Bubbles in tiolet - Problem Solved

A few weeks ago I posted about a problem with bubbles and soap going into a tiolet when the washing machine runs. I tried snaking it every which way, etc.
I had read about suds zones which gave me an idea. I switched back to Arm-n-Hammer detergent (instead of Tide) and the problem is non-existent.
Hope this helps someone (given this is common problem discussed in this group.)
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It's good to hear follow-up. So many interesting problems seem to evaporate.
TB
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snipped-for-privacy@bellsouth.net wrote in

Which could be a good thing if it's a water problem. <g>
--
Wayne in Phoenix

*If there's a nit to pick, some nitwit will pick it.
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The problem is not your soap. Your sewer venting is a problem. There should be no effect on the toilet from a washing machine discharge.
--

Roger Shoaf

About the time I had mastered getting the toothpaste back in the tube, then
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No the sewer venting is not a problem. Please read up on this type of problem before posting your opinion as fact. Try reading up on a "suds control zone."
Excessive suds cause exactly this problem. Sorry dude.
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OK I did a little reading,
==========gin quote==========================Code Questions Question: We have noticed that some plumbing codes have suds zone requirements while others do not. Which code is correct?
Julius replies: The plumbing code with the suds zone has the older code requirements. The plumbing codes that have more recently evaluated the suds zone requirements have eliminated the code section. Hence, suds zones are not effective.
There have been a lot of studies done on sudsing in a drainage stack in tall buildings. Suds are caused by a combination of turbulent action, air and high sudsing detergents. If you eliminate one, you have eliminated the development of suds in the stack. If you study the design layout recommended for a suds pressure zone, the layout does nothing to eliminate any of these three items.
The suds zone concept was based on delaying the suds entering the drainage stack. There was nothing in the suds zone to eliminate sudsing. Once the suds zone filled with suds, the suds then entered the drainage stack.
The current theory of suds prevention is the use of low sudsing detergents and smooth pattern fittings. One of the problems, however, is we have no control over the types of detergents sold on the retail level. Hence, the sizing of the drainage stack and the proper use of fittings is very important.
Another means of reducing the creation of suds is by having a drainage stack discharge into a larger diameter building drain. In other words, a 3-inch stack discharging into a 4-inch building drain.
===========end quote=================== Seems to me it might be more accurate to state that since the plumbing is flawed (my point) using a low sudsing detergent is necessary (your point).
--

Roger Shoaf

About the time I had mastered getting the toothpaste back in the tube, then
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The point is: My plumbing is not "flawed," it was done per code when it was built. This suds problem occurred recently. While I thought the problem was a drain or vent blockage - it turns out that we recently switched to "Tide with fabric softner" about the time this problem started happening.
So I have two choices, rip up everthing including the concrete floor and replumb the drain waste lines -or- change detergents and have no problems.
A no brainer if you ask me.
The purpose of my original post was to inform people that they should try different soaps when trying to diagnose this problem. This is a problem that comes up freuqntly on this board - and the answer is always "your vent is clogged, a bird or animal probably died in it."
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I disagree. The reason I say this is that a few soap bubbles are causing the drains in your home not to function as desired. While I may very well have solved the issue the same way you did, the fact that problem came up is indicative of a poorly designed waste system.
This suds problem occurred recently. While I thought

OK, so to an extent I agree with you. I will however point out that others read this newsgroup to learn. Assume for instance that a person was going to remodel and would be exposing the wall or otherwise had access to the waste pipes that was convenient. Rather than allowing the condition to exist the homeowner might consider adding better venting to allow the soap bubbles to make their merry way into the sewer without making the trip via their toilet.
Others might be building their dream house and might want to consider the building code as only a minimum standard not an optimal one. For these instances, they might very well consider your story when deciding that taking a little more time to design the waste system or perhaps spring for a few more feet of vent pipe.
I also think that if brand X soap does a better job of cleaning clothes than brand Y, (I offer no opinion about the effectiveness of any particular soap.) then that might also be a factor in consideration when faced with soap in the toilet.
--

