Why Does My Toilet Bubble When I Shower?

We’ve all been there – you’re taking a shower and all of a sudden you hear the sound of your toilet bubbling. What’s going on? Why does this happen, and is it something to be concerned about?

In this blog post, we’ll answer these questions and more. So read on to learn more about why your toilet bubbles when you shower!

toilet bubbling when taking shower

Reasons Behind Toilet Bubbling During Shower

It’s most likely that your toilet and shower both share a sewer pipe and a vent stack, a plumbing system referred to as ‘wet venting.’ Here are the possible reasons why your toilet bubble when you shower and how to fix them:

1. Clogged Main Sewer Pipe

A clogged main sewer pipe is one of the main reasons why your toilet would bubble when you shower.

Most times, drain pipes in the bathroom are connected to one main sewer pipe, especially if the drain pipes are close enough. This means that the shower drain and toilet drain are connected to and share a single sewer line.

This sewer line has a normal air pressure that enables wastewater from both the shower and toilet to flow down it without any issue. However, if this main sewer line is clogged, the normal air pressure in it will be affected.

As a result, when the shower is in use and wastewater from the shower drains into the sewer pipe, air may either be sucked out or pushed into the toilet. This can cause bubbles in your toilet when you shower.

Here is a better explanation:

Pushing Air into the Toilet

When you shower, wastewater drains into the main sewer line, pushing the air in the sewer line out with it. However, if the sewer line is clogged, the air will be trapped. Since the air has nowhere else to go, it’ll be pushed up into the toilet drain to the p-trap, causing the water in the toilet bowl to bubble.

Sucking Air Out of the Toilet

Depending on the position of the clog, the wastewater from the shower may create a vacuum in the main sewer line. If the vacuum is strong enough, it’ll suck the air out of the toilet drain through the p-trap, causing bubbles in the toilet bowl.

So, next time you notice bubbles in your toilet when you shower, don’t panic. It’s possibly because your main sewer line is clogged. Nevertheless, you should fix the issue immediately to prevent larger issues, such as damaged pipes.

How to Fix a Clogged Main Sewer Pipe?

Fixing a clogged main sewer pipe isn’t a simple or easy task. You may end up damaging your main sewer pipe in the process. We don’t recommend that you fix your clogged main sewer line yourself, instead, get a professional plumber to handle it for you.

2. Clogged Roof Vent

Another major reason why your toilet would bubble when you shower is a clogged vent pipe. A vent pipe is a vertical pipe that connects to the drain pipe and extends beyond your rooftop.

Just like the sewer pipe, the vent pipe is important in the plumbing setup even though it doesn’t carry any wastewater. What the vent pipe does is to remove awful sewer odors and gasses from the toilet/bathroom drain to keep your toilet/bathroom smelling good.

The vent pipe also allows air to travel into your drain to maintain normal air pressure, which helps wastewater to drain smoothly.

Most of the time, the toilet drain and shower drain have separate vent pipes. However, if the toilet drain and shower drain both share a common sewer pipe, they will be vented through a common vent pipe.

If this vent pipe becomes clogged, the air pressure in the vent pipe will be negatively affected. When wastewater leaves the shower drain, instead of air coming in or leaving through the vent pipe, the air is forcefully drawn or forced to leave through the toilet.

Here is a better explanation:

Drawing Air from the Toilet

When you shower, wastewater drains into the main sewer line, drawing air into the vent pipe. However, if the vent pipe is clogged, it won’t receive sufficient air to enable the wastewater to drain smoothly.

As a result, air will be drawn in from the toilet bowl, causing its water to bubble. This usually happens if the toilet drain is above the shower drain.

Forcing Air to Leave Through the Toilet

Sometimes, the wastewater from the shower pushes air out of the vent pipe as it flows down the sewer pipe. If the clog in the vent pipe doesn’t allow the air to escape at a normal rate, the air will be forced to leave through the toilet drain.

This usually happens if the shower drain is above the toilet drain and it can cause the toilet to bubble when you shower.

How to Fix a Clogged Roof Vent?

The only solution is to unclog your vent pipe. Luckily, this is something you can do by yourself. However, you’ll need a ladder to safely get on your rooftop to inspect the vent pipe and remove the obstruction.

If this is something you don’t feel comfortable doing, contact an expert plumber instead. Otherwise, follow these steps to unclog your vent pipe:

Locate Your Vent Pipe

With the help of a ladder or any other suitable equipment, climb up to your rooftop and locate your vent pipe. The vent pipe is usually that pipe that sticks out of the roof.

Inspect Your Vent Pipe

Look into the vent pipe for any visible blockages, such as leaves, debris, animals, nests, trash, and so on. If you can’t see any blockage, shine a flashlight down into the vent pipe to check for clogs. You may also pour some water down the vent using a water hose and listen if the water pushes against clogs.

Remove the Clogs

Remove any visible blockages from the vent pipe and throw them away. If the clog is deeper into the vent pipe, you can jet water from the water hose into the vent to see if the force will remove the blockage.

You can also use a sewer auger to remove any clogs in the vent pipe. If the clog is deep down into the vent pipe and none of these methods, you’ll need to call on a professional plumber to help you remove the clogs.

Finally, once you have removed the clogs from your vent pipe, check if it’s still functioning properly by pouring some water down the drain and listening for any bubbling in the toilet. If all is well, you can now resume showering without any worries of bubbling in the toilet.

Is This a Thing to be Worried About?

It’s not an emergency but a sign of something wrong in your plumbing system. There are a few possible causes of bubbling in the toilet while showering, such as clogged vent pipes or blocked drains. If this happens often, it’s best to get it checked out by a professional plumber right away to avoid any damage to your plumbing system.

It is important to maintain your vent pipe regularly and make sure that the air pressure is balanced in order for wastewater to flow freely down the drain. Doing so will prevent any instances of bubbling in the toilet while showering or other problems related to poor drainage.

Keeping these tips in mind can help keep your bathroom smelling nice and clean all year round as well!

Final Words

In conclusion, bubbling in your toilet when you shower is usually caused by a clogged vent pipe. To prevent further issues and to ensure that wastewater drains smoothly from your shower/toilet drain, make sure to inspect and clean out your vent pipe on a regular basis. If you are unable to remove the blockage yourself contact an expert plumber who will be able to help.

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