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Why is my toilet gurgling?

A gurgling toilet is not a sign that it is about to explode so don’t panic.  It is a very common drainage problem that we deal with all of the time.

Typically a gurgling sound in your toilet comes just after you have flushed the toilet.  It is a clear sign that there is a problem with the drainage system connected to the toilet and it needs to be dealt with.

Is a toilet issue not a plumbers job?

The easiest way to think of it is this.  All the water that flows into your home is plumbing.  So the pipes that connect water to the bath, a leaking tap and if the toilet doesn’t flush.  But all the waste water that leaves your home is drainage.

And that is our speciality.

Now a gurgling toilet can often be fixed by yourself using good old DIY methods.  But if the problem either doesn’t go away or comes back quite quickly afterwards then you need to call your local drainage experts JSL.

So what causes a gurgling gargling toilet?

A gurgling toilet is because there is a blockage in the drain system.  It stops the air flowing through the drain pipe and instead pushes it backwards – and that is what causes the gurgling and gargling noises.

There are a few possible reasons for this:

If the blockage is close to the toilet then we can simply plunge the toilet with the plunger (using a proper commercial grade plunger).  If this doesn’t fix the problem then we can jet blast the pipe to clear blockages further down the drain then use CCTV so inspect the pipe and confirm that the drain has been properly cleared.

If the problem is caused because of the vent pipe that has become blocked or clogged then we need to clear that and possibly install a vent terminal to stop it happening again.

If the main drain pipe is causing the issue then it may have to be dealt with by the local water authority but we can advise on this once we have diagnosed the problem.

Find out more

If you would like to find out more about our drainage work and how we go about fixing a gurgling toilet then call us today.

Protecting your drains from rodents

It seems an obvious thing to say but keeping rats, mice and other rodents out of your homes drainage system is incredibly important.

Rats can easily gain access to a drain through a cracked section of pipe, a gap in a grate or other damaged section and once they are in, they can gain access to your home.  A drainage system is not just about flowing waste water out of the home, it is ensuring that nothing comes back up the other way.

Sewers are the ideal environment for rats to live in and they can access your homes drainage system that way.  This is why it is so important that your homes drainage system is working properly.  This may mean that you should consider additional specialised protective measures for your drainage system to prevent rats from penetrating.

What to look out for as common signs of rat infestation

What to do if you think there are rats in your drainage system

Step one is to find out how they got there and stop them from re-entering.  That is where we come in.  Using CCTV drainage camera we can track your homes drainage system to find the vulnerable point and stop it from happening again.    After this, we can install other preventative measures such as flaps, valves and guards to prevent them from coming back.

Find out more

If you would like to find out more, please call us today.

Bacteria in the heat

The toilet should only be used for the 3 P’s.  Pee, Poo and Paper (toilet paper that is).  Yet despite this, there are those that still flush kitchen roll, wet wipes and other bathroom products down the toilet.  And that can lead to blockages.

The summer is a particularly bad time to get a blocked drain because while there are times when the summer weather in Glasgow may not be that glorious, there are a lot of times when it truly is amazing.  But in the heat, bacteria and odours can grow quickly.  This is bad if you have the beginnings of a blockage.  Slow draining sinks and toilets can allow the build up of smell to flow through your home.  And in the heatwave we are currently having, that is not nice.

So if you have a slow draining sink or toilet.  Or if you have a blocked drain then call the professionals today and we can get it fixed for you and help get rid of the bad odours that grow quicker because of the summer heat.

bad smell in the bathroom

Summer heat and problems with drains

The warm weather may be an all to infrequent occurrence in Glasgow but just because it is not raining doesn’t mean that you won’t suffer from drainage problems because of the hot weather.

You may think it sounds ridiculous to suggest that a bit of heat in July may damage your homes drainage system but it can and does happen.  And here are 5 of the most common problems that you can suffer from during a Glasgow heat wave.

