Toilet Bubbling: How to Identify the Problem and Fix It

Jump to Section

When I was a child, hearing the bubbling toilet sounds gives me some grisly thoughts just like that from horror movies: Maybe there's a monster who was trying to escape through the toilet bowl… perhaps a dreadful animal could just be breathing in the sewer drain.

Well! It's not as scary as my horrible childhood imagination. Now I know what it was – its toilet gurgling.

What brings about toilet bubbling?

Toilet gurgling is caused when negative air pressure is accumulating in the pipage of the toilet, causing stoppage and return of airflow from the pipe.

When you flush the toilet, negative air pressure is supposed to push the substance down to the drain pipe into the main sewer line.

The inability to push the pressure through the pipe downward causes the negative pressure to return the air back, resulting in gurgling toilet sounds.

You would notice a clogged toilet when it is flushed. Except when the gurgling toilet becomes frequent with weird and rumbling sounds, it shows there's an urgent need to handle the blockage before it gets messier – probably a backup.

A backup occurs when the toilet waste flows back to the bathtub drain, sink drain or toilet sink instead of channeling the waste into the city's sewer lines.

To deal with a blocked drain line, it is necessary to know why the toilet bubbles and how to fix it before it becomes embarrassing.

Common Causes of Toilet Bubbling and How to Fix Your Toilet Gurgling

Clogged Toilet

A common problem caused by a clog in the toilet drain pushes back the air pressure to give rise to the gurgling toilet sounds.

What brings about this clog could be an accumulation of paper towels, cigarette butts, toilet paper, or other sanitary objects which are not dissolvable causing the toilet to gurgle.

To fix a clogged toilet, you can simply use a plunger – a tool that helps to free a blockage from the toilet to allow the free flow of substance into the drain pipes.

Pushing the plunger through the toilet adds up the pressure, helping to create reverse suction that moves to loosen the clogged drain line.

Having said that, there's a need to be careful in the plunging process of the toilet to avoid drawing up feces from the drain hole which might result in drain line blockage and other plumbing issues.

Faulty Flapper

When the flapper in the toilet tank is faulty, it might lead to a gurgling sound from your toilet. The function of the flapper is to flush out the water from the cistern and refill it when it's empty to half full.

Getting a new flapper may be the solution when you notice strange gurgling noises. In other cases, you may need to replace the cistern as a whole to fix the plumbing problem.

In addressing this situation, the help of professional plumbing service is inevitable to carry out the task.

Drain Line Clogged

There are possibilities to also experience gurgling sounds from your toilet when the drain line cannot pass water out from the toilet bowl through the drain system.

If you're not familiar with plumbing it may be a good idea to learn how your different bathroom sink parts work.  It may be blocked from getting the flow of substances through to the toilet fixture outside, sending back negative air pressure that gives the gurgling noise.

In most American settings, the drainage system connects the toilet to the sewer line that feeds the municipal sewer.

When this happens, you can use a sewer snake to clean out the blockage. A plumber's snake, otherwise known as a drain snake or a sewer snake, is a flexible auger used to dislodge clogs in the drain hole.

It is also advisable to call in professional plumbers to fix a main sewer line blockage if the issue is beyond your control because of some professional tools that might be needed to clear the clogged pipe.


Blocked Vent Stack

The moment vent stacks are obstructed from getting the free flow of proper air pressure in the dwelling of the grey water, you're likely to experience the weird gurgling sound or bubbling toilet.

The vent stack is one major part of a plumbing system that enables airflow and release of sewer gases from the sewer. The vent pipe is the vertical pipe leading to the rooftop and releases exhaust gas into the air.

Blockage of the vent pipe may occur from accumulated dirt, a birds nest, other debris, and even the carcass of other animals which hinder the flow of air to the roof, resulting in the reverse air pressure that causes bubbling sounds from the toilet.

In fixing the vent pipe issue, you might need to first take a look into the vent stack to check if the blockage is a minor one that can be solved.

Get your sewer snake to unclog the pipe from the top of the vent stack. But if you're unable to clear the vent pipe through, contact the service of a professional to check it out for fixing.

Sewer Line Clogged

The pipe that connects your building sewer to the community sewer main system may also cause toilet gurgling if you have a clogged municipal sewer line.

This is usually caused by tree roots that grow around the sewer drain lines in the building as a result of its tap for water and nutrients.

In this case, you are not the only one affected as the whole house connected to the municipal sewer could be experiencing the same problem.

Therefore, it is necessary to call the attention of others sharing the municipal sewer line to come up with solutions for the sewer cleanout for those who are affected.

Final Thoughts on Your Toilet Bowl Gurgling

Now that you are aware of the possible causes of toilet gurgling, don't hesitate to quickly fix it when noticed.

It is appropriate you may want to handle the minor toilet issues as soon as possible to ensure your home's plumbing doesn't get worse.

However, when it's beyond what you can handle on your own, it is necessary to contact a professional plumber to fix it, preventing your toilet to gurgle.

Dino Paccino

Dino Paccino

Dino is a lifelong writer and home improvement specialist. He enjoys bringing cutting-edge information on home renovation and remodeling to Kitchen Infinity.

Related Articles

Download Free Chart Now!

Your email will be used only to confirm your request and to provide free kitchen information. By submitting your info on this form, you are agreeing to be contacted regarding your service request by means of email. This is no obligation form and doesn’t require you to purchase any service.