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My Toilet Gurgles When My Bathtub Is Draining

Like most of us, we don’t think about our plumbing until we have a problem. Once a problem is identified then that is all we think about until the issue is resolved.

A fairly common problem can be a toilet gurgling or bubbling when your tub or shower is draining. We will identify the reason this is occurring and what can be done to fix the problem.

What Causes A Bubbling Toilet?

Florida Code Chapter 9 requires wet venting for drainage pipes. This is done to vent sewer gases to be expelled outside the home and to prevent pressure from building up in the pipes. When you have drains on the same vent pipe a blockage can occur. If this happens air may enter and exit from one fixture when another is in use causing your toilet to gurgle. This will also cause your other fixtures to drain slowly if a blockage is present in a wet-vented configuration.


Any clog that has occurred in your pipes should be fixed ASAP. Most clogs are relatively minor; however severe clogs can cause significant issues if not addressed quickly. The clog causing air bubbles in the toilet may be minor or quite severe. Below are some tips to address a bubbling toilet.

Clean the Drain

With any plumbing problem always start with the easiest and most common reasons and then work backward. If you have a bubbling toilet the most common reason for this to occur is due to a blockage in the drainage pipe. First, remove the tub strainer and take out any hair, soap scum, or anything else that may be blocking the drain. Once you have done this take a plumbing snake and insert it a few feet down into the drain pipe to make sure you removed all of the obstruction. Then plug the tub and fill it up a few inches with water. Then unplug it and see if your toilet continues to bubble. If it doesn’t fix the issue, if it continues to gurgle then the blockage is further down in the drainage pipe.

The vent May Be Blocked

If the problem still persists after cleaning the drainage pipe then you will need to move on to the vent stack on your roof. Many times dirt, leaves, and debris can build up over time blocking the vent.

Remove what you can, then try spraying water down the vent to flush the debris. When flushing, if the vent overflows you will need to use a plumbing snake to remove the blockage. One recommendation is once the vent is cleared place some type of protective screen to block any debris from making its way back into the vent.

Jacksonville Plumber

We understand plumbing emergencies can be frustrating. If you try these helpful tips and the problem persists you will want to contact Metro Rooter for plumbing help. We have been in business for over 30 years and are one of the largest plumbing companies in Jacksonville. Our plumbers are highly trained and qualified to handle any plumbing emergency. Call us today (904) 567-3775 for all of your plumbing and septic needs.

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