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Toilet Bubbles When Washer Drains

  • Transcript

    LESLIE: Now we’re going to take a call from Greg in Indiana who has a toilet problem. Uh-oh, that doesn’t sound good.

    GREG: Well, I had all new plumbing put in my house and now sometimes the toilet flushes and sometimes it doesn’t.

    TOM: Huh.

    GREG: When the washer drains, my toilet becomes a bubbling volcano. (Leslie laughs)

    TOM: Uh-oh. (chuckles) Toil and trouble, boil and bubble.

    GREG: I can say what you might get if you were on the toilet but I don’t think we should do that.

    LESLIE: Well, it’s like a bidet.

    TOM: It’s a combination toilet/bidet, that’s right. (chuckles)

    GREG: Yeah, there you go.

    TOM: Well, the problem is obvious; it’s venting and there’s not enough venting in your plumbing system and so, as your washer drains, that water is creating a suction, a vacuum, and it’s trying to pull that air in from the toilet and that’s why you’re getting the bubbles. So there needs to be an additional vent added to the system. And you said this is a new house?

    GREG: No, it’s an old house but I had all new plumbing put in it.

    TOM: Alright, well it sounds like the plumber must have missed a vent here somewhere and you need to add one.

    Now the good news is you could add a vent probably in a number of locations including underneath the cabinet or even right near that washer drain. There are types of vents that could be put on that include check valves so that they’ll let the air in but they won’t let the sewage gas out.

    GREG: Oh, OK.

    TOM: So I think you just need to get some air in that system and that’s going to solve that toilet mystery for you. And you’re going to find that the whole system is going to drain a lot easier.

    GREG: OK, great.

    TOM: Alright, Greg? Thanks so much for calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT, 888-666-3974.

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