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Why Is My Toilet Bubbling?

10 January

Does your toilet bowl make a gurgling sound like it’s alive, and is it displeased with its existence?

If so, you might have a blocked drain line or trouble with the main sewer line. Your toilet bowl may bubble if you flush it only occasionally.

Should you panic when you see a bubbling toilet? Not necessarily, but you must take quick action to avoid matters getting worse. Before we dive into the solutions, let’s look at some common causes of gurgling toilets.

What Causes Toilet Gurgles?

If your toilet gurgles or bubbles, it can mostly be a case of negative air pressure within the drainage system. Gurgling sounds are a common problem with toilets, and they point to a block in your drain pipes. To be more specific, water has to flow freely within the pipes. When there is a block, the water is pushed back and forth, resulting in gurgling sounds.

A bubbling toilet is also a vital sign of a failing drainage system. Apart from the causes mentioned above, a bubbling toilet bowl can also be caused by:

  • Clogged toilets
  • Clog in mainline/drain pipes
  • Blockage in vent pipes/stack
  • Problems in the municipal sewer line

Let’s tackle each of these problems individually and in detail.

1. Clogged Toilets

The first and foremost problem you can address is a clogged toilet. The cause of a toilet clog can be things floating around, excess toilet paper, and other miscellaneous items that can get stuck in the bathroom. Additionally, the possibility of their toys getting stuck is high if you have children. Since they are not dissolvable, they stay instant and cause a clog.

When you try to flush, a clogged toilet may also present as a gurgling toilet. This gurgling sound is caused by air trying to escape through the drain. It can indicate that the clog is severe or that there may be a blocked vent stack issue.

If you have multiple toilet drain toilets gurgling after flushing, it likely points to a larger clog further down the drainpipe into which all the toilets feed. Trying a plunger is an excellent first step, but more stubborn blockages may require a plumber’s snake tool or hydro-jetting equipment to clear the toilet drain fully.

Don’t let a clogged toilet go unaddressed, as it can lead to overflowing and water damage over time. Taking care of clogs promptly helps keep your plumbing running smoothly.

Too Much Toilet Paper Clogging Toilet

How To Fix:

You can use a plunger and give the toilet ten to fifteen intense plunges. Considering the blockage is near the surface, these plunges should be enough to eliminate the clog.

If the plunger doesn’t work, you can use a drain snake, a plumber’s auger, or a sewer snake. These can help eliminate the clog quickly. Augers are expensive and require some skill to use. Instead, calling a professional plumber to fix the clog would be a better option.

2. Clog In Main Line / Drain Lines

Drain lines connect your home’s drainage system to the main line. The mainline transports all the wastewater from your home to the city sewer.

An easy way to determine if your drain line is blocked is by examining all the water fixtures in your home. Drain line blockages usually affect only a single room, such as fixtures in the bathroom or kitchen. On the contrary, mainline blocks will affect your entire home rather than a single room.

Your drain line can develop a clog for the same reason as a clogged toilet: negative air pressure. This, in turn, causes your toilet to gurgle or bubble.

The issue worsens when the block is situated deeper, where consumer-level tools cannot quite reach. You must use a professional plumber to fix the problem in such cases.

Clogged Main Drain Line

How To Fix:

If your drain line has a clog closer to the surface, a plumbing auger can help. A professional can use a camera to find and fix the block if the clog is located further down the drain line or even the mainline.

3. Block In Vent Pipes / Stacks

The vertical pipe that leads to your roof is called a vent stack. This controls the air pressure within the plumbing and releases any excess exhaust gas. They are meant to stay as an open channel without letting any other elements, including water, pass through them.

When a vent stack is blocked, it can also indicate negative air pressure. Telltale signs of a vent stack clog are slow drainage and foul odour from the drain pipes. Bird’s nests, rodents, or leaves are the most common causes of a vent stack block.

Clogged Vent Pipe Rusted

How To Fix:

If the block is close to the vent stack’s surface, you can solve it yourself. Just climb onto your roof and remove any block-causing debris. If the block is located further down, a professional plumber can help snake it out.

4. Municipal Sewer Line Problems

The final cause of toilet bubbling is a mainline clog or drain clog in the municipal sewage system. If this is your issue, the municipality can only fix it, not you. Since the one municipal line ends where the municipal sewer system begins, you do not have access to repair the pipes. Instead, filing a complaint or informing your town municipality about the situation will be helpful.

To confirm it is a municipal sewer line issue, ask your neighbours if they face similar problems, such as strange gurgling sounds from drains. If so, contact the municipality or a water company to have it repaired.

When the clog is on the city’s end of the line, there’s little a homeowner can do besides report it. The municipality has to send crews to locate and clear the blockage in the main sewer line that multiple homes feed into. Trying to fix this problem yourself could violate laws, so it’s best to let the professionals handle clogs past your property line.

Sewer Line Drain

Can Toilet Bubbling Be Fixed Automatically?

The answer to this question is entirely subjective. If the issue that causes your toilet to bubble is resolvable easily, such as vent stack blocks or drain clogs, the toilet can fix itself. When you remove the debris that causes the clog, it regulates the air pressure in the toilet drains and stops the gurgling.

Drain clogs can sometimes clear themselves up, stopping your toilet from bubbling.

However, if the cause of gurgling lies outside your property, such as a main sewer line block, the chances of the toilet fixing itself are low. In such cases, you may have to contact a professional to get the area inspected and repaired.

Professionals have access to better tools, such as drain cameras that can be dropped into the drains or vent stacks and powerful sewer drivers. These tools help them spot the problem more efficiently, resulting in a quicker fix.

Uncover the Mystery Behind Your Bubbling Toilet!

A bubbling toilet is unpleasant, especially when you wish to relax and heed nature’s call! Contact the Gold Coast Plumbing Company experts if you experience gurgling or bubbling toilets. Our team uses the latest technologies to identify the cause of the problem and resolve it as quickly as possible.