No matter if you hear gurgling in your toilet frequently or only when you flush, there may be a problem somewhere in your plumbing system. This usually happens because air pushes back up instead of going through the pipes. In this article, we will mention a few possible solutions to this problem.
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5 Causes of Toilet Gurgling Sounds
Gurgling sounds are usually caused by a blockage somewhere in the pipes. It creates a negative pressure and forces the air to travel back up. In some cases, you might also notice bubbles in the toilet. This happens if the toilet or a drain line is clogged, if the vent stack is blocked, or if there is a problem in the sewer line.
#1. Clogged Toilet
If you are lucky, the gurgling sounds in your toilet are because it’s clogged. Unclogging the toilet is the easiest way to solve this problem. If you don’t notice an issue anywhere else in your home, it’s time to give your toilet a few good plunges. However, if the clog is not close to the surface, you might need to use a plumbing snake or auger, which can cost you up to $350. In some cases, it might be better to call a plumber instead.
Don’t Flush These Things
A good way to prevent clogging is to avoid throwing certain things in the toilet. For example, you should never flush paper, towels, cigarettes, or even paper products besides toilet paper that seem to be flushable. Sooner or later, they will cause a problem in your piping.
Read our guide about what things to never flush down a toilet.
#2. Toilet Badly Clogged
If you can’t unclog the toilet with the usual methods, there are a few other methods that you can try.
Soap can serve as a lubricant, which can be pretty good at removing clogs. All you need to do is pour a small cup into the bowl, wait a few minutes, and then flush.
Try a Different Plunger
Plungers can be found in supermarkets for as low as a few dollars, but sometimes, those plungers are not ideal for solving the problem. You might want to search for ball-shaped plungers or the types that come with a flange that forms a seal around the drain. Also, make sure to put the plunger in hot water for a couple of minutes, since it will loosen the rubber and make an even better seal.
Try a Coat Hanger
If you don’t have a plunger, you can try to unclog the toilet using a wire coat hanger. Simply bend one end into a curve and push it into the toilet, then wiggle lightly.
Use Vinegar and Baking Soda
The combination of vinegar and baking soda is excellent for applying after removing a clog to remove the remaining waste. However, it can also help you with unclogging. Simply mix a cup of baking soda with two cups of vinegar and pour it into the toilet. Flush the toilet after half an hour and the issue will be solved.
Try to Dissolve the Clog
If nothing of the above works, you should try to dissolve the clog. You can do this with hot water, but make sure to wear rubber gloves for protection.
Read our full guide about the best ways to unclog a toilet.
#3. Gurgling Due to a Blocked Vent
A vent stack is a special pipe that regulates your plumbing’s pressure and releases gas. However, it should always be open, because if it’s blocked, it will create negative pressure. You might even notice an unpleasant odor around the house, which can be a symptom of a blocked vent stack.
What usually blocks the vent are leaves and animal nests. However, most of the time, you won’t be able to unblock it yourself. First, you will have to climb onto the roof, which might be uncomfortable for some people. Even when you climb onto the roof, you will have to snake the line, which might be better to leave to a professional.
#4. Mainline or Drain Line is Clogged
If this problem happens, you won’t be able to fix it yourself. However, the good thing is that it’s usually the responsibility of your town. This happens due to the blockage in the pipe, which creates negative pressure and causes gurgling sounds and bubbles sometimes. You might even notice some other symptoms around the house, such as water backing up in the shower after you flush. But what’s the difference between the mainline and the drain line?
Mainline and Drain Line: What’s the Difference?
Drain lines are pipes in your house which all fixtures use to channel the water outside. On the other hand, the mainline pushes the wastewater to the municipal connection. It’s nice to know the difference between these for various reasons.
For example, it’s more challenging to reach the mainline clog, and it’s also more expensive to fix. It also requires more work, since in most cases you will have to dig outside the house. So, how do you know if the problem is in the mainline or the drain line? Basically, if your whole house is affected by the clog, it’s a mainline issue. On the other hand, the drain line affects only a specific area of the house. For example, a drain line clog on the third floor will only affect that floor, so if the other floors are fine, it’s most likely the drain line.
#5. Sewer Line is Clogged
By the time you realize that the sewer line is clogged, you will probably notice more problems around the house. However, in this case, it’s not your responsibility to fix it. A sewer line is a line in which the wastewater goes away from the house, and it’s also a line on which mainlines from several homes are connected. If you suspect that the sewer line is clogged, you should ask your neighbors if they have similar problems.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why Does the Toilet Make Gurgling Sounds When I’m Showering?
This can happen if both the toilet and the shower are connected to the same drain line and vent. Either the vent or the drain line has a clog somewhere inside.
Can a Full Septic Tank Cause My Toilet to Make Gurgling Sounds?
Yes, it can. In that case, the tank won’t be able to drain properly and water won’t be able to flow like it’s supposed to, which will definitely cause strange sounds in the toilet.
Hopefully, you now realize what might cause gurgling sounds in your toilet, and how to fix the issue. As you can see, it’s not difficult to fix, and you can save some cash by doing it yourself instead of calling a plumber. However, if the problem persists, calling a professional is the best way to go.