A toilet is a very important fixture at home. However, toilets experience many problems that many homeowners often overlook. One of the underestimated toilet problems is a gurgling toilet and if left untreated, it can make your bathroom smell like sewage or worse. A gurgling or bubbling toilet is not only an annoyance, but it can be a sign of a much bigger problem.
Most times, toilet gurgling indicates the presence of negative air pressure building up in the drain pipe. This often creates an airlock, causing a reverse suction. When there is a reverse suction, the air is pushed back into the drain pipe, bringing back waste to the toilet bowl.
Fortunately, toilet gurgling is a problem that's very simple and easy to fix without the help of a plumber. This article will take you through some of the causes of a bubbling toilet and the possible remedy. Keep reading.
Reasons Why You Have a Gurgling Toilet
The most common reason your toilet is gurgling is that it is clogged. When waste and debris build up in the toilet bowl, it can create a blockage. This blockage prevents water from draining properly, causing a gurgling noise. Clogging also affects toilet drainages and vent pipes.
To fix this problem, you will need to unclog the toilet yourself, or some clogs might require the expertise of a plumber. Clogging can occur as a result of weak flushing, flushing hard stuff, and flushing too much toilet paper. This is why most modernized homes have dual flush toilets. A strong flush lessens the tendency of toilet clogging.
The Toilet Bowl is Not Filling Up
When you flush your toilet, and the bowl doesn't fill up with water, it is a sign that there is a clog somewhere in the system. A clogged vent pipe can cause this problem. The function of the vent pipe is to release air into the drainpipe so that water can flow freely. If the vent pipe is clogged, air can't get into the drainpipe, and the water won't be able to flow freely. This can lead to a gurgling sound when you flush your toilet.
Personal items, grooming products, paper towels, and entire toilet paper rolls can also cause blockage. If you see anything floating in the toilet that's not human waste and isn't an appropriate amount of toilet paper, it's always best to don a pair of rubber gloves to remove them from the toilet as soon as possible.
Sediment Build Up
If your toilet bubbles when flushed, sediment buildup could also be the culprit. Over time, sediment can build up inside of your plumbing and toilet system. If your toilet tank has hard water that's heavy in magnesium, iron, or calcium, it's likely to get clogged. The sediment buildup can clog your water lines with a hard water scale, making your toilet bubble and gurgle as the tank fills up with water.
The easiest and quickest way to fix this is to inspect and replace the water inlet lines inside your home if they look discolored. They'll appear reddish-orange or brown. You can also use a commercial cleaner such as CLR, in combination with a scrub brush or bleach, to get rid of the sediment.
The Toilet's Vent Stack Might Be Blocked
If your toilet is continually bubbling and gurgling, it might be because the vent stack that goes up through your roof is blocked. The vent stack is a vertical pipe that leads from your toilet up to your home's roof. It helps control the air pressure of the sewer lines and helps to release the exhaust gas into the air.
If it's blocked, it can cause the negative air pressure inside the plumbing pipes. In most cases, you'll find debris, a bird's nest, and even the carcass of a small animal, probably a rodent or a bat, lodged within or on top of the pipe. Before you reach out to pull out whatever clog might be lodged in your vent pipe, make sure you have a proper look as a safety measure.
The Main Line Sewer Drain
The main line sewer drain is the horizontal pipe that takes water away from your home. It is usually located underground, and it is the final exit point for all the wastewater in your home.
Blocked sewer lines are typically caused by tree roots growing inside underground sewer pipes, pipes cracking and separating, or foundational shifts in the ground beneath an area of land.
Faulty Toilet Tank Parts
If the components within your toilet become faulty, they can also cause gurgling and other toilet bubbling issues. If you've never replaced your plumbing system or the flapper, the rubber hood that opens and closes when the toilet is flushed, it may be defective, causing air pressure issues.
Remove the lid from the toilet tank and flush the toilet a few times to inspect these components while the toilet is flushing. As it flushes, watch to see if the water level in the bowl drops significantly before the tank is empty. The water level should be around half an inch below the overflow tube. If it's not, you may need to replace your flush valve or ballcock.
