged main drain, roots, desperately seeking water: yours. You were done with it right?

          Another possibility: I was amazed to see in our slab 1956 house the cast iron drain pipe under the slab went to a paper/resin product septic drain right at the slab edge, then 25' to the septic tank...this gets eventually crushed and roots clog it...solution, dig it up and replace it with ABS.  It's dirty, easy, pretty cheap for DIY and manly, you will be a hero. Maybe don't ask the city, yours if you are on septic may have a Plan to heavily bother and tax septic tank owners, and prevent you from doing this work yourself!... like our idiot corrupt town does because of creeks and the like, but mostly corrupt politicians. And corrupt plumbing drain contractors.
            We had the same symptoms, bubbles, slow draining..and a leaky toilet base wax finally was It., gumbo all in the bathroom and under the wall plates even and into the closet!!..rooter man scoped it, showed us the collapsed resin pipe, he derooted it, roots were going to come back in it .
             We sold the house soon after and we plotted out and showed the new DIY owner exactly where and how, he was right on it.

          It's all an experiment.

            Flush the toilet with a bucket (you can stop quicker if you need to when you see these bubbles)...does it drain?..that may tell you the drain really is filling and not draining fast..but we pretty much guessed that already.

          Report back, heh.

          no advice taken from your invisible friends on the innernetz should be believed, and the givers of such advice are not to be held responsible, unless they were right.

          This machine kills Fascists.

          by KenBee on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 10:29:11 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  I'd call it a gurgle n/t (3+ / 0-)

        The only trouble with retirement is...I never get a day off!

        by Mr Robert on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 09:54:54 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I agree with the others... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Mr Robert

          most likely you have a partial blockage in the drainage system...which may or may not get worse...I need to snake out tree roots every couple years.

          less likely are the vent problems...you could try to flush out the vent with a hose (please be careful on roof)...or could be a poorly designed system.

          let us know if you need clarifications or find any more clues.

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