Various things may cause tiny air bubbles to appear in your toilet bowl – I know I have seen a few. Most are nothing to be concerned about, but it’s worth looking into if you aren’t sure.
Here are things that may be causing tiny air bubbles in your toilet bowl and how you can troubleshoot the problem.
Larger Air Bubbles in Toilet Bowl
Large bubbles appearing in your toilet when you flush are almost always the result of a clog. If your toilet is still flushing but you are getting large bubbles or toilet gurgles, there may be a clog farther down in your pipes.
Fixing deep clogs may need trial and error, but you can resolve them yourself. It only takes a bit of time and effort. The first step to dealing with deep clogs is to plunge into the affected toilet, even if you can’t see the clog.
Let’s say your initial attempt at plunging did not fix the clog. Try adding detergent into the water and plunging again. Detergents can break up materials, forcing them down the drain.
Hot water may also help loosen the clog, making it easier to plunge. If your toilet is not draining, do not add water because this may cause the toilet to overflow.
If plunging has not fixed the issue, try snaking your toilet. You can buy a toilet snake tool and push it into your toilet. When it becomes difficult to go through, crank the snake to clear the clog. Remember to dispose of the snake immediately after use!
Have you tried all these DIY fixes and still have large bubbles you believe are the result of a clog? Then, it’s likely time to call a plumber to come and check it out.
Preventing Blockages and Clogs
Pro tip: you can avoid future blockages by only flushing waste and toilet paper down your toilet. You should use only as much toilet paper as necessary to prevent clogging.
Even wipes marketed as ‘flushable’ or ‘degradable’ are not good for your pipes. My advice is that you throw these away, not flush them down the toilet.
You should never flush tampon packaging, pads, clothing, floss, or hair down the toilet. All these items increase the risk of a clog in your pipes.
Large Air Bubbles in a Septic System
If large air bubbles appear in your toilet immediately after flushing and you have a septic tank, you should call a plumber immediately. A backed-up septic tank may flood your home with dangerous, dirty water.
I Can Still Flush- are the Bubbles a Problem?
Even if you can still flush your toilet, clogs should be taken care of right away. Bubbles that surface when you flush resulting from a clog may contain bacteria or other harmful chemicals from waste.
Other Causes of Bubbles When Flushing
As I mentioned, clogs are almost always the reason for bubbles that appear after flushing. But there are other, less common reasons that can cause bubbles to appear.
Blocked Vent Stack
A blocked vent stack may also cause bubbles to appear in your toilet when you flush. A vent stack is a pipe on your roof that allows fresh air into your lines so liquids can move through more efficiently.
A blocked vent stack may cause water to drain slowly around your home, empty toilet tanks, bad smells, or gurgling when you flush. If you notice these signs, a clog in your plumbing vent may be the issue.
Most vent stack clogs result from small creatures like birds or squirrels building nests inside. If you are unsure if your vent stack is clogged and you are not confident that you can safely climb onto your roof to check, call a professional to look at the issue.
Mainline clogs may also cause bubbling in toilets. If flushing one bathroom causes the others to bubble or gurgle, a blocked mainline is most likely the issue. Unless you have professional experience, you should call a plumber if you suspect that you have a mainline clog.
Problems in the Toilet Tank
An issue in the toilet tank or cistern may also cause bubbling in your toilet. Fortunately, fixing a problem in your toilet tank is a relatively easy DIY project that does not often require a plumber for help.
Before starting any work on your toilet tank, always turn off the water supply valve and flush the toilet to remove any excess water. Working with a dry tank and bowl is essential to fixing a tank problem.
Once the toilet is dry, you can begin fixing your tank. If your toilet is bubbling and you believe the tank is causing it, your flapper is most likely causing the issue.
In most cases, replacing the flapper will resolve the issue. If possible, you should purchase a flapper from the same manufacturer. Using a flapper from the same manufacturer will help ensure that the flapper fits appropriately and will work with other parts in your toilet tank.