Roger Shoaf

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is
Maybe someone was just really lazy and figured having the soap bubbles would stop the need to clean the toilet?
: )
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I hear what you are saying however, the person reading this group and reads a post about "bubbles in a tiolet" is probably searching for a similar problem and not "building their dream house."
In the case that someone was reading this to learn about improved plumbing, what would they have learned? The only thing you offered is that my system is "flawed" (without knowning anything about it) and to "add a few more feet of vent pipe" which in my case would do absolutely nothing.
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Here is what I know. When your washing machine discharges and you use a particular kind of soap you get suds in your toilet.
I contend that this is not the fault of the soap, but the condition of your plumbing. The way it is supposed to work is any liquid entering a drain is suppoed to make the trip to the sewer without visiting your toilet first.
and to

Most folks do not have your problem. They use whatever kind of soap they feel like and there toilet never knows. Your washing machine discharge is not being carried to the street without stopping in your toilet first.
If you were to take a 50 foot piece of drain pipe and pitch it properly and vent it properly, and then used the same soap and discharged your washing machine into that pipe, would not all the suds flow right out the pipe?
In your case I also know that the discharge from your washing machine is overcoming the weight of the water in your toilet trap and allowing a reverse flow. It is not supposed to do that. If a little suds is doing that that is definitely systematic of a problem with the plumbing.
Since you claim to have snaked all the lines, and found them to be clear, This still leaves you with the problem. If it not the design and condition of your waste system, then why do millions of housewives use the same kind of soap and not have it back up into their toilet?
--

Roger Shoaf

About the time I had mastered getting the toothpaste back in the tube, then
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Again, "adding a few more feet of vent pipe" will do absolutely nothing.
Sudsing at the base of a stack "is" a common problem - check this newsgroup.
My 4" drain has perfect pitch, is not colapsed, etc. What happens is that the soap/water hits the base of the stack (right where the tiolet is.) There are enough suds (not a "little" as you claim) to effectively stop proper venting.
One way to fix this could possibly be to have the washing machine discharge further down the line or move the tiolet further away perpendicular from the main waste line or slow the discharge rate of the washing machine.
The house was built in 1968 and was all done to code period. I've lived there for over 10 years and have never had a problem. I don't think that Tide with fabric softner existed in 1968 and being that it is the only type that causes this problem I don't necessarily fault the plumbing.
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I understand, we seem to be saying close to the same thing but using different words. As I understand the physics of waste water plumbing, vents are used so pressure or vacuum is not created in the pipes so that the water flows freely to the sewer by the force of gravity.
The way your system is designed, there is pressure created when your washing machine discharges sudsy water. This pressure does not have an escape route via a vent so the pressure vents through your toilet trap. If a vent had been installed at this point, the pressure of the sudsy water would have an escape route via the vent pipe and not blow by your tiolet trap. This is the few feet of vent pipe I was refering to.
Your suds are creating a temporary seal preventing the usual back flow of air that is displaced by the water flowing through the pipe.

Like I said before the code is a minimal standard, not the optimal standard. The longer your sewage stays in your pipe, the more that sticks and creates a build up.
I do not advocate ripping your house apart to install another vent just to solve your problem with suds in your toilet bowl. I said before your solution of changing soap might be the solution I chose to use. another approach might be to use a reduced amount of soap. The softening action of the Tide brand might be more effective in allowing the surfactants to release the soil from your laundry.
I've

Aint life grand? Just as the difference in life's experiences assist justice and curb governmental abuses by having the jury system, so does the internet facilitate the sharing of experiences and opinions.
Perhaps some folks installing a new waste system or working an existing one might someday remember this thread and choose to buy a little bigger pipe or perhaps attempt to save a few bucks and just try and live within the margins of design they have set themselves.
In either case they will have a foundation for making an informed decision or at least know what questions to ask.
--
Roger Shoaf
If you are not part of the solution, you are not dissolved in the solvent.
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OK, admit it. You're wife is real sick of you cussing all the time. She washed your mouth out with soap. You took a shit and the soap was in your shit and formed bubbles. Now everyone knows about your disgusting vocabulary !!!!
I hope you are ashamed of yourself.... <lol>
On 17 Dec 2004 11:05:41 -0800, poison snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

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