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Why Does My Toilet Gurgle When the Shower Drains?

The gurgling sound of your toilet is irritating when you are showering. It puts a full stop to the joy of a shower. The most common and obvious cause is the blockage of a vent. So, how do you fix this problem, and what are some other reasons leading to this problem? Let’s discover!


A gurgling toilet means suction or negative air pressure is increasing in the drain line. Air can flow through the lines, allowing waste to go down and out of the house. When the negative air pressure finally scatters, the air pushes back up through the drain. Finally, it enters the toilet bowl, producing a gurgling sound. When this happens, the toilet may bubble and flush on its own.

Let’s uncover why this might happen in your toilet.

Blockage in the vent pipes

If you are flushing the toilet and it still does not flush, the problem is with the ventilation system. Blockages in the plumbing vent lines aren’t limited to the bathroom sink or toilet. Instead, the problem could be near the roof’s primary stack access point.

Debris falls into the vent aperture, making the ventilation system the likely offender. A buildup in the system’s elbow is causing the problem. Sometimes birds and other small animals will construct nests inside of these openings.

So, the most common cause that causes your toilet to gurgle is the blockage in the vent pipes. Vent pipes emit gas due to the degradation of organic matter. The vent pipes are vital because they reduce gas pressure. If something is blocking the vent pipe, pressure cannot exit the drain pipes. Finally, this reduces airflow and causes gurgling in the toilet.

Blockage in your toilet

A blockage in the toilet’s drain pipe is one of the most common causes of a gurgling toilet. When waste and air can’t pass through the pipe, negative pressure builds up, and you can hear a gurgling noise. You might also see bubbling in the toilet water as the air exits.

Furthermore, other factors that might lead to a blockage in your toilet are:

  • Dumping trash in your toilet.
  • Excessive toilet paper.
  • Flushing unsuitable items.
  • Flushing, sanitary goods, or cotton balls might cause a clogged toilet.
  • As per a study, cleaning wipes account for more than 93 percent of all toilet blockages.

Obstruction in the main Sewer Line of your house

A gurgling toilet usually means an issue with the home’s interior plumbing. Nonetheless, a blockage outside the house can also cause problems. The gurgling could also be coming from the house’s external sewer pipe. Many reasons may cause blockage in the external sewer line. For example:

  • Tree roots in the area could have punctured the drain line.
  • The drainpipe could have collapsed.
  • Dirt or debris could also be clogging the line.

Small pipe diameter

The pipes may be too narrow in some locations. An excessive amount of toilet paper and flushing wipes can cause small pipes to block. Increasing the pipe’s diameter might be the next best option if that doesn’t work.

Although the repair cost can be low, it might be tricky without plumbing skills. It may require extra work than adjusting pipe diameter, so we advise you to talk to a plumber first.

The drains are interconnected.

You might also experience toilet gurgling if the shower and toilet have the same drains.

Joining the shower drain to the toilet waste pipe is a common cause of gurgling sounds and bubbles. It happens when the toilet or the shower drains. Most homes have a plumbing set up like this, and those people are the ones who have to put up with the bubbling toilet.

For instance, the toilet and soil stack might be downstream from where the shower drains. When the shower drains, the negative air pressure might cause bubbles in the toilet. It happens because two drains connect to the same line. This also occurs when there is a small drainpipe between the toilet and the shower.

The shower and the toilet have the same vents.

Some bathrooms include a single vertical stacking of the toilet and the shower. As a result, the fixture and the toilet share a flue or wet vent.

So, you might experience a gurgling sound in your toilet when the water from the shower leaves the pipes.


So far, you have learned the most frequent and root causes of your toilet’s gurgling sound. Now it is time to look at the solutions. Let’s uncover!

How to unblock vent pipes?

A hooking drain snake can remove clogs near the vent pipe’s top. But deeper clogs may need a garden hose and an ejector drain snake. If you’re comfortable on the rooftop, try to find and remove the obstruction yourself. Nonetheless, a professional is usually a better choice.

How to fix a blockage in your toilet?

In most cases, a simple plunger will fix the issue. Here is how you can use one:

  • First, secure the plunger’s head in the toilet’s drain opening.
  • Push the plunger 5 to 10 times to loosen the blockage.
  • Plunge the toilet, then flush it and see if it still gurgles.

If the toilet still gurgles after doing so, you can use a drain snake to remove the clog.

