My wife and I recently purchase our firt home (a condo actually). We are on the top floor (4 floors). Since moving in our tub drain has gurgled when we flush our toilet. We have notified our strata management compnay who have tried to both snake the stack vent on the roof as well as have it blown out with a high pressure hot water hose of some type. Well the gurgling has only gotten louder. The apartment below us has no such problem with her plumbing. I have no idea what is going on. Everything I read tells me that it's a stack vent but I am wondering if there could be another cause. Any suggestions would really be appreciated.
A "bubble" indicates a clogged line while a "gurgle" indicates a blocked vent. Let me explain. When you flush the discharge drains down the pipe until it hits a partial clog. Then it rebounds back sending a "bubble" of air ahead of it. When you flush a toilet or drain a bathtub a suction is created by the water rushing down the pipe. This suction is relieved by a open pipe that runs to the outside called a vent. When a vent's stopped up the suction has to relieve itself somewhere, in this case your tub. The noise you hear is the air being pulled through the trap by suction, (gurgle).
So your problem is a vent problem and the management company hasn't reached the clog yet. Did they snake from the lavatory vent that services your bathroom group or just snake out the main stack. If that's all they snaked out then they snaked the wrong stack. Good luck and keep me informed. Tom
Thanks a lot for your reply. I am sure it is a venting issue as I tired pluging the drain with the stopper and holding my hand over the overflow vent to see if there was air getting pulled in when I flush... there is, a lot of air. I know that the guys were on the roof snaking the stack vent but I was not aware that there were multiple vents. From what the management is telling me, all the apartments in my section of the building share a stack. Actually 4 all together that come out on the roof. According to them they have not only snaked all of them but also use this high pressure water hose. They say they did hit a block at one point but got past it and cleared the vent. This has only made it worse. Is there a different place that this "Laveratory vent" needs to be accessed from? Is it possible that in a condo individual apartments vents branch of from a main vent, and in the process of clearing the main vent they have plugged more stuff into mine?
My husband an I had the same problem in our apartment. It kept getting louder. Eventually our tub wouldn't drain and the washer backed up in the tub. They had to snake the vent. They ended up pulling out what the plumber said was tree roots. Since they cleared it the gurgle stopped.
serialwifes problem's not the same as yours. She didn't have a "gurgle" she hada backup. Hers was a blocked drain while yours is a blocked vent.
"From what the management is telling me, all the apartments in my section of the building share a stack.
"Is there a different place that this "Laveratory vent" needs to be accessed from?"
This is called reventing, where you connect other vents into one pipe that goes out the roof. I have run into this situation many times and there's only one way to be surethat it's your vent being cleared. You must go into the attic and locate the vent that services your bathroom. then you must cut into that vent and snake the open pipe. There is no other way to do this.
"According to them they have not only snaked all of them but also use this high pressure water hose. They say they did hit a block at one point but got past it and cleared the vent. This has only made it worse."
What they did was to blow the clog farther into your system with the hose.
They attempted a "quick fix" with the pressure hose that failed. Call them back and have them snake out the vent that services your bathroom.
Good luck and keep me informed. Tom
Thanks so much Speedball. I will pass this information along to my Strata Management Company. I wish they had just got a plumber in there in the first place. Anyhow I truly appreciate the input, I will let you know what transpires.
Was searching for an answer to another problem and landed on this one... just this past Sunday my husband power washed the garage floor - laundry room/garage share a common wall, garage floor has drain in center (hse. Plans do not indicate where it goes) - after he finished I began filing the washing machine and heard glub, glub, glub... coming from inside the laundry tub... and then noticed the water was dirty! We've been in our hse. 30 yrs. New laundry added 20 yrs. Ago - NEVER had such a problem. Waste from machine is flex into PVC pipe going down into slab. Garage floor is 18" lower than ldry. Floor... where to begin?
Sounds like when hubby hosed off the floors he washed a lot of dirt and debris down the floor drain and now you have it blocking the drain downstream from the laundry tray. The solution would be to snake the drain from the washer roof vent or the washers standpipe. Test by cycling the washer. Good luck, tom
I consider myself pretty handy 'round the house. I'm usually able to troubleshoot, fix, install, build, or sub out whatever needs doing. So, when the tub next the commode in our master bath began to gurgle with flush, I was amazed at what I found when I Googled "Tub gurgles with flush"!
