Why Does My Toilet Gurgle & Bubble?

Has your toilet started bubbling or gurgling? These sounds may occur right after you flush, or they may happen at irregular intervals. Sometimes, they even happen when you haven’t used your toilet in a while. 

If you’ve noticed your toilet making unusual sounds, here’s what you need to know.

Is Toilet Bubbling Normal?

Most of the time, a bubbling toilet is NOT normal. It usually indicates a problem in your drain or sewer lines, or in your vent stack (the way that sewer gases escape your home).

Why Do Toilets Bubble?

Toilets bubble when negative pressure builds up in the lines. When water and waste cannot flow properly, the air pressure in your pipes is negatively affected. Eventually, this pressure releases. 

When this happens, it pushes air back up your line. You may just hear a sudden gurgling noise from your toilet or you may see the water bubble. If enough pressure is released, your toilet may flush spontaneously. 

What Should I Do If My Toilet Bubbles?

Depending on how bad the clog is, you may be able to address the problem yourself, or you may need to call a plumber.

Start by reaching out to your neighbors. If they are having similar problems, the issue likely exists in the city sewer line, not in the drain or sewer specific to your home. 

If they aren’t experiencing it, you can try plunging your toilet or snaking it. If that doesn’t work, give us a call at Rosenthal. We’ll send out a professional plumber to find your clog and eliminate it fast. 

How to Fix A Running Toilet

Do you find yourself asking “Why does my toilet keep running?” or feel like your toilet never shuts off? Maybe it stops running eventually, but it runs a long time before it gets there.

Either way, you’re wasting money on water when your toilet keeps running, and the ongoing sound is enough to drive many people crazy. Fortunately, there are some easy steps you can take to diagnose and take care of the issue. Keep reading to learn how to fix a running toilet!

1) Turn Off the Water

There is usually a valve underneath or behind the toilet that will let you turn off that water just to the toilet. If that is stuck or you can’t find it, though, you can always turn off the water to your whole house. This stops the toilet from running and will give you a chance to find the leak.

2) Check the Flapper

If the flapper in your toilet is broken, torn, or has gotten old and doesn’t seal well anymore, your toilet will leak. Check your flapper for cracks or holes, and make sure it is covering the drain the way it should. If it’s not, go to the hardware store, get an identical one, and replace it.

3) Test the Fill Valve

If the problem isn’t in your stopper, it might be in your fill valve. Flush the toilet, then lift up on the float arm. If the water stops, adjust the arm so that the toilet will fill up to about half of an inch below the top of the overflow pipe. If it’s still leaking, replace your fill valve with an identical one from the hardware store.

Still Can’t Stop Your Toilet from Running?

If you try all of these options and your toilet still runs all the time, it’s probably time to call in a professional. Reach out to us at Rosenthal Plumbing, and we’ll send out a toilet expert to get your toilet working the way it’s supposed to. Remember, you’ll save money in the long run when you aren’t paying elevated water bills every month! And be sure to prevent toilet clogs by remember what not to flush.

Call Rosenthal Plumbing today for plumbing help in Santa Cruz, CA or the surrounding area!

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How to Unclog a Shower Drain

Are you having issues with your shower or bathtub drain? Is the water pooling or draining more slowly than usual? Then you’ve come to the right place! There are several different methods you can try to unclog a shower drain or a bathtub drain. If you’re not entirely comfortable with any of them, give us a call at Rosenthal Plumbing! Our drain cleaning service experts would be happy to do the unclogging for you. If you’d like to tackle the project yourself, though, read on to learn how to unclog a shower drain!

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Use Your Hand

Sometimes, it’s possible to simply reach down the drain, grab whatever’s causing the clog (usually hair) and pull it out. We definitely recommend putting on a pair of gloves before you do this as drains can be pretty nasty on the inside. If the clog is just barely out of reach, an unclogging tool or something like a screwdriver can help unclog a shower drain.

Try A Home Remedy

Sometimes, clogs are just too deep to grab. If that’s the issue you’re having, try dissolving it with some common household substances. Start by pouring some hot water down your clogged shower drain, followed by a cup of baking soda, and finish it off with a cup of vinegar. Let the concoction sit for about 10 minutes, then run some hot water down the drain for a few minutes more. Sometimes, this can unclog a bathtub drain fast!

Plunge it Out

Contrary to popular belief, plungers aren’t just for toilets; they work on all sorts of drains. Just be sure to get a good seal around the clogged drain, then start plunging away. After a few minutes, the clog can be moved around enough that you’re able to grab it and pull it out (see method 1 above) or that it flows down the drain when you run the water.

