Is your gurgling toilet making unusual sounds or running continuously? It’s likely indicating an issue regardless of its type. The gurgling sound is typically caused by air escaping from the sewer line, which suggests there might be a blockage further down the system. Fortunately, this problem is usually not severe, and in the majority of cases, you can easily resolve it yourself within a few minutes and couple of dollars.
Safety should be taken into account when fixing Gurgling Toilet
While unclogging the toilet to eliminate the gurgling, avoid using drain cleaners, bleach, or any other caustic or toxic cleaning substances. These products can lead to breathing problems or cause damage to the toilet. Make sure to wear gloves while handling sewage, and after you’re done, thoroughly wash your hands with hot water and soap.
Get ready to address a gurgling toilet
To identify the source of the gurgling, flush the toilet. Often, the gurgle will originate from the toilet bowl area rather than the tank. If it’s from the bowl, the likely culprits are a blocked drain line or a blocked vent stack. While addressing a gurgling toilet, ensure you wear gloves and other protective gear, as you might come into contact with gray or brown water.
Engage in toilet plunging
To begin, utilize a toilet plunger to clear out the bowl. Even if there is no visible water backup in the bowl, obstructions further down the line might be causing the issue. Avoid flushing items like swabs, wipes, feminine hygiene products, and paper towels, as they can create blockages.
When unclogging the toilet, ensure you use a flange toilet plunger, not the bell-shaped sink plunger. Fill the flange end with water, position it firmly around the base, and exert downward pressure on the handle.
In case you don’t have a plunger on hand, you can attempt unclogging the toilet without one by using a two-liter plastic bottle as an improvised plunger or by cautiously pouring hot (not boiling) water into the toilet.
Perform toilet snaking in Gurgling Toilet
If plunging fails to clear a blockage in the toilet drain, use a toilet auger as an alternative. A toilet auger is a manual tool equipped with a handle that ranges from 3 to 6 feet in length. By turning the handle, you can rotate the wire spiral at the end, allowing it to hook onto and remove the obstruction.
Inspect the vent stack
With safety precautions in mind, ascend to the roof using a ladder that reaches the top edge of your home. Have someone assist you by holding the ladder for stability, and ensure you bring a flashlight with you.
Locate the vent stack positioned above the bathroom. A vent stack is a vertical pipe with an open end that serves to release pressure from the drainage system.
Potential obstructions like bird’s nests, leaves, snow, ice, or other debris may be impeding the end of the vent stack. This blockage creates a siphon effect, which results in the gurgling sound.
Remove any debris present in the vent stack
Manually clear any obstructions in the vent stack. If you cannot see any on the top, employ the flashlight to inspect the first few feet. To remove obstructions near the end of the stack, use a sink drain snake (auger) to hook and pull them up. Be cautious not to drop the flashlight or any other objects into the vent stack.
Flush the vent stack to clear it out.
For loose debris that cannot be manually removed from the vent stack, you can flush it down using water.
The vent stack is connected to the home’s drainage system, allowing any water introduced from the top to flow through the drain lines and eventually reach the municipal sewer.
To flush out the vent stack, employ a garden hose with low-volume water to avoid overwhelming the drains below.
Utilize an auger to clear the sewer main.
If you encounter gurgling in the toilet and notice water backing up, it is crucial to contact a plumber without delay to address the issue in the sewer main.
The plumber might need to access the home’s sewer line through the clean-out, which is a capped pipe typically found outdoors or in utility areas.
This access point allows the plumber full and direct access to the sewer line, bypassing the need to go through a toilet or sink.