A gurgling or bubbling toilet is most often the sign of a clogged plumbing vent. If your toilet is the only device that gargles and you do not experience slow moving drains, it is likely that there is a clog in the main sewer line.
Your plumbing vent (aka vent stack) is located on the roof of your house. It looks like a pipe sticking out of your roof usually right above a bathroom in the house. It's purpose is to remove sewer gases and odors and at the same time allow fresh air into the system which in turn helps the water in your pipes to run smoothly.
When the vent is blocked, the air has no way to move and forces itself into the back of the toilet, which leads to a bubbling toilet after flushing.
The main reason for the toilet gurgling is that a blockage of the pipe creates negative air pressure in the back of the toilet, causing it to gurgle constantly when you flush it. This can happen for a variety of reasons, such as a bath drain that makes a fizzy noise while washing up, or a shower or sink that gurgles. It can also happen when the shower, sink or toilet in front of it is flushed.
How Do You Fix A Gurgling Toilet?
It is best to fix the bubbling toilet as soon as you notice the problem. Plumbing problems tend to get worse as time goes on.
If you want to prevent your toilet from bubbling, you need to remove the clog so that the fluid and air in your drains can flow freely and get to where they are supposed to go.
The first step of course is to use a plunger to try to remove the clog.
The best types of plungers are the ones with a flange (they honestly work the best). Some people use the plunger and the clog is released, some people flush the toilet and immediately (I mean immediately!) begin plunging and this removes the obstruction.
If this does not solve the issue then it's best to contact a plumber because most likely, the clog that is causing the problem is further down your sewer line and you will need a professional plumber to possibly conduct a sewer camera inspection to find it and then go through the process of removing it.
How Do I Know If My Plumbing Vent Is Clogged?
There are 3 very strong signs to look out for:
Slow drains - If you see that it's taking a longer them than usual for your bathtub and sinks to drain - it could very well be a sign of a clogged plumbing vent.
Gurgling toilets - Because there's a lack of airflow in the vent, the pressure in the pipe will be greater than the air that is in the bathroom. So, when your toilet is flushed, the water in the bowl fights for the higher pressure resulting in gurgling.
Strong sewer odor - This is obviously a very strong sign that something is clogging your plumbing vent.
If you have any questions about toilets or are having some problems with yours, call Atlantis Plumbing today at 770-505-8570. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
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