Most people tend to underestimate toilet gurgling, but it could mean that your plumbing is starting to get faulty. Like any bad symptom, you must tackle it before it gets out of hand. So why is your toilet bubbling? You might think of some horror movies you’ve seen; a monster may be trying to escape from the sewer. Well, in most cases, toilet gurgling is caused by trivial issues that we are going to be looking at subsequently.
Most times, toilet gurgling indicates the presence of negative air pressure building up in the drain pipe. This often creates an airlock, which causes reverse suction. When there is reverse suction, the air is pushed back into the drain pipe. This tends to bring back waste to the toilet bowl, yeah, quite messy.
Yes, calling a plumber is the ideal thing to do when faced with toilet problems. However, it doesn’t hurt to indulge in some home remedies. At least, it will save you the expense you’d incur in hiring a plumber. Exploring some tips which we will be discussing will prove helpful in getting rid of the smelly gurgles, especially if there isn’t a plumber readily available.
Reasons why you have a gurgling toilet
Toilet gurgling can come as a result of a blockage in two specific areas of the house.
One of these is the drain system, which is the pipe that leads to the main sewer and the vent pipe that allows sewer gases to escape through the roof.
Before we proceed to discuss the remedies you can use when faced with a bubbling toilet, let’s have a look at some reasons why your toilet may be bubbling.
1. Toilet clogging
Most people who have dealt with toilet situations should be familiar with this. Several things can cause clogging. Also, clogging affects toilet drainages as well as vent pipes. It isn’t unlikely to have some blockage lodged in the drain space of your toilet.
Some clogs require minimal effort to remove, while others might require the expertise of a plumber. Clogging can occur as a result of weak flushing, flushing down hard stuff, and the likes. This is why most modernized homes have dual-flush toilets. A strong flush lessens the tendency of toilet clogging.
2. Calcifying elements
Clogging can also come from sediment build-up in your toilet tank. If the water in your toilet tank contains elements like magnesium, iron, or calcium, then it is likely to get clogged.
This is especially true if it is hard water as it tends to get calcified. With this, you might hear some gurgling sounds as your tank is being refilled.
3. Clogged vent pipes
However, if you’ve checked your drain system thoroughly and everything seems fine, then the problem might be coming from your vent pipe. American standard toilets are known to have vent pipes leading to the roof. In most cases, you will find debris, a bird’s nest, or even the carcass of a small animal, probably a rodent or a bat, lodged within or on top of the pipe.
As a safety measure, before you reach out to pull out whatever clog that might be lodged in your vent pipe, ensure you have a proper look, why? It isn’t impossible that a reptile or other small animals might be lodged in there. This probably has absurdity written all over, but it’s wise to exercise caution.
4. A faulty cistern
It isn’t out of place to have a defective flapper. The flapper in the cistern is responsible for flushing and refilling the toilet tank with clean water.
If it becomes faulty, it tends to cause the toilet to gurgle. In most cases, you may need to change the flapper or the cistern entirely. If you’re looking to replace the cistern, then you’d inevitably need a plumber, except you are one.
How to stop your toilet from gurgling
How can you stop your toilet from gurgling? We will also be discussing tips you can harness before deciding to call a plumber if things get out of hands. Grab a cup of coffee and let’s get right to business.
1. Plunge the toilet
Most homeowners might be familiar with this method as they might have dealt with clogged toilets before. However, you will be using a different approach as you’re trying to stop your toilet from gurgling. First, you will need to seal off all the drains in the nearby tubs, showers, and sinks.
If you’re wondering why you need to seal off nearby drains, it’s because you will need enough pressure to dislodge the presumed clog that is causing your toilet to gurgle. Leaving nearby drains open will cause the plunged pressure to escape via the drains.
To avoid leakages, seal the drains with duct tape. After sealing the drains, you can proceed to plunge your toilet. Try to fit the plunger’s head into the toilet sink’s hole, plunge 10 times. Hopefully, this should dislodge the clog and stop the gurgling.
If it does not, you can ask your neighbors if they are having a similar problem. If they are, then the general sewer might have plumbing issues. If this is the case, then you need not worry as the community leaders should handle it.
2. Use a sewer snake
This is otherwise known as a toilet auger. It is used to dislodge tough clogs that are trapped in the drain hole of the toilet sink. This is also one of the most effective means of dislodging a tough clog.
A toilet auger may be manual or mechanized. Both work well, but most homeowners will probably find the mechanized one easier to use. Most augers have blades at their head; this is extremely beneficial as it can be used to cut through tough clogs.
Also, toilet augers are mostly owned by plumbers, as most homeowners are used to owning plungers. However, it’s advisable that you act preemptively by adding it to your shopping list. Yes, you have better chances of unclogging your toilet with this tool rather than using a plunger.
If the clog is close to the drain hole of the toilet, the manual auger will suffice.
However, if the clog is lodged in a deeper part of the pipe, then you can use the mechanized version. However, before choosing to use a mechanized model, ensure that the plunger’s head can fit through the drain hole of your toilet sink.
3. Check the vent pipe
Now, if you have acrophobia, you should refrain from climbing your roof; we don’t want you falling off. However, if you are DIY inclined, then you can indulge yourself. As we stated earlier, it isn’t unlikely that something may be lodged in your vent pipe. A clog in your vent pipe will definitely restrict the flow of air, which will result in toilet gurgling.
Since you’ve resorted to doing it yourself, it’s safety-wise to be appropriately kitted. You’d need a thin flashlight, a garden hose, a ladder, and a thin rope. You are probably starting to connect the dots on how these tools should be used. You will also need someone to hold the ladder. You don’t want to risk falling, would you?
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 isn’t that deep, you should be able to remove it with a straightened wire hanger. If it is deep, you can resort to using a garden hose, with running water, of course, to wash it down the vent pipe and out through the sewer. In case you are wondering what to do with the duct tape, you can use it to reinforce the tightness of the flashlight to the rope.
4. Call the plumber
Yes, it feels good to go it at these things yourself, but some situations require trained experts. If you have tried all the above tips and none seems to be working, you should probably call a plumber. This will likely incur unplanned expenses, but let’s focus on the bright side here. If you aren’t too familiar with DIY activities like climbing or replacing broken pipes, then you may need the expertise of a plumber.
Also, if you meddle with stuff you aren’t familiar with, you might end up causing severe damages that might incur more expenses. It is advisable to tread on the safe path and hire a plumber. You also have your safety to consider. Falling off the roof of your home will undoubtedly incur medical bills, which is entirely counter-productive since you’re looking to cut costs.
With what we’ve discussed, you should be able to resolve simple issues that cause toilet bubbling. We’re happy to save you some time and expenses that you have spent elsewhere. We recommend you call a plumber if the problem persists after you solve it.
Don’t forget to share your experience in the comment section below. Are we wrong? Were there actually aliens in your toilet?