1 – Leaking Pipes

Leaks in pipes generally happen because the pipe is suffering from more stress and strain than usual.  In the summer sun, the the heat can cause the ground the expand then contract during the cooler evenings.  Combine this with the extra stress on garden hose pipes, sprinklers and the long drawn out affair of filling up a paddling pool and a leaking pipe could be just around the corner.

2 – Clogged and Blocked Drains

Whether is the dry dust and mud that gets blown into a drain pipe or scraps of food from the bbq, a blocked drain can happen come rain or shine.  And in the summer, when a blockage does happen, it can great an awful smell as old pieces of food get stuck in the blockage then heat up and become a seriously smelly problem.

3 – Sun damaged pipes

External down pipes are generally made from plastic and the excess sun and heat can cause these pipes to crack.  And it is not just external pipes that can suffer.  Underground pipes can suffer the same fate if the weather gets very hot.

4 – Beach Sand Blockages

Okay so we admit this is less common.  But there are a number of beaches near Glasgow so a shower after a trip to the beach can help release enough sand grains to contribute to a blockage in a drain pipe.

5 – Plant Roots

The summer is the big growing season and that small tree that you planted a few years ago may now be causing havoc with your gardens drain pipes.  Plant roots can work their way into any small crack in your drain system and as these roots grow they can make the problem worse.

At JSL Drainage, we are your local drainage company that can get the job done.  We are completely independent, we offer fair prices and we guarantee all of our work.

Call today to book a time slot to have your drainage problem repaired.

Why you should NOT use baking soda and vinegar to clean a drain

Think of it like snake oil. It may sound like the ideal cheap cleaning solution to clean out your drains (and so much more according to those that preach its benefits) but while it may be ideal for some cleaning solutions, it should NOT be used to clean a drain pipe.


When you combine the vinegar and baking soda, it creates a chemical reaction that breaks up stains. But a blocked drain is not a stain in the same way that you get on a shirt or jumper. It is useless on a drain. The reaction only lasts a small period of time. Not long enough to do anything about unblocking a drain. So if the blockages is not in the immediate pipe section of the drain, the chemical reaction will have already run out by the time it reaches the blockage.

blocked drain expert in Glasgow Lily

One place it can work is in the bathroom drain as a way of cleaning soap build up. But this is more down to the vinegar than the mixture. And to be clear, this won’t unblock the drain, just help to clear out some of the soap bubbles.

So what should I do?

There are various drain cleaner agents that you can buy in the supermarket however these are nasty chemicals and from an eco friendly point of view, you don’t really want to be pouring that kind of thing down the drain.
The best course of action is to call your local drainage expert. We can arrange a time to be at your door and get to work fixing the blocked drain properly. And without the need for magical snake oil.

Who you going to call? JSL!!!!

Whether you live in a flat, a bungalow, a townhouse of a semi detached (or one of the many other styles of home in Glasgow), at some point you are going to have a blocked toilet. But who are you going to call?

Well unless the blockage is particularly spooky – it is not going to be the Ghostbusters. The real question is do you call a plumber or a drainage contractor?

unblocking a toilet drain pipe

The answer of course is a drainage contractor.

Anything to do with wastewater is a drainage companies specialty. While the toiler is an indoor, bathroom located system, unless the toilet itself is actually broken (ie. the system will not flush), the problem lies in the drainage pipes and a blocked drain.

Drainage services revolve around unblocking drains, replacing drain pipes and fixing burst external drainage pipe systems.

An easy way of looking at it is this. Plumbing normally relates to things entering your home ie. taps, sinks, showers etc. Drainage is all about the things leaving your home.

So if you have a toiler that is clearly blocked then you need to call a drainage company.

At JSL Drainage, we are one of the leading local drainage companies in Glasgow. With decades of experience, a professional booking system to make sure we turn up when we say we will and real values that the entire team adhere to – it is little wonder that we are a firm favourite with our customers who need a reliable, local and trustworthy drainage contractor to get the job done for them.

