Toilet Bubbles When Washer Drains — Why?

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We all know what it’s like to wake up in the middle of the night and hear the toilet gurgling. The sound is disturbing and even scary sometimes, so it’s natural that you want to solve the problem immediately. 

But do you know how to do it?

If your toilet bubbles when the washer drains, it means you have a build-up of water somewhere in the system. But, thankfully, there’s a whole list of ways to fix the toilet and make it work normally again. 

Below, we’ll go through the different reasons why your toilet bubbles when the washer drains, as well as how you can fix the issue.

6 Reasons Why Toilet Bubbles When Washer Drains

There are six main reasons why your washing machine makes the toilet gurgle: 

1. Clogs in the Main Washing Machine Drain

Partial clogs may restrict water flow and cause the pressure to be redirected into the toilet — the waste pipe is partially blocked, so air and water are both forced to go back through the line.

This can cause gurgles when the washing machine drains water because the route is too narrow. If this happens, you will need to clear the clog.

Solution: Identify and Remove the Clogs

Use a plumber snake or an enzyme cleaner to clear out any clogs in the drain.

A plumber snake (or auger) is a cable tool with a rotating drum on the end that will clear out any debris in your drain. A 5-in-1 plumber snake works by feeding the cable into the clogged pipe while it rotates, grabbing anything that gets in the way. 

It will physically remove any debris that’s stuck in the main drain of the washer that is causing bubbles.

Enzyme cleaners, like Biokleen, are organic compounds that work using natural bacteria to break down and digest organic matter, including fats, oils, and grease.

They are environmentally friendly, as they decompose waste without leaving residues that can harm the environment.

2. One or More Vents Are Blocked

Water can create an air vacuum while going through the pipes which acts as a seal that forces the air to change direction. Because there’s no other place for the bubbles to go, they will find a way out through the toilet drain.

Solution: Repair the Vents

Install a two-inch drain with a P-trap under the washing machine to enable sufficient airflow. It’s an S-shaped pipe under a sink or toilet which prevents sewer gases from coming up through drains.

Some homeowners don’t feel comfortable doing this. If you don’t, call a plumber to do this repair for you. 

3. Hosepipe Is Not Installed Properly

The hosepipe drains the water from the washing machine through the same drainage system as the toilet. When you use the washing machine, it expels water with a lot of pressure. It won’t drain water effectively if the hose pipe is in the wrong place, or if the installation isn’t correct. 

It mostly happens when plumbers install the hosepipe too far away from the washing machine. Or, alternatively, if the hose is hanging down and is unable to push out the water. 

Solution: Adjust the Hosepipe

Install the hosepipe close to the washing machine and make sure there is enough slack in it before finishing up. Check its position and straighten it to enable water flow. 

Sometimes the hosepipe is worn out, and you might need to buy a new one. A good option is a stainless hose on Amazon. If you notice any cracks or holes, make sure to replace the hosepipe.

4. A Clogged Vent Pipe Halting Airflow

Every bathroom has an exhaust fan and a vertical vent pipe leading to the roof. If it is clogged, air will not travel through the pipe. 

In other words, the toilet won’t get rid of bubbles when the washer drains.

When plumbers install vent pipes, they usually place the ones without a lid — this might allow mud and other debris to enter it, becoming partially blocked and preventing air from escaping.

Solution: Climb the Roof And Clean the Pipe

Go to the roof and unblock any debris that you notice. Try using a long-handled brush to reach the clog in the vent, or use a garden hose to run water into the pipe. 

Keep in mind that climbing the roof is dangerous, so you might want to consider hiring a professional plumber to do this for you.

When you’re finished, remember to flush the toilet a few times until all of the air has been removed.

5. Toilet Waste Pipe Is Clogged

This problem usually occurs when you throw stuff in the toilet that shouldn’t be there. 

Things you are not supposed to flush include big pieces of paper, cotton balls, non-biodegradable hygiene products, and even dental floss. 

These items can quickly clog the toilet waste pipe.

Solution: Push Through the Clog

Flush a bucket of hot soapy water down the blocked toilet to dissolve any clogs. You might have to do this several times until it’s completely clear.

Alternatively, you can use a plunger to unblock the clog and remove debris from the toilet bowl. Make sure you get a rubber cup plunger because it has a wider surface than other types. 

When you stop working the plunger, remember to pour in another bucket of hot soapy water and flush it through — this will remove the last bits of debris that remain after you’ve cleared the blocked toilet.

6. Community Sewer Problem

If none of the solutions mentioned above work, you might need to contact the local utility provider. Perhaps there’s a problem outside your home — the public sewers in your area can be clogged as well. 

Sewer debris builds up quickly, particularly if rain has been falling consistently. A blockage in the sewer lines could cause overflowing, which might form bubbles in your toilet.

Solution: Ask a Utility Provider for Assistance

Contact your local sewer company and ask them to investigate any sewage problems that you’re experiencing. They may send out a team to check the local sewer.

You can also call a plumber as they might spot the problem immediately. In each case, your utility provider should fix the problem and prevent bubbles in your toilet when the washer drains.

The Bottom Line

Your bathroom can give you a headache in so many ways. A gurgling toilet when the washer drains is only one of them, but it may as well be the most annoying.

The first task is to discover the cause. After that, you can use one of the solutions that we suggested above.

FAQ

Why does my toilet bubble?

A clogged line is likely to blame for the gurgling in your toilet. A clog in the toilet creates negative pressure, thus pushing back the air and producing a gurgling sound.

How do I get rid of air bubbles in my toilet drain?

It depends on the problem causing it. However, the best way is to start removing the air from the pipes. Do it by repeatedly flushing the toilet until all of the air has been removed.

Why is my toilet bubbling when the shower is running?

Examine the vent stack on the roof for possible obstructions. Look for the closest one to the bathroom and search for any clogs you might need to remove.

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