Toilet problems are some of the most irritating problems that can occur in your home. They wreak havoc on your family’s life and they are often difficult to diagnose and fix without the help of a plumber.
That said, they definitely can be fixed without spending hundreds of dollars on a plumber, who probably has a great salary. If you can’t fix the problem, then hiring one is highly preferable. But first, let’s take a look before we go there.
Why Is My Toilet Gurgling Randomly?
The sound of a toilet gurgling means that the water is being suctioned and air pressure is being built up in the drain line. This can become a serious problem if not taken care of, so if you are here, then good for you.
The first step has been taken, you are seeking help. Now it’s time to learn what to do about the problem and how to prevent it from happening again in the future. You want the water and waste to have a smooth journey.
Whenever you hear gurgling, it means that there isn’t a smooth journey. The gurgling sound can happen randomly or only when the toilet is being flushed. Both of these are problems that need to be taken care of.
How To Fix Toilet Bubbles
Whenever the gurgling does occur and there is air pressure built up somewhere, it is because there is a clog, more often than not. There are a few ways to check if this is the problem and address it on your own.
Although there are about a dozen things you can do, only a few of them can easily be done by someone who isn’t a plumber. So after you go through these steps, go ahead and call a plumber for further assistance.
Check Other Drains
This is the first thing that you should do. Check the sink, tubs, and other toilets are draining properly. It could easily be a drain or sewage system problem and not just a simple toilet problem that can be taken care of in a few minutes.
If the other drains are also not working then you may need to call a plumber. The other methods to fix the toilet gurgling can indeed help, but they are unlikely to fix the problem. So consider calling now.
Plunge The Toilet
This is the simplest step you can take, so hopefully, it will work. Start by plugging the other drains in your house. Use plugs to keep water from coming up into the other reservoirs and toilets in the home.
Since you probably don’t know the plumbing set up in your house, this is your best bet. Then use a good plunger to plunge the toilet for a while. You need a good seal with the plunger for it to properly work.
Snake The Drain
Snake the drain with a snake or auger. This is a fairly simple way to get rid of clogs and is actually quite useful to do. If you don’t know how to snake the drain, then learn how and become more self-sustainable.
An alternative to “snaking the drain” is to use a chemical drain cleaner like Drano. This is dangerous to keep around children and pets so keep it far away from both if you have it in the house. Otherwise, use it and toss it.
Check Vent Stack
The vent stack is the pipe behind the toilet. The problem is that it is usually behind the wall. So this is not something that is easy to do without help nor easy to do without a professional. You really don’t want to come to this.
But it can often be a problem like this that can cause your toilet to gurgle or to cause toilet bubbles. So if you are feeling brave, then checking the vent stack could be the answer to all of your problems.
Expand Your Search
If you’ve done everything you can from the inside then it’s time to go outside. Sometimes, a full sewage tank can cause all sorts of problems in your toilet, including causing water and air to backup and cause toilet bubbles.
To prevent this from happening, make sure someone checks your sewage tank at least once a year, including checking the pipes too. If it is full, have them empty it. Set up a schedule to reduce the stress.
Other Common Toilet Problems
Having a gurgling toilet may be annoying, but it’s not necessarily the worst toilet problem and it definitely isn’t the only one. There are a few other problems that can also cause problems with your toilet.
Toilet Won’t Stop Running
When this happens, it’s because water is constantly flowing from the tank through the fill valve. This is a horrible problem because it wastes a lot of water, which in turn wastes a lot of energy and raises your water bill.
The first thing you want to do is check the flapper. Open up the back of the toilet and see if it is sealing the flush valve opening. If it isn’t, then the water from the tank will continually leak into the bowl and the toilet will run constantly.
For this, you just need to replace the flapper. The new flapper should come with good instructions but just in case, take in your old flapper to ensure you get the right replacement and ask for instructions if needed.
If the seal is tight, then you may need to replace the entire fill valve. If your fill valve is old, it may be difficult to replace but it will definitely need to be replaced. Take it out or take a picture of it with you.
Toilet Is Leaking
Leaking toilets are very dangerous for a few reasons. Of course, the constantly running water isn’t ideal, but it’s better for it to run in the toilet than out. When on the floor, it can cause a slipping hazard and worse.
When the toilet water runs into the floor, then it can cause bacteria to grow and cause serious infections in humans and pets. It’s important to keep your bathroom floor sanitized, but this isn’t possible when the toilet is leaking.
To fix this problem, start by tightening the nut behind the valve about 1/8 of a turn. This could fix the problem completely. If it doesn’t then check to see if the supply line is shot, the mounting bolts are loose, or if the fill valve is secured to the tank.
If either of these things is older than five years old then have them replaced. This will generally fix the problem and is cheaper than hiring someone to diagnose the problem or spending countless hours toying with an old part.
Note: the most common problem when there is a leaking toilet that is leaking directly into the floor is a faulty wax ring. This goes underneath the toilet and isn’t easy to replace. So be careful when doing so.
Toilet Isn’t Flushing
If your toilet isn’t flushing at all or isn’t flushing all of the way, then you have a clog to deal with. Turn off the water supply as soon as possible to prevent the water from overflowing and to start working on the problem.
Start by checking the flush handle to make sure it isn’t too tight. Next, if that seems to work comfortably, check the lever lift arm. It may not be working at all which will ensure that the toilet doesn’t flush.
Keep on checking each piece of the setup to make sure it is all working as it should. These are common problems that need to be addressed if the toilet isn’t flashing at all. But if it is only partly flushing, then there could be a different problem.
In this case, there may not be enough slack in the chain that lifts the tank drain. This is a very simple fix so hopefully, it is the problem. If the chain isn’t long enough buy a new one and replace it as soon as you can.
The Toilet Is Ghost Flushing
Is your toilet randomly flushing on its own? This may seem pretty spooky but it doesn’t usually mean there are ghosts flushing your toilet throughout the day and night, right? Hopefully not! Let’s see what it could be instead.
The first thing to check is the fill tube. Make sure the refill tube running from the fill valve is not inserted into the overflow tube improperly. Then, make sure the flapper seals the flush valve opening securely.
If it isn’t, you may just need to clean it. After you do this and the toilet still randomly flushes, you may need to replace the fill valve. This answers most toilet problems so it is never a bad idea unless it is new.
Now, lastly, is the handle. The handle may seem like a silly piece to give you a problem, but it truly can. If stuck in a position that allows the toilet to flush with the slightest movement, the toilet could indeed ghost flush.