If you hear your drain making gurgling noises several moments after using the sink, shower, and in more extreme cases the toilet, then it may be a result of a blocked drain or vent pipe; in extreme cases a collapsed or damaged pipe can cause gurgling too. Often times, the mixture of dirt and grease can build up in the drains and the plumbing. This buildup can cause the water to drain slowly. As a result, the air bubbles can not go through the pipes and get expelled at the nearest vent, resulting in a gurgling noise that is audible to the user. In a clean drain and line, water and air bubbles can easily flow together down a drain, with the air and water getting expelled in their appropriate spots. If there is a gurgling noise that is present for every drain in the house however, then it is evident that there is a larger blockage in the main pipe rather than a smaller pipe attached to the fitting drain.
Please remember if you’re not sure what to do, the Plumbing Professors® has a number of effective and affordable solutions to troubleshoot and fix your gurgling drain or gurgling sewer, call toll free 800-654-1300 for same day service.
One of the best ways to prevent this is to abstain from pouring anything down the drain that may cause a build up such as food, hair, grease, etc. In the event that there is already a buildup, there are many chemical solutions that can be poured into the drains to clean the drains. When using the solutions, make sure to follow directions closely. Most of these solutions are toxic and may cause personal injury. Additionally, if you do not let the solution sit long enough it may not work correctly.
If the problem persists, you can use an auger to physically unclog the areas. An auger is a long, flexible, coiled metal wire that can reach far and deep into the plumbing of your house and break up the debris. Use the auger with enough force to break off the build up, yet not so aggressively that you will damage the pipes and cause a leak. (Plumbing Professors® carry heavy duty commercial augers on their trucks.)
Another reason you may be hearing the gurgling noises is a blocked vent pipe. The vent pipe is connected to all the main plumbing pipes in the house and is vented out through the roof of the house. This vent may be blocked because of leaves, a bird’s nest, accumulated dirt, etc. Due to the blockage, the air can not be ejected through the vent. Thus the air is forced to escape through the nearest opening, which is usually the last sink used, and results in a gurgling noise.
The vent is usually on the roof, so only a trained professional with experience should attempt to unblock the vent because it is a dangerous task. The professional needs to check the cap that blocks leaves and animals from falling into the vent.