Why Does My Toilet Bubble?
There’s a reason why there are well over 20,000 plumbing businesses in Canada. The pipes that transport water and waste to and from homes regularly get blocked and houses in the Durham Region area are no exception.
Some issues are a simple fix with tools you likely have in the garage. Others require specialist tools combined with the expertise of a trained and licensed plumber. Among the most common of these problems is toilet bubbling.But what causes it? Read on for insight into how to troubleshoot toilet dilemmas–and how to fix them.
So, your toilet is bubbling. But what’s causing it? It’s likely due to two leading causes: the line is clogged, or the vent stack is blocked.
Clogging: Mainline vs. Drain
Your toilet drain runs from the toilet bowl, under your home, and out to the main city sewer drain. Your drain gets clogged when people flush anything other than toilet paper down the toilet.
Because this part of the sewer system is on your property, its maintenance is entirely your responsibility.
The main sewer drain is an all-in-one drain that connects to the central city sewer system. It carries your wastewater and household sewage away from your home.
This line gets blocked for various reasons. Typically, a failure is due to broken, separated, or settling pipes or tree root infiltration.
A plumbing vent stack–also called a vent pipe–is essential for toilet repair and maintenance. This simple system of piping removes unwelcome and sometimes harmful odours and gases from your home. It also equalizes the air pressure, keeping everything flowing freely through the system.
The vent stack is usually located on your roof, though sometimes it’s placed in other areas around the home. If it gets blocked with leaves or other debris, it will stop functioning correctly. The negative pressure created may lead to a gurgling toilet.
Toilet Bubbling Fixes
You have determined that you have a clogged drain or vent stack issue. In either case, you will need to decide whether you can fix these problems yourself or call a plumber.
Use a Plunger
When a homeowner has a plumbing problem, the first thing they usually do is reach for their plunger. And this is an excellent option for simple blockages.
Before you start plunging, ensure all the drains in your home are sealed with duct tape. This helps create the air pressure you need to dislodge the blockage.
Insert the plunger into the toilet bowl and vigorously move it up and down for around 30 seconds. Repeat until you bring the clog up.
If you have done this a few times and nothing’s happening, the blockage is likely too severe to treat on your own. Stop, and call a plumber.
Use a Drain Snake
Drain snakes are long, flexible augers that you thread down your toilet pipes through the bowl. They are designed to help with severe blockages up to 6 meters into your system. They come in manual and motorized versions.
Some people have a drain snake lying around their garage.
If you are that person, make sure you know how to use this plumber’s tool before threading it down your toilet. When misused, a drain snake can damage the ceramic material your toilet bowl and pipes are made of.
If the above DIY plumbing solutions aren’t working, or if you’re unsure how to use these plumbing tools, it’s time to give your neighbourhood plumber a call.
They have specialized tools like cameras to see deep inside your drains, heavy-duty motorized augers, and the necessary equipment to climb up and unblock your vent stack, chop up and remove hefty tree roots, or excavate buried drain pipes when necessary.
How to Prevent Toilet Bubbling
Prevention, as they say, is always preferable to a cure. By practicing good plumbing hygiene, you won’t need toilet fixes in the first place.
Only Flush Toilet Paper
We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: only flush toilet paper down your toilet. Flushing other items down your toilet can lead to blockages–and therefore toilet bubbles–in not just your system but also the municipal pipes.
Things to keep out of your toilet include:
● Cotton balls
● Finished cigarettes
● Pet poop
● Cooking oils and fats
● Dental floss
● Paper towels
● Menstrual products
Clogs aren’t the only thing to worry about. Some of these products can leach microplastics and chemicals into the water system or even spread disease.
Keep Your Vent Stack Clear
A vent stack is an integral part of a healthy household sewerage system. But, as we noted above, if it’s blocked, it can’t do its job correctly. And this leads to problematic toilet gurgling.
So what’s the solution? You need to protect your vent stack from anything that might get stuck in it: nesting animals, leaves, and other debris. A straightforward option is to get some industrial-grade netting or mesh and secure that onto the ends of the pipe with a hose clamp.
Since it’s usually on the roof, it’s a good idea to call a plumber over to do it for you. They have the necessary safety equipment and can get the job done quickly.
Get Regular Inspections
Rather than wait until you’re in dire need of plumbing help, why not schedule regular plumbing inspections? Hire a professional to visit your home and check that all your pipes are clear, both inside and outside your home.
For newer homes, you can get away with a yearly inspection. However, older homes should consider an assessment every six months.
Professional Help for Toilet Bubbling
In some cases, you might be able to solve toilet bubbling with a good-quality plunger. But much of the time, the problem is more complicated. If you try to fix severe blockages yourself, you may do more harm and incur more costs than necessary.
If you’re not willing to tackle toilet gurgling yourself or have already tried and failed, it’s time to call in the professionals.
Contact the team at Caldwell Plumbing. We’ve been serving homeowners in Durham Region, Ontario, since 1979.