Air bubbles in toilet plumbing may be an indication that you need to take action immediately. Normally, air in the toilet indicates that there is some kind of blockage. Getting rid of the blockage and the air in the plumbing is a fairly simple process that most DIYers can handle.
Step 1: Fill the Toilet Bowl
Fill the toilet bowl halfway. If it is completely full and ready to flood, put on some rubber gloves and use a cup to bail out half the water and anything else in the bowl into a bucket. If it is completely empty, run some water into the bucket and use the bucket to fill the toilet bowl halfway.
Step 2: Apply a Toilet Plunger
Apply the rim of the plunger to the draining hole in your toilet. You need to get a firm seal all the way around the hole for the plunger to do its job. Make sure it is connected all the way around.
Step 3: Plunge the Toilet
Force the stick of the plunger quickly up and down. Broadley's Energy Solutions recommends 10 to 15 plunges. If it is sealed correctly while you plunge, the water in the pipe leading out of the hole makes a whooshing noise. If it just sounds like the water in the bowl is moving, go back to Step 2. When the water in the bowl drains, try flushing the toilet again. If it still backs up or bubbles again, go on to Step 4.
Step 4: Use an Auger
Run the guide tube of the toilet auger, also called a closet auger or sewer snake, down the drain and turn the crank to the point that it gets tight in one direction. Turn it back in the other direction until it is tight that way. Crank it back to the center and pull the guide tube out. If the water drains, try flushing again. If it bubbles or backs up again, repeat Steps 2 and 3. If it still fights you, move on to Step 5. Note that a manual auger works best with shallow clogs and an electric auger works best for clogs that are deep within the pipe.
Step 5: Turn Off the Water Supply
Turn the valve on the water running into the toilet to the right until it is off. Drain the toilet. If you can get it to flush, flush it. If it does not, remove the lid from the tank and siphon it or bail it into a bucket with the cup. Do the same with the bowl.
Step 6: Remove the Toilet
Unbolt the toilet from the floor with an adjustable wrench. Turn the toilet over and look at the plumbing to see where the blockage is to clear it with the closet auger or rubber gloves. Look at the drain below it in the floor to see if it is there and clear it with the rubber gloves. You may need someone to help you turn the toilet over so that you don't risk injury by doing it yourself.
Step 7: Replace the Toilet
Replace the toilet with the pipes leading out, fitted over the drain in the floor. Bolt it back down with the wrench. Turn the water valve that leads into the toilet back in and flush it.
Marissa Robert graduated from Brigham Young University with a degree in English language and literature. She has extensive experience writing marketing campaigns and business handbooks and manuals, as well as doing freelance writing, proofreading and editing. While living in France she translated manuscripts into English. She has published articles on various websites and also periodically maintains two blogs.