You may also need to purchase a toilet flush kit if there isn't enough water to touch the bottom portion. You can find a toilet flush kit cheaply at any local home improvement store. Alternatively, try to invest in the most powerful toilet to save yourself from such crazy expenses, like replacing the toilet tank parts.
Air in the Lines
If the water in your toilet tank is clean and there's no sediment build-up, the issue may be the air in the lines. This happens when there's a break in the line or a loose connection. You'll need to have a professional plumber come out to take a look at your toilet's plumbing and make the necessary repairs.
How to Fix a Gurgling Toilet
If the toilet gurgles when flushed, it's important to take action immediately because ignoring it can make it worse. Even if it means replacing the entire toilet, make sure you purchase the best flushing toilet to avoid future problems. Here are some of the ways to fix a bubbling toilet:
Unclog the Toilet Using a Toilet Plunger
One of the quickest and easiest ways to fix a bubbling toilet is to unclog it using a toilet plunger. Put the plunger over the toilet bowl's hole and press it into the toilet drain a few times to create a vacuum until the clog breaks up.
Ensure you seal off any other fixture in the bathroom with duct tape before plunging the toilet. This will keep pressure from escaping and allow it to clear the drain line. If the plunger doesn't do the job, use a manual or mechanized sewer snake to clear out the harder to reach and tough clogs.
Use a Sewer Snake
This is also known as a toilet auger. It's used to dislodge tough clogs that are trapped in the drain hole of the toilet sink. A toilet auger may be manual or mechanized. Both of them work well, but most homeowners prefer the mechanized one because it's easy to use.
Most toilet augers have blades at their head, which is extremely beneficial as you can use them to cut through tough clogs. Most toilet augers are also owned by plumbers, as homeowners are used to owning plungers.
If the clog is too close to the toilet's drain hole, use the manual auger, and if the clog is in the deeper part of the pipe, use a mechanized auger. Also, before choosing to use a mechanized model, ensure the plunger's head can fit through the drain hole of your toilet sink.
Check the Vent Pipe
The next thing you should do is to check the vent pipe. The main function of the vent pipe is to allow fresh air into the sewer system so that the water can flow freely. A clog in your vent pipe will restrict airflow, which will result in toilet gurgling.
If you resort to this method, you'll need appropriate tools such as a garden hose, a little flashlight, a thin rope, an air compressor, a ladder, and a helping hand to hold the ladder. Tie the thin flashlight with the thin rope, ensure it's turned on, let it down the vent pipe and look carefully.
If the clog is too deep, use a garden hose with running water to wash it down the vent pipe and through the sewer. If the clog isn't so deep, use a hook to pull it out, and then use duct tape to reinforce the tightness of the flashlight to the rope. This way, you will reduce your toilet gurgle when flushed.
Call the Plumber
If the above methods don't work, you'll need to call a professional plumber to snake the line and clear the clog for you. As the plumber is a professional person, they can quickly identify the problem and take the necessary steps to resolve the issue.
Also, if you meddle with stuff you aren't familiar with, you might end up causing severe damages that might incur serious damage. It's important to tread on the safe path and hire a plumber. You should also consider your safety, as falling off your home's roof will incur medical bills, which is counter productive since you're looking to cut costs.
FAQs on Why You Have a Gurgling Toilet
Why does my toilet make a gurgling sound after flushing?
There are a few reasons as to why your toilet might make a gurgling sound after flushing. One possibility is that there is something blocking the drainage pipe, preventing water from flowing through smoothly. Another possibility is that the vent pipe, which helps regulate air pressure in the drainage system, is blocked.
Why is my toilet bubbling and not flushing?
There could be a few reasons as to why your toilet is bubbling but not flushing. One possibility is that the water level in the bowl is too low, so when you flush, not enough water goes into the trapway and causes the toilet to bubble. Another possibility is that there is a blockage in the drain pipe or vent pipe.
Final Thought on Why My Toilet is Gurgling When Flushing
If your toilet bubbles when flushed, it can be either easy to fix or a complicated repair. Depending on the root cause, troubleshooting a gurgling or bubbling toilet may be something you can do on your own.
It's not best to ignore toilet gurgles, as these can lead to potentially dangerous conditions inside and around your home. If the problem persists or you find it difficult to deal with various components of your plumbing system, contact a professional plumber or contractor to take care of the issue for you.