Fine to flush

Fine to Flush Wetwipes

Something that we have always had to deal with as a leading cause of blocked drains in Glasgow is wet wipes.  They are not degradable like toilet tissue paper yet many households day in, day out flush used wet wipes down the toilet in the same way that they would normal toilet paper.  But when it goes down the drain, it can easily get caught, catch and begin to block a drain.

It won’t necessarily happen with one or two wet wipes but if you are a frequent flusher of wet wipes then you are sitting on a ticking time bomb of sorts.

But last year, just as the Global Coronavirus Pandemic was really kicking into gear, Andrex announced that they had received a certified ‘Fine to Flush‘ approval from Water UK.

fine to flush wet wipes

What does that mean?

This means that they have passed strict testing to prove that their wet wipes will break up in the sewage system and should therefore not contribute to creating new blockages and blocked drain pipes.

Wet Wipes, along with nappies, cotton buds, sanitary products and other similar things are all objects that get flushed.  You should never flush them unless they have the Fine to Flush logo.

All those garden parties add up

Glasgow is still in Level 3 restrictions compared to the rest of Scotland which is in Level 2.

What does this have to do with drain blockages?  Well, after months of lockdown restrictions, those lucky enough to have a garden space have, understandably, been using it for social interactions.  Now that the weather in Glasgow is getting better (supposedly), these garden interactions will only increase and that can create problems.

You would be amazed at how many blocked drains are caused by cigarette butts that have been dropped down the garden drain grate.  While nothing should ever be put down a drain apart from water and waste (so no wet wipes, pads, cotton buds etc), many people simply don’t think about it and drop a cigarette butt down the drain grate when they have finished their cigarette.

But over time, and with more social interaction, the amount of cigarette butts that get put down the drain increases and it really only takes one or two to cause a blocked drain.

Think about it.  If there are (based on current lockdown restrictions) six people allowed from up to three households and they all smoked.  That is six smokers.  If each smokes three cigarettes in an hour of socialising, that is just shy of a full 20 pack of cigarettes.  That is a lot of used cigarette butts.  While it would be madness for them all (especially the home owner) to put their used cigarette butts down the drain, stranger things have happened and all it then takes is a day or constant rain (when does that ever happen in Glasgow?) and the drain blocks and overflows.

And who do you call when your drain blocks?  Why JSL Drainage of course.  Your local drainage company who will get the job done.

Bank Holiday Rain

A bank holiday is always something to look forward to – pandemic or not.

But as we all know, the weather in Glasgow rarely works in our favour when it comes to bank holiday weekends and this bank holiday weekend was no exception.  Serious amounts of rain brought traffic to a standstill, caused many leaking roofs and for so many homes drainage systems, it caused them to overfow because of a slow draining blockage.

You may have been getting away with have a small blockage in your drain pipe for a while now and not even known about it.  The blockage could have been far enough down than a normal about of rain may have simply taken a lot longer to drain away.  However when heavy rainfall hits, that is when these blockages truly come to fruition.  And sadly, they only get worse as the heavy rainfall quickly sweeps other debris into the drainpipe and causes a more substantial blockage.

Enter JSL Drainage.  Stormy days like what we just has over the Bank Holiday weekend always means we are busy for a few days afterwards.  Unblocking drains using the many pieces of advanced kit we have to unblock underground drainage pipes and check to ensure that the blockage has been removed.

We are one of the leading drainage companies in Glasgow and we have built our reputation on following some simple values that we have ingrained into our entire team.  We are a local and independent drainage contractor which means our prices are fair and our work is to a high standard.

So if you have suffered from a blocked drain because of the heavy rain then call JSL Drainage today.  You won’t be disappointed.

Easter Roast Blockage

To all our customers – we hope you had a happy Easter.

We know that it has been tough as lock down restrictions have continued to prevent us all from seeing loved ones and celebrating the Easter Weekend in the same manner that we have in the past.

However, from our experience, the residents of Glasgow are very adaptable and tough and we have seen that with many ingenious garden set ups that have allowed families in the city to have some form of Easter Roast.

