My husband and I bought a house in July. During the home inspection, water was run for upwards of 20 minutes with no issues noted. When we moved in August 1st, we instantly noticed issues with the plumbing, such as gurgling in the toilet when the water ran in the shower. We had someone come drain the septic tank and they cleared the drainline as well. About a month later, we had similar issues, so my husband snaked the toilet out 100 ft finding nothing, and we used a drain cleaner. That seemed to work. Now, we're having trouble AGAIN. Same problem: bubbling in toilet when water is drained elsewhere, gurgling in pipes when toilet is flushed. What else can we do? My husband thinks it may be the toilet itself, because it has always been slow flushing. Thoughts?


2 Answers 2


This sounds like a vent pipe is partially blocked. Essentially, the vacuum has to be broken somehow - through the easiest path. If enough air can't come through the proper channel (the vent pipe(s)), then it comes through a nearby fixture.

You've been snaking, just in the wrong direction :)

  • If you snake the lines from the roof vents, you will get both the vent and line in one shot. Plus, you don't have to worry about scratching the surface of the toilet.
    – diceless
    Nov 3, 2015 at 21:35

Water gurgling down the toilet when other drains are used sounds like a clogged vent stack - the draining water can cause a vacuum that pulls water from other drains/toilets along with it.

You can snake the vent stack from the roof and/or hose it out to clear it. If you're not comfortable climbing on the roof, it should be an easy operation for a plumber.

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