Why Does My Toilet Gurgle When It Flushes?

toilet gurgle

Why Does My Toilet Gurgle When It Flushes?

If you hear any gurgling when you flush the toilet, there can be a few causes, and there are a few solutions you can try to alleviate the disruptive gurgling.

The infamous “Gurgle” we hear customers calling in about is caused by air being forced through the water in a fixture’s trap. It’s air being forced through the liquid, in an attempt to balance out the pressure.

This “gurgle” means air is coming in, or it’s coming out. We will try to walk you through the solutions as best we can.

Air Coming In

Vents placed strategically throughout the plumbing system, typically provide an adequate amount of air. If the vents get clogged, blocked, or restricted, the pressure differences inside and outside the system will develop. If these differences in pressure are large enough, air will be forced through fixture traps in an attempt to equalize the pressure.

When this happens, clearing vents or adding additional vents in the case of improper venting, will usually fix the gurgling problem.

Air Coming Out

If a large enough object like solid waste is moved through the system fast enough where the object blocks the entire internal pipe diameter, a high-pressure zone can be generated on the front side of the object. This high-pressure area may be able to force air out through fixture traps, as the object travels through the system.

In this case, the solution is to increase the diameter of the pipe, eat less fiber, use less toilet tissue, or reduce the power of the toilet when it flushes.

Give Plunging a Try

Cover the bathtub drain or sink drains, depending on where you hear the gurgling, then attempt to plunge your toilet. If there is a blockage in your pipe, work the toilet plunging action can force the air through the bathtub drain. We plug the bathtub, and the sink drains initially to keep all the force and pressure coming from the plunger to be focused in the pipe. This is all to remove the blockage.

After a few minutes of plunging your toilet try removing the covers on your drains that are gurgling, now give the toilet another flush. Do you still hear the gurgling? If not, then congratulations your problem is resolved, but if the problem persists proceed to the next solution.

Venture Towards the Roof

Climb to the roof and check the opening of the main vent stack. It may be blocked by leaves or debris, or if it has a screen, the screen may be dirty. Clear the debris and clean the screen. The vent pipe through the roof has acorns, leaves, and anything else that animals like squirrels sneak down there. Over time moisture will cause all the debris to back up together causing a clog.

If you are capable of going up to the roof, take a garden hose with you and spray down the vent. The vent stack should loosen up, and you should be able to hear the debris break apart and water run smoothly. However, if the water is backing up out of the vent, then you will have proof that the blockage is deep and is large. When the water backs up and is unable to clear the blockage, then you should try to use a sewer auger.

Sewer augers can be rented.

A plumber can handle this issue if roof accessibility is a challenge or an inconvenience.

How to use the Sewer Auger

Feed the auger into the vent opening and unwind it until you feel resistance and then crank the handle to work the head through the blockage. Pull the head out from time to time to clear out some debris. When you think you’ve cleared the blockage, spray more water in the vent using your garden hose and check to see if water continues to back out.

Blocked Sewer Lines

In some cases that we encounter, we notice that some of these problems are caused when tree roots grow to block the sewer lines. When tree roots are left to attack your sewer line and grow they will eventually cause a drainage problem, and it will lead to the gurgling sound that you hear. Clearing and cleaning the sewer lines will fix this issue. Call a plumber to have this done for you.

Call Benjamin Franklin Plumbing of Kansas City today for drain cleaning, bathroom plumbing and sewer cleaning.