But for one family in the North of Glasgow, the Lamb Roast turned into a bit of a nightmare.
We always advise people to not pour hot fat down their drain. The fat will quickly cool and solidify which surprise surprise can cause a drain to block.

So on Sunday, the family had the legally allowed guests in their garden and while the weather was very cold – it was thankfully dry.

When the Lamb was ready however, the customer poured the fat down the drain and got on with enjoying the rest of their day.

That evening however when it came to doing the dishes, the water in the sink would not drain.

While a lot of the time, this can be fixed with a simple plunge, the ‘unique’ set up of the homes drainage system (it was an old Victorian Sandstone property) meant that the blockage managed to form further down the drain pipe and required a bit more than just a plunger.

So the customer called JSL Drainage. They found us online through a google search, read the many reviews that we have on the likes of Facebook, Google and recommended trade directories such as CheckaTrade and decided that as a local drainage company, they should give us a call.

We promptly arrived on time and got to work unblocking the drain.

The customer in Milngavie was very impressed at the communication we had. From how our phone service is handled to how they were booked in to a set time slot. Even the text communication to confirm we were on our way was a welcome surprise.

While some plumbers and drainage contractors will quote a set price from a sheet guide, we like to give customised quotes for everything we do and we only begin work when the customer has approved the cost.

That way the customer has peace of mind knowing what they need to pay for the job in advance and we can focus on doing the job properly.

All in all, it may not have been the most exciting blocked drain emergency but it was still a problem that a customer needed to get fixed and fix it we did.

On to the next job!

Where we cover:

G1, G2, G4 City Centre | G3 Finnieston, Kelvingrove, Woodlands, Park Circus | G5 Gorbals, New Gorbals | G11 Broomhill, Thornwood, Partick | G12 Hyndland, Hillhead, Kelvinside, Kelvindale | G13 Knightswood, Anniesland | G14 Jordanhill, Yoker, Scotstoun | G15 Drumchapel | G20 Firhill, Kelvinside, Maryhill | G31 East End, Dennistoun, Alexandra Park | G32 Tollcross, Mount Vernon | G33 Stepps | G40 East End, Bridgeton | G41 Pollockshields | G42 Govanhill, Queens Park | G43 Shawlands | G44 Cathcart, Croftfoot | G45 Castlemilk | G46 Giffnock | G51 Govan | G52 Hillington | G53 Silverburn, Darnley | G60 Bowling, Old Kilpatrick | G61 Bearsden | G62 Milngavie | G63 Balfron, Strathblane, Kilearn, Blanefield | G64 Bishopbriggs, Torrance, Balmore | G65 Kilsyth | G66 Kirkintilloch, Lenzie, Milton of Campsie, Lennoxtown | G67, G68 Cumbernauld | G69 Moodiesburn, Baillieston | G71 Uddingston, Bothwell | G72 Blantyre, Cambuslang | G73 Rutherglen | G74, G75 East Kilbride | G76 Clarkston | G77 Newton Mearns | G78 Barrhead, Neilston | G81 Clydebank | G82 Dunbarton | G83 Balloch, Alexandria | G84 Helensburgh | ML1 Motherwell | ML2 Wishaw, Newmains | ML3 Hamilton, Ferniegair, Quarter, South Lanarkshire, Limekilnburn | ML4 Bellshill | ML5 Coatbridge | ML6 Airdrie | ML8 Carluke | ML9 Larkhall | PA1, PA2, PA3 Paisley | PA4 Renfrew | PA5 Johnstone | PA7 Bishopton | PA8 Erskine | PA11 Bridge of Weir | PA13 Kilmacolm | PA14 Langbank |

Call us today for all your blocked drain services in Glasgow: 0141 406 1658

JSL Drainage Glasgow

A reliable, professional and trusted drainage firm covering Glasgow and the surrounding areas. For quotations, emergency call outs and commercial contracts please call our head office on 0141 406 1658.

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