How to fix a blockage in the main sewer line of your house

When the obstruction is far from the gurgling toilet, a plunger may not be able to remove it.

Instead, you should attempt to use a drain snake to remove the obstruction or pull the clog-free by hand. Here is how you can attempt the problem:

  • Take the auger crank and start rotating it. (auger crank is a type of drain snake, and you need to operate it manually)
  • Start inserting the metal line into the drain pipe.
  • If the obstruction is particularly stubborn, you may need to buy a motorized drain snake.
  • You should be fine getting to the obstacle with a motorized drain snake, as their length exceeds 100 feet.
  • To avoid breaking the toilet, you should take it out of its mounting before using a motorized snake.
  • If you have limited experience with these tools, it’s best to hire a plumber to arrive and take care of the problem for you.

You may need a motorized drain snake to unblock the exterior sewer line.

Using a motorized drain snake, you can try to empty the drain line and see if that helps. Instead of putting the drain snake through the toilet’s drain, you should put it in through the main sewer cleaning out. Remember that the blockage type will determine whether the drain snake can clear it. Finally, if the problem persists, call a plumber for help.

How do you fix a shower drain when it gurgles?

  • You will need half a cup of vinegar and a full cup of baking soda.
  • Put the baking soda into the drain.
  • Now, pour in the vinegar.
  • Cover the drain with something (a plate works great) for 30 minutes.
  • After waiting half an hour, remove the stopper from the drain.
  • Finally, start pouring hot water into the drain and keep doing it for 2 to 3 minutes.

How do you know if your sewer line is blocked?

Expert plumbers suggest taking the gurgling of your toilet as a cry for help. It is because this minor problem can become a headache down the road. So, you need to learn and fix the blockages before things become a mess. If you observe any of the following signs in your plumbing, chances are your sewer line has a blockage.

Gurgling – not only in the toilet

When you turn on the washing machine, the toilet may gurgle, and vice versa, with the sink or shower drain. A gurgling sound may indicate a clog in the drain pipe. Most of the time, the culprits are tree roots. A clog may form in the sewer lines as they spread through pipe joints and microscopic holes. They can also pick up bits of waste like toilet paper, leading to gurgling indicators.

You are plunging.

Everyone has to plunge into a toilet at some point. If you plunge the toilet or sink more often than usual, the problem may be further down the line. If this is the case, the issue is likely not localized to one appliance. Water level disorder in a toilet can occur for no clear reason and may be due to a clog that reduces water pressure.

Water is draining slowly

The plumbing in your home is causing water to drain slowly or not at all. There could be a problem with more than one sink, tub, or shower drain. There could be flushing problems, or the toilet could overflow. This can invite unsanitary water and trash into your home. There is also a risk of water damage and microbial infection. Overflowing sinks or toilets near a washing machine could indicate an issue with the sewage system.


Is toilet gurgling serious?

The gurgling may not be too unpleasant, but if a collapsed or broken sewer line is to blame, you need to fix it. If you delay this job, the waste might come back into the bathroom and toilet due to negative air pressure.

Does rainfall causes toilet gurgling?

Considering that it is connected to the rest of the plumbing in your home, rain can damage your toilet. Toilet gurgling, often indicative of a clogged drain or overflow, is one of a malfunctioning toilet’s most common warning sounds.

Can a gurgling toilet fix itself?

No, unfortunately, that’s not the case. The gurgling sound may stop, but it will return unless the underlying cause is addressed. It is due to a clog in the pipe connecting your toilet to the main sewer system.

Will boiling hot water unclog a toilet?

It can, but boiling hot water can cause toilet porcelain to crack (which rarely happens). To perform a successful operation, you pour the boiling water and wait for it to drain. Finally, the flushing should be easier and smooth if you are successful.

Is there a lot of damage that can come from a toilet overflowing?

An overflowing toilet can cause invisible damage to a home’s structure. When a toilet on a higher floor floods, water can cause damage not to the bathroom below but also to the ceiling and flooring.


Whenever your shower drains and your toilet gurgles, it is due to a blockage somewhere in your plumbing. The cause can include small pipes or blockages in your toilet, vents, or primary sewer lines.

The better and wise approach is installing quality equipment and employing experienced personnel. It will help minimize future plumbing issues.

Finally, at YZDRAIN, we manufacture and supply only the best products in the industry. Please feel free to ask for a FREE quote today. Thanks for the Read!

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