Why Does My Toilet Bubble?

bubbling toiletFor many people, a common problem in the plumbing system is having a bubbling toilet when flushed or in the shower. A recent question we were asked here was: Why does my toilet bubble ? Is it because of a blocked drain, Steve in Reading.

Common Causes of a Bubbling Toilet;

  • A blocked drain
  • A build-up of pressure
  • A single pipe facilitating multiple drains
  • A clogged toilet
  • Air in the lines
  • A build-up of sediment

You shouldn’t have to worry about your plumbing or drainage system and it certainly shouldn’t be making strange bubbling noises on a regular basis. So, if you’ve recently experienced your toilet bubbling when you’re in the shower, it’s likely you have a problem. Read on to find out why this happens and how you can fix it.

What’s the Cause of a Bubbling Toilet?

Nobody wants a toilet that bubbles as it’s a sign your drainage system has problems. If your toilet is bubbling every time you flush, run your shower or drain your bath, this is called wet venting and is something you don’t really want to happen in your home. Although all your drains should be vented separately to avoid any build-up of pressure in the system, they can happen when the plumbing fixtures are near to one another. When a single pipe is facilitating multiple drains simultaneously – in some cases, the bath, shower, sink, and toilet, this can cause bubbling.

If a blockage occurs in one of these drains this can be what causes your toilet to bubble as your shower drains. So, if you have noticed your toilet bubbling while you’re taking a shower, it could be that your plumbing fixtures are struggling with a blockage and are, therefore, taking significantly longer to drain.

How Can You Stop a Toilet from Bubbling?

One of the easiest ways to stop your toilet from bubbling is to determine if the blockage in your plumbing system is minor or severe. You can do this by carrying out the following checks:

Remove the Strainer: Removing the strainer from your shower or bath can help you easily clean out any hair or soap scum. Although there are at least 50 things you should never put down your drain, there are often some items that escape into your system unnoticed, causing significant blockages over time. Removing the strainer can help clear some of the debris, allowing the water to flow more easily.

Use a Drain Snake: using a drain snake can also help you fish out and remove any obstructions that have become stuck a foot or two down in the system. Working as a hook system, a drain snake is a great method for removing blockages further down the pipe without requiring professional assistance or needing to take apart your drains fully.

Use an Enzyme-based Cleaner: cleaners are effective for clearing out blockages in your drainage system to help restore flow efficiency. You should always attempt to clear the drain as much as you can before using an enzyme-based cleaner like baking soda, salt, and peroxide.

Clearing Debris Has Not Worked, What Next?

If clearing all the debris from your drains and toilet has not worked, you may find that the blockage itself causing the problem situated in the vent itself. The main vent of your drainage system will exit somewhere through your roof, so it is best to ensure there are no leaves or other debris causing a blockage. You can pour water down the vent to help flush out any obstructions that are further down the system.

If you’ve fixed the issue by clearing the vent, it is worth preventing the problem from reoccurring in the future by adding a protective screen over the top.

A Clogged Toilet

Having a clogged toilet that also bubbles is never a nice experience. However, there is a very simple solution to a clogged toilet that, for some, can fix the problem altogether. The easiest way to clear a clogged toilet is to use a plunger. The act of plunging a toilet up and down creates a strong suction with a force strong enough to remove the clog and successfully clear the blockage.

Air in the Plumbing Lines

Having air in the plumbing lines can cause numerous worrying noises when your toilet fills and drains again. Air in the lines causes water to bubble, resulting in bubbling and gurgling to come from your toilet.

To remove air from your property’s water lines, you should turn all the faucets in your home on until the water stops spitting and starts flowing smoothly. If, after doing this, your water system continues to have the same problem, check for a leak elsewhere in the house.

A Build-up of Sediment

Over time, sediment can build-up in the tank of your toilet due to iron, calcium, or magnesium in the water. This can cause the tank’s equipment or water lines to become clogged and if hard water scale starts to form, this can cause the water to bubble as the tank is filling. To rectify this problem, it is best to replace water inlet lines from the house to the tank or to use some bleach to break down the iron bacteria build-up in your tank. This should help to solve the problem.

Professional Drain Clearance

Unfortunately, the cause of a bubbling toilet may be caused by a blockage that requires professional clearance. If you are still experiencing problems such as a bubbling toilet or slow draining sinks, baths, and showers, you should call a professional to carry out drain clearance for you.

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