So - my general symptoms sound very similar to initial poster czuboka. I'm in a single fam home on well/septic. The bathroom in question is on the main floor with relatively easy attic access. Commode sees regular use. Tub rarely gets used (so no hair/scum buildup there). Here's what I've done thus far (in chronological order):
1. Run some water into tub after flush to re-create water seal... (gurgle persists)
2. Replace toilet tank flapper. Thought issue may be related to poor seal or flapper timing... (gurgle persists)
3. Closet auger to toilet. Though I didn't suspect a clog I do have two small children who could have potentially put something in the toilet... (gurgle persists)
4. With borrowed wire snake I went to the roof to inspect vent stack outlet. No nests, clogs, or dead animals found. No blockages found with snaking (though I could only pass about 10-12' of line in - with 90 degree bends in vent pipe). I then went up in attic and cut through vent stack and snaked there, too. With cut pipe end exposed I had a helper (my 4 year old) flush the commode in question. I could clearly hear water flush and could easily feel draw of air from pipe end (indicating no vent stack clog?)... (gurgle persists)
5. Phone call to plumber who installed fixtures 5 yrs ago - he recommended "Thrift" drain cleaner to tub drain. Thrift purchased and seemed to do the trick for about a day - then... (gurgle persists).
So what to do now? I'm not out much money (thankfully toilet parts and PVC are cheap), but something is clearly amiss. I'll use the rest of the "Thrift on the two sinks in the Master Bath, but I don't hold out much hope that that'll fix it. I also plan on replacing the toilet tank innards with the thought that tub gurgles 'cause fill valve isn't working or flapper valve isn't closing in a timely manner.
Sorry for the long post - but wanted to be as descriptive as possible.
CRITT001, The "gurgle" in the tub indicates a blocked vent. But what if it isn't a 'gurgle" but a "bubble" that you hear. That puts a whole new spin on things. You convinced me it wasn't a vent problem when you went upand cut into the vent to check the air flow, ( nice job of analyzing the problem). So now where are we at? Since the Thrift drain cleaner helped, (and I'm no fan of putting harsh chemicals in your drainage system) Let's snake the tub drain. Let me show you how. Unscrew and remove the overflow plate,(The one with the drain lever) and pull out the tub stopper. You now have a clear shot at the trap. The way you were going in through the drain it ran you square into a tee that you can't get around. Now feed the cable( 1/4" best or 3/8" with a small auger tip. You can rent a Ridgid K50 sink cable.) About 2' down you will run into the bend of the trap. Crank and push at the same time to work around it. Your blockage will be found in the lateral pipe going to the stack. You shouln't have to put out more then 10 or 12 feet. I have found tub and shower clogs to be mostly hair and the worm should auger into it and pull it back. Hope this helps and thank you for rating my reply. TOM
Thanks Tom (don't know where I got "Mike"... sorry)
I appreciate the quick response. I'm happy to snake the tub - but if the tub doesn't get used much (seriously... like 6 times a year) do you think the issue is with a clog in the lateral drain line? Shower gets used much more (twice daily) and I'm pretty good at pulling muck/hair out of drain (which is grouted in to tile floor). Would I do better to snake the two sinks? Or yank toilet from floor (replaced another commode's wax ring a while back - so that process is still in my head) and snake from there? I'm just trying to understand where the 'clog' is... at toilet? Closer to house sewage output?
A 50 foot snake was rented and snaked down the tub drain (from the overflow outlet). It only made it about 5 feet or so. It was running into a 90-degree elbow that I couldn't get past. With a PVC pipe piece as a protective cover, I snaked the toilet, too. Again, unable to pass the curve to get to the discharge pipe. Not being anxious to pull the throne from the floor, I tried a different angle. I moved to the two sink drains and set about cleaning the "P" traps. Both were quite gummy, but one significantly so. Strangely, when I put all the "P" pieces back together, the two drains would not drain, almost like a water level between the two... water flowing in one sink would back up into the other. (This seemed to indicate to me that a clog was behind the wall to the sinks!) So when the water completely drained out I used the remainder of the "Thrift" drain cleaner (I remembered your dislike of chemicals - but I had some left over and was nearing wits-end). Man, now the water drains like a champ, tub is fine, and the toilet no longer makes gurgles. So can I now assume that a blockage in the two sinks was significant enough to impact the air draw/ventilation on the toilet (causing the only remaining 'open' drain - the tub - to gurgle)? If so - what's best way to clear clogs in sinks when they occur beyond the "P" trap without using "Thrift" (or some other Drano-type product)?
You guys! I not this is an old post, but if somebody runs across it this is how to do fix the problem. I think everybody is getting to technical here. It as simple as getting a professional drain cleaning company and let them do their job.
If you roof vent is clean, then remove toilet an clean with 1/2" cable with a 3" and 2" blade in each side. Clean from there to the front clean out. Then place toilet. Try again to flush! If not. Then under the bathroom sink you might have a clean out then snake from there to the front c/o with the biggest blades you can fit. If not then clean from you stack c/o to front c/o ( if in apartment use c/o in bottom floor and clean to the front of building.) when all this is done. I would inspect the lateral connection from the building to the street, which sometimes if it has some blockages it sends/forces air backwards and produces gurgles in weak spot like tubs!
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