Why Your Toilet Gurgles When Your Washing Machine Drains

By |Published On: January 5th, 2022|Categories: Residential Plumbing, Sewer Systems|

If your toilet gurgles when your washing machine drains, you’re in the right place. This article will give you five different reasons why your toilet gurgles and how to stop the gurgles from happening.

Picture of washing machine in beige bathroom

Why Your Toilet Gurgles When Your Washing Machine Drains

Below are five reasons why your toilet gurgles when your washing machine drains.

Your drains are partially or completely clogged – One of the most simple reasons your toilet is gurgling is because the main drain on your washing machine is clogged. When your washing machine drains, and there’s a clog, the water path is shrunken or restricted. This forces air and water back through your pipes, searching for a place to escape. In this case, it’s your toilet.

Your vent pipe is blocked – Your drain and sewer pipes are connected to a vertical line called a vent pipe. The vent pipe allows air and gas to travel through your drains without disrupting water flow. If your vent pipe is blocked, your plumbing system won’t function, and your toilet will gurgle.

Closed washing machine on white background. 3d

Your washing machine drain was improperly installed – Your washing machine drain needs to be the right size, length, and diameter to work correctly. If your washing machine drain was improperly installed, air will never reach the pipes, and your toilet will gurgle.

Your sewer line is blocked – If multiple fixtures in your house are gurgling, there’s a chance your sewer line is blocked. All of your drain pipes, including your toilet and washer machine, are connected to your main sewer line. If your sewer line is blocked, waste, water, and air won’t be able to leave your home. Then, air could flow backwards, causing your toilet to gurgle when you use your washer machine. Read more about when it’s time to replace your sewer line.

Your drains are connected – One of the main reasons your toilet gurgles when your washer machine drains is because your washer machine is connected to the toilet drain. This isn’t uncommon. Your washing machine might have been placed in between your toilet and sewer stack.* If your toilet and washing machine drains are connected, they have the same venting system. This can cause your toilet to gurgle when your washer drains.

*The sewer stack is the largest vertical pipe that connects all the horizontal pipes.

How To Stop Toilet Gurgles When Your Washing Machine Drains

Now that you know why your toilet gurgles, let’s stop it from happening. Below are three of the best solutions.

1. Plunge Your Toilet

The first step you should take is plunging your toilet. There’s a chance the reason your toilet is gurgling is because there’s a clog close to the surface.

  1. Place the plunger with the bell shape covering the toilet trap and exert light pressure. This gets all the air out of the plunger without blowing water all over you.
  2. Once the air is out, you can start exerting more force, plunging in and out. Plunge the toilet for about 20 seconds. Remember not to break the plungers seal.
  3. If you can still hear gurgling when your washer machine drains, keep plunging or move on to the next solution.
Plumber repairing toilet with hand plunger

2. Clean Your Roof Vent Stack

If your roof vent stack doesn’t have a screen, debris can fall inside and prevent air from escaping. This step involves getting up on your roof with a garden hose. If you don’t feel comfortable doing this, call a professional plumbing company.

  1. Use a ladder to climb up on your roof.
  2. Locate the pipe sticking out. (This is your vent stack).
  3. Use your hand to clear out any twigs or leaves close to the surface.
  4. If you don’t see any debris at the top, take the garden hose and begin pouring water down the vent. The water should push any clogs down the drain.
  5. If the garden hose doesn’t clear any clogs, try using a sewer snake to pull out any debris.
Construction worker climbing up to the roof of a building. Wide view with lots of room for text.

3. Clean Your Main Sewer Line

Besides using a sewer snake, one of the best pipe cleaning solutions is hydro-jetting. Hydro-jetting uses a self-propelled nozzle that shoots up to 4,000 PSI of water into your sewer pipes. Hydro-jetting uses different nozzles for different types of obstructions, such as tree roots or sludge. The cleaning process is non-invasive because it only requires access to a cleanout or removed toilet.

Hydro-jetting graphic

Hydro-jetting is commonly used by restaurants because it can easily get rid of grease buildup. If you want a powerful, clean, and safe solution, call a professional and ask about hydro-jetting.

Read more about hydro-jetting.

Calling The Professionals

If your toilet gurgles when your washing machine drains, and you can’t seem to find out why, call a professional sewer repair company. If you live in the Greater Los Angeles area, get in touch with New Flow Plumbing. We’ll get you started with a CCTV sewer camera inspection to determine where your problems come from. Then, we give you a free repair estimate, followed by available repair options.

About the Author: New Flow Plumbing Inc.

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