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A bathroom with a colorful tiled wall and a gurgling toilet.

Why is Your Toilet Making Gurgling Noise When You Flush – This Old Plumber Explains

If you’ve ever had the toilet start gurgling when you flush, I know how unsettling that can be. I heard that gurgling toilet more times than I can count over my 30+ years as a plumber. Let this old plumbing dog walk you through what makes your toilet gurgle when you flush, and how to stop it for good.

What Causes a Toilet to Gurgle When Flushing?

See, when you flush the toilet the water’s gotta go somewhere fast. It shoots down that drain pipe with some force. In a proper plumbing setup, that water and air should keep flowing to the sewer line without a fuss. But if something downstream gets blocked up, like the main sewer line, it’s gonna look for another place to go. And it can bubble right on up through your toilet, making it gurgle something fierce when you flush.

A couple common things that can cause a gurgling toilet:

First I’d check is the main sewer line out to the street. Roots or grease build up can block everything up. A pro can run an auger or hydrojetter to open it up. Once the water’s flowing free again, no more air gets pushed back up the toilet.

If the toilet drain connects to the sink somewhere, gunk building up in there can also cause trouble. When it hits the clog, water and air look for a detour – right back up the toilet to make it gurgle.

An old drain pipe with belly or sag can fill with gunk over the years too. The flush has to push through all that, so air and water back up making the toilet gurgle. Replacing the old drain line is the permanent fix.

Signs Your Toilet Gurgling is Serious

Now a minor toilet clog can also make it gurgle when you flush. But here’s a few signs the gurgling toilet might be a bigger problem:

  • Water backs up and overflows – means a serious clog downstream
  • Gurgling happens when you use other fixtures – shared drainage issue
  • Persistent sewer stinks around toilet – blocked main line
  • All drains in your home are sluggish – problem with main line
  • Leaky plumbing allowing sewer gas to escape

Don’t ignore a gurgling toilet if you notice these! Trying a plunger probably won’t fix it. Call a plumber to diagnose and repair.

Fixing a Gurgling Toilet Yourself

For minor gurgling, here’s some DIY ways to try and fix it yourself:

Plunging – Use a toilet plunger to vigorously plunge 15 times. This can dislodge minor clogs.

Flushing with hot water – Repeatedly flush toilet with hot water from a kettle. Helps dissolve buildups.

Snaking – Insert a closet auger to snake out the drain and clear debris.

Add additive to tank – Try a toilet additive to help break down waste and keep drains clear.

But if you’ve tried these and it still gurgles – call a plumber. Persistent gurgling usually means a bigger issue.

Preventing Future Gurgling Toilets

Here’s some tips to help avoid a gurgling, bubbling toilet:

  • Don’t flush wipes, paper towels or anything that can clog
  • Use enzyme toilet cleaners to help break down waste
  • Install a low-flow toilet that requires less water per flush
  • Have drains professionally cleaned every 2-3 years
  • Fix any toilet leaks right away – small leaks get bigger fast

Call the Plumber for Ongoing Gurgling

If you can’t fix that gurgling commode yourself, call a pro. We’ve got the high-power drain augers, hydrojetters and cameras to clear out even severe clogs. And we can replace worn parts or pipes causing chronic gurgling problems.

Signs it’s time to call a plumber:

  • Plunging or snaking doesn’t fix gurgling
  • Water overflowing from toilet
  • Loud gurgling from all home drains
  • Persistent sewer stench around toilet

This old plumber loves tackling those annoying gurgling toilet calls. It’s real satisfying clearing up a chronic clog or repairing worn out plumbing causing bubbling and burps when you flush. Gets your toilet flushing quiet and smooth again.

Don’t Put Up With a Gurgling Toilet!

Well, hope this gives you some insight into why your toilet might gurgle when you flush. Don’t ignore it – gurgling usually means something needs fixing. With the right repairs and regular maintenance, your toilet won’t be making a peep! Let me know if you have any other questions – always happy to help.