Happy Drains Blog

Why is my Toilet Bubbling when the Shower Drains?

A plumbing and draining system that works the way it should is often stored away in the back of your mind. When a problem arises, it can become all you think about until the issue is resolved.

If you’ve recently experienced your toilet bubbling when your bath or shower drains, there could be a problem within your plumbing or draining system. Read on to find out more about why this happens and how you can fix it.

What’s the cause?

If you’re toilet is bubbling when your bath or shower drains, it is known as wet venting. All drains should be vented separately to avoid pressure build-up and to vent sewer gases outside. However, sometimes drains are vented close together, particularly when fixtures are nearby to one another. This can mean that a single pipe facilitates multiple drains, in some cases the bath, shower, sink and toilet.

If a blockage occurs in either the drain or the vent, air can enter and exit through one fixture if you are using another. This is what can cause your toilet to bubble or your sink to gargle as your bath drains. If you have noticed your toilet bubbling, you may also notice all other bathroom fixtures take a long time to drain and your toilet may flush slowly.

How can I fix it?

You’ll firstly need to determine if the clog is minor or severe, and can do so by following these tips:

Remove the strainer from your shower or bath and clean any hair and soap scum from around it. Have a plumbing snake to hand and insert it into the drain to remove any dirt, hair and other obstructions stuck around a foot or two down.

You should attempt to clear further down the drain by using an enzyme-based cleaner or substances like baking soda, peroxide and salt. You could also attempt to use a longer plumbing auger to reach further down. Plunging the toilet could help to remove any blockages that are there, too.

If clearing the drains and toilet doesn’t work, you may find that the blockage is in the vent itself. The main vent will exit somewhere through the roof, so check there to ensure there are no leaves, dirt or other debris causing a blockage.

Pour some water down the vent to help clear any obstructions further down. If the vent overflows, you should again use a plumbing auger to remove any clogs that are refusing to budge!

If you’ve fixed the situation by clearing the vent, you should consider adding a protective screen over it to avoid any future blockages from occurring.

Unfortunately, clearing the blockages isn’t always the answer. If you are still experiencing issues with your toilet bubbling or slow draining, you may want to call in the professionals.

Luckily, we can help. We’d be more than happy to take a look at what might be causing your plumbing and draining woes. Simply get in touch with a member of the Happy Drains team today by giving us a call on 0800 849 8099 or via our contact page.