Get Your Shop Vac

If you have a shop vac, this can be a powerful way to remove a stubborn shower or bathtub clog. Set the vac to liquid vacuuming, place the hose over the top of the drain and then turn it on. It’s possible for the vac to produce enough suction to either bring up the clog or dislodge it enough that it can flow down the drain with some running water.

Try a Plumbing Snake

If you don’t already own a plumbing snake, renting one from your local hardware store is a fairly straightforward process and can help unclog your shower drain. Unless you’re familiar with how to operate one, however, we caution against this as a plumbing snake can get stuck in the drain, causing even more damage than that stubborn clog.

Clogged Drain Experts in Santa Cruz

If, after trying the methods above, you still can’t get your clogged shower drain or clogged bathroom drain unclogged, or you’re just hesitant to try it yourself, call us at Rosenthal Plumbing. Our drain cleaning experts are standing by and are ready to get everything back to normal for you ASAP!

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Top Reasons Why Your Toilet Won’t Flush

Is your toilet struggling to flush? Are you frequently left wondering, “Why won’t my toilet flush?” If these describe you, then you’ve come to the right place. Keep reading to learn how to get a toilet to flush, or call us for Santa Cruz toilet repair today!

The Tank is Too Small

If the tank can’t hold enough water, then the toilet won’t flush well and it may not flush at all. Because everyone is trying to save water these days, toilet tanks are getting smaller and smaller. This is good for the environment but you still need one that’s large enough or you’ll have problems.

The Tank Doesn’t Hold Enough Water

Is water leaking out of your tank before you try to flush? If it is, then you simply may not have enough water in there to get a good flush. You’ll want to check all of the valves around your toilet.

If there’s not enough water getting into the tank, you’ll want to check your incoming water lines. If these get bent, broken, or clogged, your toilet won’t have the flushing water that it needs.

Your Jet Hole is Plugged

This is the small hole inside the toilet bowl on the front side. If it gets clogged with paper, sediment, or anything else that shouldn’t be flushed, it can hamper good flushing. Clean it out, removing all hard water deposits and anything else you find there. This may fix your toilet flushing problem entirely.

Your Santa Cruz Septic System isn’t Working

If you’re on a septic system, toilet flushing problems can indicate an issue with that system. You may need to have your drain field replaced or you might need a new outlet filter on your tank. We recommend that you never deal with septic problems on your own because of the toxic gases and other substances these tanks contain.

How to Fix a Toilet that Won’t Flush

At Rosenthal Plumbing, all of our plumbers know how to fix a toilet that won’t flush. They also know how to fix a slow flushing toilet. No matter what you need, we’ll get your toilet working again soon. If the job feels like too much for you or you don’t have time for it, rely on our expertise instead. Give us a call if you need help with your toilet today!

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Replacing your Shower Head

Is your shower head not working right? Maybe it sprays water everywhere or it doesn’t have the water pressure that it used to. Or maybe you just want to try a different shower head or you’re going for a new look in your bathroom. No matter the reason why you’re changing your shower head, it’s easy to do on your own. Here’s some steps to help get your new shower head on and working:

  1. Choose your new shower head. Consider the color of the other fixtures in your bathroom, as well as any special features you would like it to have. Many people like massaging shower heads, while other people prefer ones that sprinkle water like rain
  2. Remove your old shower head. You may simply be able to turn it to the right and unscrew it. If that doesn’t work, use some slip-joint pliers with electrical tape or a towel between the pliers and the shower head to ensure you don’t scratch its surface.
  3. Clean the threads where you will screw it on. Depending on what you find on there, this may be as easy as wiping it with a cloth. However, you may need to use some solvents to dissolve rust, minerals, and more.
  4. Wrap some Teflon tape around the threads, pushing it down into each one as much as possible. Finally, screw your shower head onto the tape, over the threads. They should help it seal, so water doesn’t spray everywhere when it runs into the shower head.

If you are installing a hand-held showerhead or one that is more complex than a simple fixed head, follow the directions on the package. You may decide that you want to call a plumber if it looks more complex than what you’re comfortable with. Our Santa Cruz plumbers would be happy to make sure your shower head gets installed perfectly the very first time. Give us at Rosenthal Plumbing a call for any shower or bathroom plumbing installation in Santa Cruz or the surrounding areas!

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