Home Maintenance

Why Is My Toilet Gurgling?

Reasons behind a gurgling toilet.

Hearing strange sounds from your toilet recently? A weird gurgling sound that you can’t quite place? Almost like your toilet is alive? Well, it could be a problem that goes far deeper than your plumbing system. This sound mostly occurs when you flush ,or simply on its own. In certain situations, the toilet won’t flush but just bubble. 

This problem is a cause for concern because if you don’t treat it soon, it could lead to more issues in your plumbing system. One of the reasons behind a gurgling toilet is a blockage, and you don’t want random blockages in your pipes. There is a slew of negative pressure somewhere in your pipes, and when you hear them, it’s because of the blockages and the lack of free airflow. 

Here are some reasons why you have a gurgling toilet.

Clogged toilet 

One of the most common reasons for a gurgling toilet is because it’s clogged. When you see that there is some debris floating on the surface, such as shredded paper, this is because they are stuck in the pipes and brought back to your toilet. 

To fix this, it’s important to clear anything floating on the water or anything stuck in your toilet pipes. Those items that are stuck further down can be removed with a plunger. Make sure that the plunger covers the drain hole completely, and you need to do at least 10 or 20 plunges before noticing results. 

Another type of fix is using a garden hose and running it through the toilet bowl so that the pressure can dissolve and eliminate the clog. However, with this technique, your toilet could flood, so it’s important to be careful.

If neither of these work, then try a toilet auger. Drain snakes might not work for your toilet as they are too small, and better for drains in your sinks or shower. However, plumbing augers are expensive, so the best option would be to call in a professional plumber. 

Clogged mainline or drain

Drain lines in your house connect your drain to the mainline, which then takes wastewater to your city’s municipal sewer drain pipe. While a clogged drain only affects one area, for example, if your upstairs area is blocked, the downstairs will be alright. But drain line blockages affect the entire house. 

Drain line blockages are also caused because of debris being stuck, similar to clogged pipes, and this results in gurgling toilets. However, if the blockage is further down the line, where your tools can’t reach, then you’ll be facing more concerning issues, including flushed water coming through your taps and such. Debris from the outdoors can clog a mainline, especially tree roots. As the lines have plenty of moisture, these roots get attracted to them and get through holes, causing blockages. If this happens, it needs to be solved ASAP. 

To fix this, sometimes, a plumbing auger might be enough if the blockage is closed. However, the further away it is, the more vital it is to call in a plumber to do the job. They might also remove the toilet entirely, or dig up parts of your yard or garden to check the line. It’s best to call in a professional to do this.  

Vent Stacks Blockage

The vent stack is a pipe that goes through the roof right from the drainage system. The main purpose of this is to let go of sewer and air gas from the toilet and also make sure that the air pressure is equalized. Therefore, when this pipe gets blocked, it leads to negative air pressure, causing gurgling issues. There are many reasons behind why these vents get blocked, one of which is due to animals having a nest, leaves, extra debris, and more. 

The best way to fix this problem is to call a professional, who has the proper safety equipment, to go to the roof and check where the blockage is. If the blockage is within reach it can be done easily, however, if it’s down the line, it needs special tools which a plumber will have.

Clogged municipal sewer lines

In case nothing above is the cause for a gurgling toilet, a clogged municipal sewer line is the reason. This is the line that connects to each household’s mainline and takes wastewater for treatment. You’ll know if this is an issue if your building or neighbours are facing it. The only way to fix this is to call in the authorities and make sure that they do a full cleanout. The responsibility to clean and clear any blockages falls on them. 

Quick prevention tip

While there isn’t much you can do about outside elements or municipal sewer lines, you can try to prevent blockages caused by you or your family. Toilets are made to carry away waste and only toilet tissue that’s dissolvable. Other elements will not disintegrate with ease and will cause blockages, including cigarette butts, other types of toilet tissue, hygiene products, toys, or other forms of debris. Even so-called flushable wipes are out of the question unless you are sure they will dissolve. 

Get your gurgling toilet checked

We hope that this article has helped you pin down some reasons why your toilet might be bubbling or gurgling. Some of these issues are due to internal blockages causing negative air pressure, while others are because of external factors. Either way, you need to get these checked on time. Not doing so could cause other problems to sprout in your plumbing system.

In fact, it’s best to get your plumbing checked at least twice a year or more to make sure that everything’s in order. Not only will a professional fix any current problems, but they will also let you know about future problems that could come up and make the necessary tweaks at home. It’s very important to get a licensed plumber with insurance coverage to work on your home. Reaching out to a professional company like Octopus will help. 

We also offer other maintenance services to keep your home in top form, including repainting, fixing electrical issues, and AC maintenance. Feel free to call us on 800 3993 and our representative will get back to you with answers to any questions you might have.

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