Is your toilet bubbling? Have you noticed it more frequently? If so, it is time to fix it. Please don’t ignore this problem as it could be a sign of a major plumbing issue that you need to fix immediately. From major issues such as a clogged sewer line to a septic tank problem, taking quick steps to fix a bubbling toilet would give you peace of mind while saving thousands of dollars you’d have spent on plumbing costs. 

Now, you may ask: “How do I fix a bubbling toilet?” Before we discuss how to fix it, let’s understand how a bubbling toilet occurs and the common reasons why it happens.

How Does A Bubbling Toilet Occur?

A bubbling toilet occurs as a result of air being trapped in the plumbing system. This leads to the formation of negative air pressure in the drain pipe, which disrupts free flow in the plumbing lines, thereby causing the toilet water to bubble/gurgle.

If your home’s plumbing vent stack or drain system is clogged, air can get trapped in the pipe, which may affect the plumbing system and cause your toilet to bubble. 


How Do I Fix A Bubbling Toilet

Common Reasons Why Your Toilet Is Bubbling

  • Clogged toilet
    • We’ve all probably gone through the headache of dealing with a clogged toilet at least once. If you flush down too much toilet tissue/hard items or don’t flush properly, your toilet can easily get clogged. Flush the toilet well after use and avoid flushing hard items down the toilet drain. You should also avoid flushing tissues or flushable wipes to prevent clogging, which can affect the main drainage system.
  • A defective cistern 
    • A cistern is a small water tank that is located at the upper part of the toilet. It holds water that is used for flushing the toilet.
    • Depending on what part of the toilet cistern is faulty, you may notice a reduced flow of water into the cistern.
    • If the flapper is defective, water can’t flow from the toilet tank into the toilet bowl when you flush, so this will produce a bubbling sound. Replacing the flapper can fix this or you can get the help of a plumber if you’d like to replace the cistern.
  • Clogged plumbing vent
    • If your plumbing vent is clogged, expect bubbling noises coming from the drains. Your plumbing vent is located on the rooftop of your home. It emits sewer gas and allows fresh air into the plumbing system to regulate air pressure by improving the flow of water through the pipe. 
    • A clogged plumbing vent reduces air pressure, which in turn, reduces water drainage, causing the toilet to bubble. Clogs like debris, a bird’s nest, a trapped small animal, or any other objects can obstruct the vent. A clogged vent can also occur when it is corroded or has ice formation within the vent pipes in cold weather. This can easily be fixed by insulating the exposed vent to prevent it from freezing. 
  • Limescale Buildup
    • Hard water leads to limescale buildup, which leaves deposits of calcium and magnesium stains as water flows through the pipe. These deposits gradually build up and leave traces of stains and scaling in the toilet bowl. To fix this, use white vinegar solution, lemon juice, water softeners, acidic cleaners, and citric acids to remove limescale buildup and clean the stains. You can go the tech route by installing an electronic water descaler to prevent limescale from depositing or staining the inner lining of the pipe.

