What Causes a Toilet to Bubble?

Little Boy Looks in the Toilet — Peoria, IL — Arnold & Sons Plumbing Sewer & Drain Services

When your toilet starts to bubble or gurgle, these are tell-tale signs of something wrong. If you ignore these signs, you will experience a water backup or other serious problems later. Call a plumber immediately to remedy the situation. In the meantime, here are some possible causes of a gurgling toilet.

The Cistern Is Defective

One of the obvious reasons for a bubbling toilet is a defective flapper. This is the component in the cistern that flushes and refills the toilet tank with water. If the flapper has a problem, the toilet will produce a gurgling sound. The solution to this problem is replacing the flapper. In some cases, it’s advisable to change the entire cistern.

The Sewer Line Is Blocked

A bubbling toilet doesn’t necessarily mean the problem lies with your home’s interior plumbing. The exterior sewer line can also cause this sound. When the issue originates from the sewer line, it’s likely that the drainpipe has collapsed. Consequently, dirt begins to enter the drainage line and clog the system. Also, tree roots and other debris may rupture the drain line.

Many homeowners attempt to resolve this problem by clearing the drain line with a drain snake. However, a drain snake may fail to penetrate serious clogs.

The Plumbing Vent Is Blocked

The purpose of the plumbing vent is to release exhaust gas into the atmosphere to avoid stuffy conditions. The vent also supplies air pressure to keep drains flowing. If something blocks the vents and pressure accumulates in your plumbing system, your toilet will produce a bubbling sound.

Some reasons for plumbing vent blockages are rodent carcasses and bird nests, tree leaves, and snow accumulation. A damaged vent cover can also lead to blockages. Therefore, unblocking the plumbing vent will stop the bubbling noise.

The Water Has Calcifying Elements

In some cases, clogging results from accumulated sediment in your toilet tank. If the water in your toilet tank contains calcifying elements such as calcium or iron, it will get clogged. This is usually the case for hard water because it tends to get calcified. You will hear gurgling sounds as the tank is being refilled.

After your plumber unclogs the toilet tank, you should change your water source or avoid hard water to prevent a recurrence of this problem.

The Septic Tank Is Full

One of the routine maintenance tasks for septic tanks is cleaning and pumping. If you don’t remember the last septic tank pumping or cleaning session, this may be the source of the bubbling sound.

Your toilet will produce a gurgling sound if your septic tank is full and overwhelmed with waste. This is because the tank cannot accommodate any more waste. Furthermore, it happens because some excess waste is backing up into the house. The gurgling noises may become louder each time you flush the toilet. The best course of action is to schedule emergency septic tank pumping.

The Pipes Have Air in Them

The bubbling noise in your toilet may also result from trapped air in the lines transporting water to the toilet. The trapped air makes water spurt as it attempts to overcome the pressure. As a result, you will hear bubbling noises.

Air gets trapped in the lines through leaks in the pipes and because of worn-out valves. If you are using well water, air may get into the lines because of a malfunctioning pump. In all of these cases, the gurgle arises at the point where water enters your toilet tank.

Toilet gurgling can be irritating, especially if there is no way you can silence the noise immediately. Call a plumber to inspect your plumbing regularly to flag issues that may cause toilet gurgling. Arnold & Sons Plumbing, Sewer and Drain Services is your trusted partner for all plumbing issues. We have years of experience and a good reputation in the industry. Contact us today to resolve any plumbing problem.

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