This morning the toilet started bubbling almost violently for about 30 seconds. I hadn't used any of the sinks or toilet for at least an hour prior to it happening and I haven't been able to recreate it. The toilet flushes normally and none of the drains are clogged. It made the whole house smell like sewer, we live in town so I'm fairly certain we are connected to the city sewer. I can't get ahold of my landlord, with myself being pregnant and two dogs in the house I want to figure out what it could be as soon as possible. Any help is really appreciated.

  • I'd ask the city if there were any incidents of damage or maintenance recently.
    – isherwood
    Apr 4, 2016 at 20:23
  • This should be prevented by a properly-operating vent stack. Are you in an apartment building or a house? Apr 5, 2016 at 1:20

1 Answer 1


It should be no surprise that the toilet dumps its contents into a sewer pipe inside your house, and the bottom of that sewer pipe is plumbed out into the city sewer system (or septic field if you have that instead).

Less well known is that the vertical sewer pipe usually extends all the way to the roof, where there is a vent. Gases created by food and effluent decay will vent there, instead of doing what yours is doing.

It sounds like something has gone wrong with that system.

  • +1 Likely something is clogging the vent pipe. Maybe a dead animal.
    – JimmyJames
    Jul 4, 2016 at 19:09

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