Why are soap suds coming up out of my washing machine drain pipe?
I hope someone here might be able to help me. I have lived in my house for almost 3 years now and it is a new house. Within the last 2-3 weeks soap suds have begun backing up out of the washing machine drain in the wall. You can run just water and there will be no drain problem at all. We have tried different brands of soap and different amounts. The overflow of suds occurs when the machine is pumping out any remaining water before the rinse cycle and spin cycle. When it pumps mainly water it flows fine, but when it pumps very little water and mostly air is when the suds come up. I called several appliance repairmen that I know and they all thought that the drain line might be clogged. My plummer came out and ran a 6' snake through the drain and a 75' through the cleanout. He said he really didn't feel anything and thought it was clear. Low and behold it foamed up again. I traced the roof vent line for the washing machine and ran the water from the hose down the vent (don't know if that was bad to do or not, but no leaks in the vent). It drained fine, so I do not think it was clogged. Ran the machine again and suds came out. I cut the sheet rock and found that I have a 2" drain line about 24" long from the top of the drain to the bottom of the p-trap. From the p-trap it angles up and over to a 2" vertical pipe. At this connection there is a 1-1/2" vent above the fitting and a 2" drain pipe below the fitting that goes down into the slab. About 4" below this fitting there is a laundry room wall cleanout. I estimate the length of the vent pipe to be about 24' to the roof. with a 45 degree fitting to go around a rafter at about 10'. I could lower the p-trap to be around 34" long, but I would have to put the cleanout above the p-trap level. Would that be bad to do and do you think by adding 8" to 10" of length might solve the suds problem? The one thing that has bothered both the plumber and myself is that this happened all the time at my last house (which was also a new house) but never at the house we rented before that. I was concerned when we moved into this house but I did not have a problem till now. I will try and insert a picture here but if it doesn't work, I can email a picture of the pipes if that will help. If its not the plumbing, then does anyone know a good appliance repair website that may know what is wrong with my washing machine?
Thanks in advance.
Amana Stainless here too!
I used a 4 inch paint roller and put it into the standpipe and put the hose through it creating a nice tight fit. No more soap suds coming up at the end of the spin cycle. I've heard that you can get a compression fitting that does the same thing. I kind of like the paint roller look!!!
Hope that is useful!
Three theories of suds in the drain -
I think this problem persists, for many people.
Originally Posted by KULTULZ
My mom's machine is doing it right now.
The plumber couldn't fix it, but he put on the gray rubber collar,
which reduced the outflow by 80-90%, but it still needs to be wrapped with a towel.
I like KULTULZ's example, the almost-sealed fitting and the smooth black hose.
I bet Luann's paint roller works pretty well too.
But I just want people (including washer mfrs) to start thinking about how to prevent suds generation in the drain
instead of trying to seal it in, which isn't quite working in my case.
The machine usually doesn't make suds inside; it's carefully designed not to.
"Inside" would mean before the drain pump, assuming there is one.
The pump might well make suds in the drain hose when it over-runs and sucks air
and pushes bubbles thru the soapy water still standing in the ascending part of the drain hose.
I guess then a smaller diameter of drain-hose might help. (theory1)
The black one shown in the KULTULZ photo is definitely smaller than the big white corrugated hose I've got now.
I'm wondering whether my corrugations make suds when the discharge is running fast. (theory2)
KULTULZ's black hose would be smooth inside.
I'm wondering if the exact angle of the hose end in the mouth of the drain standpipe matters - a flying
arc of water splashing into soapy water below might entrain lots of air, making excess suds. (theory3)
In K's photo the tip of that black hose, inside the standpipe, might be angled against the left wall by the springiness of its 180-degree bend.
I think that might help; the water stream would be hugging the pipe wall instead of plunging headlong into the soapy water below.
All these things can change without being noticed any time the machine is moved or serviced.
The fixes which would help most are different depending on which of these 3 theories is right.
It seems like a messed up design situation.