There are a few reasons why your RV toilet might be burping when you flush it, but no matter the reason why, this burping can cause unpleasant odors and some serious problems down the line if it’s not fixed.
In some cases, the water level in the tank is too low, the vent pipe is blocked, or there could be a problem with the seals. It also could be a leak in the freshwater supply line.
4 Reasons Why Your RV Toilet Bubbles When Flushed
If your RV toilet is burping or bubbling when you flush, here are a few potential reasons why:
1. The Water Tank Level Is Too Low Or Too High
If the water level in your RV’s holding tank isn’t high enough, it can cause the toilet to burp or bubble when you flush.
This won’t hurt your toilet or your tank, but some people find it annoying. To avoid this problem, make sure that you always keep the water level in your holding tank at least one-quarter full to avoid this problem.
This can also happen if the water level gets too high. That’s because if your tank is full, the waste backs up and has nowhere to go.
However, keep in mind that as human waste breaks down, it releases methane gas. So even if your tank isn’t full of waste, it may be filling up with methane gas, which can cause bubbling, burping, and a foul odor.
If you suspect that your tank is full of gas rather than waste, simply empty your tanks more often to give your waste room to break down and release gas without filling it up.
2. The Vent Pipe Is Blocked
Because human waste releases methane gas as it breaks down, most RV black tank systems have a vent pipe. This vent pipe helps to release the pressure that builds up in the sewer system as the waste breaks down.
If this pipe becomes blocked, it can cause the toilet to burp or bubble when you flush. When the vent pipe is blocked, your toilet burps because the pressure from the tank gets released through your flush valve rather than the vent pipe.
To fix this problem, you’ll need to clear the blockage in the vent pipe.
3. There Could Be A Problem With The Seals
The seals in your RV toilet are what keep the water in the bowl from leaking out. If these seals are damaged, it can cause the toilet to burp or bubble when you flush, because the water is escaping through an unintended path.
To fix this problem, you’ll need to replace the seals in your toilet.
4. There Could Be A Leak In The Freshwater Supply Line
If there’s a leak in the fresh water supply line, it can cause the toilet to burp or bubble when you flush.
That’s because the water that’s leaking from the supply line is getting into the sewer system. To fix this problem, you’ll need to repair or replace the freshwater supply line.
How To Stop Your RV Toilet From Burping When Flushing
If your RV toilet is burping when you flush, there are a few things you can do to stop it.
1. Check The Water Level In Your Tank
Make sure that the water level in your holding tank is between one-quarter and three-quarters full. This will help to avoid the problem of the toilet burping because the water level is too low or too high.
Like I said before, the only problem here is an annoying noise and perhaps an odor. It’s not going to hurt your tank to be completely empty, especially if you’re cleaning it regularly as you should.
However, once your blank tank gets to about three-quarters full, you run the risk of it backing up due to the build-up of waste and methane gas.
2. Check The Vent Pipe
If the vent pipe is blocked, it can cause the toilet to burp or bubble when you flush. To fix this problem, you’ll need to clear the blockage in the vent pipe.
Your vent pipe is located outside of your RV, and it’s the pipe that goes up from your sewer system. To clear it out, you can use a plunger or an auger, or you can disassemble it, rinse it, and reinstall it.
3. Check The Seals
If the seals in your toilet are damaged, it can cause the toilet to burp or bubble when you flush because the water is no longer being held in the bowl. To fix this problem, you’ll need to replace the seals in your toilet.
You’ll know if your seals are faulty because your bathroom floor will likely be wet from a leak in the seal.
You can get new seals at any camping supply store or online. To replace the seals, remove the old seals and install the new ones. Make sure you turn off your water supply first and then drain the system to avoid a mess.
4. Check For Leaks
If there’s a leak in the fresh water supply line, it can cause the toilet to burp or bubble when you flush because the water that’s leaking from the supply line is getting into the sewer system.
To fix this problem, you’ll need to repair or replace the freshwater supply line.
This is a more complicated fix and may require a professional. However, if you’re comfortable with your RV’s plumbing system and how it works, you can save money by doing it yourself.
Tips To Prevent RV Toilet Bubbles And Burping
If you’re not struggling with a bubbling or burping toilet, that’s great news! There are some things you can do to prevent it from happening.
These regular maintenance practices will ensure that your RV’s black water system is always in proper working order.
1. Clean Your Tank Regularly
You should clean your black water holding tank every time you empty it. This will help to prevent build-up and blockages that can cause the toilet to burp or bubble when you flush.
To clean your RV’s toilet tank, you can use a store-bought solution like TST Orange Holding Tank Treatment. This product comes in both liquid and tablet forms.
Simply pour 3 ounces of the liquid or drop one tablet into your toilet once per week and it will break down waste and ensure your tank doesn’t get clogged.
If you don’t want to use a chemical like this one, you can use homemade solutions like vinegar or baking soda.
2. Use The Right Chemicals
When you’re cleaning your tank, make sure you’re using the right chemicals. Some chemicals can actually damage your RV’s plumbing system.
Only use holding tank treatments that are specifically designed for RV toilets. These products will break down waste and help to prevent odors. Avoid using harsh chemicals like bleach as they can damage your septic system.
Things you should never use in your RV’s tanks are Drano, bleach, muriatic acid, and other harsh chemicals.
3. Don’t Flush Anything But Human Waste And Toilet Paper
One of the main things that can cause your toilet to burp or bubble when you flush is flushing things that aren’t meant to be flushed. Avoid flushing anything but human waste and toilet paper down your RV’s toilet.
Some things that you should never flush down your RV’s toilet are feminine hygiene products, diapers, paper towels, tissues, and wipes. These items can cause clogs and blockages in your tank and sewer lines.
4. Don’t Overfill Your Tanks
If you fill your black water tank too full, it can cause the toilet to burp or bubble when you flush because the waste has nowhere to go. The tank can only hold so much waste before it starts to back up into your RV.
To prevent this from happening, make sure you don’t overfill your black water holding tank. You can use a simple level indicator like this one to check how full your tank is.
5. Don’t Wait Too Long To Empty Your Tanks
If you wait too long to empty your black water holding tank, it can cause the waste to break down and release methane gas.
This gas can build up in your RV and cause the toilet to burp or bubble when you flush, even if your tanks aren’t yet full.
To prevent this from happening, make sure you empty your black water tank when it’s about three-quarters full. This will give the waste enough room to break down without releasing methane gas.
6. Use A Fan
If you have an RV with a bathroom, you can use a small fan to help ventilate the space and prevent odors. The fan will also help to keep the air moving and prevent methane gas from building up.
If your RV bathroom has a vent fan, open the bathroom door, open the vent, and turn on the fan. This will help the air to circulate. If you don’t have a vent fan, you can use a box fan or pedestal fan.
Simply open the bathroom door and place the fan in the doorway so that it’s blowing into the room. You can also leave the bathroom window open if you have one.
If your RV toilet is burping or bubbling when you flush, it’s likely because of a clog or blockage in the tank. Less common causes could be old seals or a leak.
You can prevent these problems by cleaning your tank regularly, only flushing appropriate materials, and emptying your tanks when needed.