To replace the toilet flapper, you will need to remove the old one. Look for a long stick that extrudes from the handle you push when flushing. This long stick part of the tank is called the flush leveler.
At the end of the flush lever, there is a chain attached by a clip. The chain is connected to both the flush lever and the flapper. Remove the pin that attaches the chain to the flush lever.
Once you have detached the chain, take out the chain and the flapper that it is attached to. You should not need to remove any screws to do this.
Look at the place where the flapper was resting. This area is called the valve seat. Ensure you wipe off the valve seat to ensure a good seal when the new flapper is put on.
Put the new flapper into the toilet. To do this, put the flapper back over the valve seat and attach the new chain to the flush lever. Leave some slack in the chain so your toilet does not flush when you don’t want it to.
Remove some of the slack from the chain if pulling the handle does not cause the flapper to lift.
Turn the water back on and flush the toilet. If the water is still bubbling, it may be time to call a plumber.
Toilet Bubbling While Shower is Running
If your toilet is bubbling while the shower is running, it may be due to a mainline clog or deep blockage. Locating this clog may be difficult, and you should call a plumber to resolve the issue.
This is true of any other draining water as well. If your toilet bubbles while the shower is running, the tub is draining, the sink is on, the washing machine is on, or any other drain is flushing water, it is most likely the result of a mainline clog or deep blockage in your home.
Tiny Air Bubbles in Toilet Bowl After Water Settles
Tiny air bubbles in toilet bowls that appear after the water sits for a while are the result of gasses dissolved in water. All water contains gasses such as oxygen, nitrogen, and carbon dioxide. Cold water, like the water in your pipes, contains more gasses than warm water.
When you flush your toilet, cold water from your pipes fills up the toilet bowl. Most of the time, but especially in the summer, your home is warmer than the temperature of the water in the pipes.
If you leave your toilet long enough without flushing, the water will slowly warm closer to the temperature of the room. Because cold water is capable of holding more gas than warm water, the air will leave the water, forming bubbles in your toilet bowl.
You will notice the same phenomenon in pots of water on the stove. Before they boil, pockets of air will collect on the bottom of the pot.
These tiny air bubbles in your toilet bowl are nothing to be concerned about. They are just water releasing stored gasses.
Why Do I Have Air Bubbles in My Toilet Now?
You may have only recently noticed air bubbles in your toilet, or you may be sure they are new. Even if the air bubbles are new, they are not a cause for concern. A few things may have changed in your home and water supply to cause more air bubbles in your toilet.
As I explained above, air bubbles form in toilet bowls when cold water becomes warmer. If it is the summer months, your home may be warmer, so the bubbles develop more quickly than in the winter, fall, or spring.
Different Flushing Times
When you flush your toilet, the bowl is replenished with cold water from your pipes. The cold water will take time to warm and form air bubbles. If you flush more often, it is unlikely that the water will have time to warm up and create bubbles.
Has someone in your home recently moved out or started using a different restroom? Are you only noticing the bubbles in the bathroom you don’t use as often? These factors may be why you have air bubbles that you haven’t before, or only in specific bathrooms.
Should I Be Concerned About Gasses in My Water?
Whether you are on city water or well water, some amount of gas in water is completely normal. Water filters do not remove oxygen and Nitrogen because they are not dangerous and would simply be redissolved in water when it comes in contact with the air anyway.
Some carbon dioxide gas dissolved in water is to be expected. If your water is particularly milky looking, it may be because there is more Carbon Dioxide in the water than usual. Aside from looking slightly murky, extra Cabron Dioxide in water will make it somewhat more acidic.
Slightly acidic water and a murky appearance are not health issues; you have nothing to worry about if this is what your water looks like.
Gasses That Are a Problem
Gasses in tap water that can cause health issues include radon, hydrogen sulfide, and methane. None of these gasses commonly appear in tap water. If you are on city water, water treatment plants monitor for these gases at points in the pipeline.
If you are concerned that there may be contaminants in your water, you can call a professional or perform an at-home testing kit. You can also add filters to your sink or in-pipes to catch additional contaminants and particles.