Air bubbles in toilet when faucet runs


Old 05-19-03, 08:07 PM
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Air bubbles in toilet when faucet runs

Have a strange one here... and it's only happneded a couple time. Basically, all of my plumbing runs across the back of my house, with one long 3" drain angling from the right to the left where it then exits the house (at far left). It goes into a tank where it is then pumped via a waste pump out to the city sewer system. (I'm 500' feet from the road, hence the pump.) We've only been in the house 2 weeks.

One nite my son told me the toilet was "bubbling" when he ran the faucet. Sure enough, when i turned on the faucet in the powder room, air bubbles started coming up in the water of that toilet (not a little, alot of bubbles). Same if turned on the kitchen faucett. Note: as i described the drain with the highest point on the right, and lowest to the left, the powder room is the farthest 'wet' room to the right with the toilet being the farthest fixture from where the vent leaves the house. next is the powder room sink, then, moving across the house, is the kitchen sink. As in:

drain exit <--- kitchen <--- Powder room sink <---- toilet.

Anyway, the toilet actually started to fill up and not flush when i flushed it (to see what would happen) but after a second flush and some delay, it finally did drain. Also, i'm not sure, but i think the bath tub at the far other side of the house was being emptied at the same time this occured... Bottom line, it hasn't happened again. I've called the plumber and he's coming out next week, but without being able to reproduce it, i'm concerned what his solution will be...

He's mentioned possible venting as the toilet shares a vent with the sink... also, he mentioned the pump, but it has an alarm and a back up pump, and like i said, it all seems to be working fine now..

Any thoughts? anyone ever seen such a thing or heard a standard rule like "air bubbles in the toilet always means...." ? thanks for your help.
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Old 05-19-03, 10:38 PM
Mike Swearingen's Avatar
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Air bubbles in the a toilet usually mean a partial clog in the drain or vent.
You can try flushing the main vent stack on the roof with a water hose sprayer (remove anything that you can reach by hand first).
You also might try snaking the main drain through a clean-out plug with a heavy-duty plumber's snake that will reach from the house to the holding tank.
Good Luck!
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