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terfir 07-11-2010 09:39 AM

gurgling toilet
I live on the second floor of a 90-yr old, 8 floor apt building. My toilet, which does not seem to be clogged as it flushes fine is making a gurgling sound. It is random, not after a flush. Can be in the middle of the night. It really bubbles and splashes over the top of the bowl. Anyone else I've spoken with in the building is not experiencing this. I've used a plunger, a short snake and some Rid-x septic cleaner. Research leads me to believe it's an exhaust vent problem. Where would that be in a building like this. Since I own my unit and there is no one who knows the building that well, I'm leary of calling a plumber yet since I don't want to pay an hourly wage looking for the vent. Any advice??

Mike Swearingen 07-12-2010 11:36 AM

I am not a pro plumber, just an old residential DIYer and I am honestly not familiar with apartment buildings.
However, it stands to reason that only you and the apartments directly below and above you would be on the same main drain/waste/vent stack, and each of you may be experiencing the same gurgling, depending on where the vent blockage is located, most likely at the top (birdnest, etc.).
The stack is probably direclty above the wall at the back of your toilet on the roof. Any plumber should be able to easily find it.
It probably needs to be snaked with a heavy-duty 100' plumber's snake from the roof all the way down and then washed down with a water hose to flush the blockage down into the sewer system.
Good Luck!

LateralConcepts 07-13-2010 09:32 AM

There is a blockage in the main line somewhere between your unit and where it ties into the street. If the unit directly below you is not affected, the blockage is between your unit and that one.

If it's gurgling/splashing in the middle of the night that means units above you are using water/flushing. The water has no where else to go and will take the path of least resistance.

If it's between your unit and the one below you, a plumber will need to pull your toilet and run a snake. If the unit below you is affected also, the plumber will need to run a snake from that unit to the street.

terfir 07-14-2010 03:32 AM

Thanks for the advice guys!!

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