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Have you ever turned on the tap and heard a weird noise, as if water was struggling to pour out? That is what gurgling sounds like.

As a homeowner, you must multitask and care for much hands-on stuff. That includes everything from fixing the leaky pipes to maintaining the floorboards, and it’s not an easy job.

Along with the entire plumbing system, drains must regularly be looked after. If you find your drains having a gurgling sound, do not panic because, in most cases, you can straighten out the problem yourself.

Today, we’ll cover almost all the reasons why drains gurgle in our guide. Just keep reading to find out!

What Causes Drain Gurgling?

When a clog develops in the drains or pipes, it traps some air around it, forming an air pocket. The gurgling sound is nothing but those air pockets or bubbles making their way up forcefully along with water through the pipe.

Now, let’s discuss all the possible causes in detail:

1. Blocked Drain Line

If the gurgling sound is loud, there may be a clog in your drain line. You can assess the exact location of the blockage by the number of gurgling drains.

You know the culprit immediately when the sound comes from just one drain. But the problem is in the main sewer line if the kitchen sink gurgles when you open a tap in the bathroom.

All the drain systems have ventilation pipes, separate from the water pipeline and positioned on the roof. The gases and excess air in the sewer line exit escape the vents through these airways.

Sometimes, birds or rodents nestle in the ventilation pipes and block them with twigs and feathers. Consequently, the air cannot pass from the airway and gets trapped inside the pipelines, escaping your drains.

We found that the blockage in drain lines might be partial or complete and entail different types of gurgling sounds. You can differentiate between the two by observation and take action accordingly.

Plumbing Vent Roof

2. Partially Blocked Drain

When there’s a partial clog, the water will flow slowly with low pressure, and the drain will start having a gurgling sound. You can save it from a complete blockage by cleaning the drain using a drain cleaner.

3. Completely Blocked Drain

In case of complete clogging, the water will stop draining and stagnate in your bathtubs and sink. A drain rarely suffers a complete blockage abruptly; in most cases, partial clogging can be noticed beforehand. Treating the drain early is better than allowing the clog to enlarge.

Accumulation of dirt, soap residue, hair, dead skin, oil, or toilet paper residue are a few reasons for drain blocking. If multiple drains are gurgling simultaneously, you’ll be better off calling your plumber.

4. Clogged Vent System

All the fixtures in your house are connected to a vent system that allows smooth air passage without disturbing the drain pipes. The vents are easily distinguishable from the regular drain pipes, as they are thin structures protruding on the roof near your kitchen or bathroom.

They collect debris as they are open-ended and commonly cause gurgling. If the vent pipe gets clogged, the air will not be able to leave the system entirely, causing it to rush back through the water outlets.

So, whenever your drain produces any weird sounds, look at the vents for apparent signs of clogging before calling a plumber. It will save you a lot of time and money.

5. Blocked Or Damaged P-Trap

A P-trap frees your house from foul odours and prevents the gas from escaping through the drains. For those who don’t know about P-traps, let us clarify that it is a U-shaped pipe that holds water and is found below the sink. It creates a water seal that serves as a barrier for stinky gases.

Have you ever noticed the stinky ammonia smell that your sink or toilet gives off sometimes? This happens when the P-trap is incorrectly installed or damaged.

Take notice of smells while flushing the toilet or using the basin if your drain is gurgling. If it is unusually foul, then consider checking or replacing your P-trap.

Opening Trap

5. Issue In The Main Line

The wastewater from your home is carried to the main sewer line in your block through a single large pipe known as a sewer line. This pipe plays a crucial role in adequately functioning all the drains in your house. If your sewer line malfunctions, it will be stressful, so take care of it.

One obvious way to determine if some issue causes the gurgling in the main sewer line is by paying attention to the toilets. If the basement drains overflow when you flush the toilets on another floor, the problem lies in the sewer.

These were the primary reasons that generally led to drain gurgling. However, it is better to call for professional help if you can’t find the root cause and the problem persists for two to three days.

How To Fix A Gurgling Drain

You can try to resolve the gurgling by following these simple steps:

Washing Dishes Sink

1. Isolate The Cause

You need to isolate the drain that has been gurgling and look into the problem carefully. If only one drain, for instance, your kitchen sink, is making noise, then the problem is likely limited to that part only.

However, the problem isn’t limited to just one drain if the sound comes from multiple house fixtures. It might be something related to the mainline or ventilation pipes.

2. Clean The Vent And Drain The Pipe

Take up this task only if you feel confident and have all the required gear at home.

For problems in the vents, try clearing up the debris by hosing the ventilation pipes on the terrace. Remove the grate and clear the blockage using a snake or an auger if the issue is in the drainpipe.

Look out for a bit of drain near your house; you can clear the mainline, too, by inserting a snake there. But we’ll warn you that this method is quite time-consuming and tedious.

Fixing Your Gurgling Drain

The drain gurgling sound seems minor, but we advise you not to take it lightly.

Consider it as the first sign of a significant chain reaction that’s about to happen in your plumbing system. Hence, it is good to thoroughly inspect the drains when facing the gurgling problem, as it is usually easy to spot.

We recommend using an inspection camera to find any blockages and drain cleaners to clean them. If you cannot pinpoint the cause, do consult some professionals. WP Plumbing has blocked drain specialists in Melbourne and can assist you anytime. Call us for more information.

Before signing off, we’ll leave you with a final tip: do not flush tissues, toilet paper, or any non-biodegradable stuff down your drains. See you next time. Take care!

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