How Do I Fix A Bubbling Toilet: Effective Solutions To Try Out

  1. Get A Plunger 
    1. If you’ve never plunged into a toilet before, don’t worry! It’s pretty easy to do. Before you start plunging, prepare these items: gloves, a basin, and a plunger.   
    2. Here are the steps to follow:
      1. Step 1: Wear the gloves to prevent any splash of water from coming in contact with your skin.
      2. Step 2: If the water in the toilet bowl is small, get the basin and fill it with water.
      3. Step 3: Pour the water from the basin into the toilet bowl (let the water fill to halfway to the brim of the toilet). Pouring enough water will easily force more pressure through the toilet pipe, which will unclog the pipe.
      4. Step 4: If the rubber part or the flange of the plunger is too stiff, run hot water on it so that it will become flexible and easily grip the toilet bowl.
      5. Step 5: Submerge the plunger into the toilet bowl (do this gently to prevent the toilet water from splashing). 
      6. Step 6: With a little force, pump the plunger into the toilet bowl to quickly dislodge any clogs.
      7. Step 7: Do this continuously. If the water in the toilet bowl goes down gradually but hasn’t flushed properly, pour more water into the toilet before you continue plunging.
      8. Step 8: Try to do this for at least 15 – 20 plunging cycles until it flushes properly.
      9. Step 9: If you want to make plunging more efficient, mix some drops of liquid soap with hot water (not boiling water) and pour it into the toilet bowl. This technique will easily loosen any clogs in the toilet pipe. Let it sit for about 15 minutes before you flush. If it doesn’t flush, continue plunging for a few minutes. If it still doesn’t flush, check the next solution.
  2. Use A Toilet Auger 
    1. If a plunger isn’t effective, get a toilet auger. Using a toilet auger can come in handy when a piece of clothing, a clump of hair, a toy, or debris has obstructed the pipe. To start, ensure the plastic protective sleeve of the auger is pulled to the bottom, only exposing the twisted hook (this is to prevent the metal cable from leaving scratches in the lower part of the toilet bowl).
    2. Now, insert the toilet auger into the end of your toilet bowl as it leads to the pipe. Hold the plastic protective sleeve while using your other hand to hold the handle as you push the metal cable into the toilet pipe. 
    3. Move the metal cable in a back-and-forth motion to help clear the clog. You can also turn the handle clockwise to rotate the metal cable, which would easily break up the clog. If you can hook onto the clog, bring it out and discard it.
    4. Now, try flushing the toilet to see if it flushes properly without bubbling. If it doesn’t, repeat the process. If it’s still not successful after a few tries, check your plumbing vent.
  3. Inspect the Plumbing Vent 
    1. You’d be surprised by what you can find in your plumbing vent. Inspect the plumbing vent and remove any dirt, leaves, decayed matter, dead rodents, bird nests, or other unwanted items that may be trapped in the vent. 
    2. If you’re going to be inspecting your vent, you’ll need to climb on your rooftop, since the plumbing vent is located there. To do this safely and effectively, get these items: a garden hose, a plumber snake, a thin rope, a small flashlight, rubber-soled shoes, and a ladder to climb on top of the roof. Avoid doing this immediately after rainfall so that you don’t slip or fall.
    3. What you’ll need to do first is wear rubber-soled shoes to ensure you have a firm grip when on the rooftop. Now, climb the ladder to reach the rooftop. Use the flashlight to check the vent and plumber snake to remove any debris or clogs. Now, use your garden hose to flush out any remaining dirt from the vent pipe. If you can’t see yourself doing this, contact a professional or plumber.
    4. If your toilet still bubbles after this, read point 4.
  4. Ask Around 
    1. You’re probably not the only one with a bubbling toilet in your neighborhood. Some of your neighbors may have had this thought: “How do I fix a bubbling toilet.” So why not ask your neighbors if their toilet is clogged/bubbling or if they are experiencing other plumbing issues in their homes? If your neighbors are experiencing the same problems, then it is likely a bigger issue that would need to be handled by a plumber. 
    2. NOTE: At this point, it may not be a question of “How do I fix a bubbling toilet?” It may be a question of “What else is causing my toilet to still bubble after trying several ways to fix it myself?” The fact here is you probably have bigger plumbing issues like a damaged or clogged sewer line, drainage clog, water supply problem, or septic tank problems.
  5. Contact A Plumber
    1. If your toilet is still bubbling despite all your efforts to fix it, it’s time to contact your local plumber to diagnose and fix the problem as soon as possible. A plumber has the necessary tools, expertise, and skills to fix any toilet issues or provide other plumbing repair services that you may need.

In Closing – Fix All Your Toilet or Plumbing Issues Today!

Try out the tips above for “How do I fix a bubbling toilet?” If you’ve tried them out and your bubbling toilet issues persist, contact The Climate Master today. We are a Plumbing and HVAC company, handling both minor and major plumbing/HVAC problems. So, whatever plumbing repair services you need, we are always at your service.