How To Fix a Toilet That Drains Slowly Then Gurgles

  • By: Monica Shulz

Your toilet is draining slowly, then gurgles. Yikes!

Do not fear, we are here to help figure out a solution and preventative measures for the future.

What You Will Learn

  • What type of issues cause your toilet to drain slow
  • What problems would make your toilet gurgle
  • How to fix these issues
  • How to keep this from happening again

Toilet issues can be a big problem and inconvenience.

Why do they always seem to have issues when you have a house full of company?!

Not only can it be an annoyance, but it can also cost a lot of money to have a plumber come out and try to figure out the issue for you.

Did you know, if you live in an apartment most plumbers aren’t allowed to come in and work on your plumbing? This is especially true if you are a renter. You have to wait until your apartment repair crew can schedule you in!

So what could be causing your toilet to drain slowly then gurgle? Let’s see if we can solve this.

Issues That Would Make Your Toilet Drain Slowly

Arguably the most common issue with a slow draining toilet is a clog. Not necessarily a full blown clog, but a partial one.

Many things can cause a partial clog, but luckily it can be a pretty easy fix.

Assuming there will not be an excessive amount of water that will overflow the toilet bowl, try increasing the water pressure.

You can do this by filling a large bucket of with water and quickly empty the bucket into the toilet bowl, ensuring there is as little splashing as possible.

If the issue is in fact a small clog, this should be able to push whatever is clogging the pipe through and finish the initial flush.

Perhaps you have had to deal with unclogging another drain in your house and have what many people call a ‘snake’ or an auger.

This will help to physically push the clogged materials through the drain. If you do not already have one, it may be a good idea to buy one for times like this!

What To Do About The Toilet Gurgles

You have a toilet that is draining slowly, but every time you attempt a flush the toilet some other form of water within the bathroom starts to gurgle. Perhaps it is the shower, the sink, the tub, but there is a liquid noise nearby!

Unfortunately, this means that there is something serious blocking your toilet vent from doing its job venting!

The vent for the toilet should pop right out of your roof, so you will need to physically take a look yourself to see what’s in there!

Once on top of your roof, secure a light to a secure string (fishing line perhaps) and shine the light down the vent to see if you see what is causing your issues.

Making sure that someone is inside the house to let you know if they notice any leaks, you can actually run hose water down into the vent to try to clear the clog!

Did you know that the toilet issues may actually be coming from one of the other drains?!

Check to see if all of your other drains, like the sink, shower, tub are all functioning properly.

If you notice the shower isn’t draining correctly, read this to learn how to unclog the shower yourself without having to pay for an expensive plumber!

Gurgling Kitchen Sink

Perhaps it is not only your bathroom drains that are gurgling, but your kitchen sink?

The good news is, the issue is probably the same.

It’s amazing how much food and gunk we end up rinsing down our kitchen sink!

One of the best ways to quickly clear the kitchen sink pipe is to use a well known, name brand liquid clog remover like Drano.

In addition to working fast, it is also easy to keep on hand so you can use it at a moment’s notice if only because water is draining slower than usual.

Another preventative tip, don’t wait until the drain is completely clogged and causing issues!

Preventative Measures to Keeping Your Toilet Issue Free

It may seem like this has been drilled into your head throughout the years, but it really does make a difference. Only flush toilet paper!

Although many companies have started making ‘flushable wipes,’ it is still a good idea to only flush toilet paper and to limit the amount.

Contrary to popular belief, even toilet paper can (and does) get caught within your plumbing pipes and can take some time to dissolve.

An easy rule of thumb to remember is that if you experience too much water in the toilet bowl, use a plunger, too little water use bucket of water.

You also do not need to wait until your drain is really struggling to take action. If you purchase a liquid clog remover to keep on hand, you can use it whenever you realize water is draining just a little more slower than usual.

This could prevent a big mess!

If you were able to flush the toilet vent pipe from your roof and fix your gurgling problem, perhaps you should look into installing a better vent pipe covering.

This will help to keep the vent clean of any potential debris that may try to clog it again!


Toilet draining issues can be a real mess, quite literally!

Once you have a major issue, you will not want to have another and it’s best to take preventative measures to ensure you never have to!

By using minimal toilet paper and keeping unwanted debris from entering your outside vent pipe, you will be doing your future self a big favor!

How to fix a toilet that gurgles