plumber fixing the gurgling drains

Why Do My Drains Gurgle? (2 Ways to Clog and Clear It)

Have you ever noticed, while using the sink or bathroom flush, a deep noise followed by it? What is that noise and what does it indicate? If you’re reading this article because you’ve been experiencing the same things, you need not worry. Here you’ll get all the necessary details about the gurgling sound coming from your drains and guide you to the solution for fixing it, but before that, you need to understand what is happening with your drains. Most of the time, this sound indicates nothing more than a regular flow of water and air. However, if it has been happening more frequently, it may indicate some serious problems with your drain system.

These gurgles generally occur due to the irregular flow of water and air through the pipes. In most cases, a block in the pipe can be a reason for the noises. This is known as a clogged drain. There are multiple reasons for the clogs, and the location where you’re hearing the sound may not be the place where it happened. Sometimes a blockage in the bathroom pipes can cause gurgling noises in the kitchen sink. So are there ways to fix it without calling any plumbing professionals? The answer might be yes, depending on the condition of the drains. Clogging can not only occur in your house but also in the local sewer pipelines, so the first step is to identify the main cause of it.

Why Do Drains Get Clogged at First Place

clogging of the gurgling sinkClogging of the drains is not a rare occurrence in a house. With the use of showers, sinks and bathrooms regularly, the chances of any solid material blocking the path is highly possible. That is why many people are concerned about not dropping anything on the floor, as it might flow into the drain and cause a jam. Every household needs two systems for keeping the drains in work; the air vents and the pipelines. Having a blockage in any of them can cause gurgling noises coming from the sink, taps or during flushes. Even if you keep the pipes clear and protected, the air vents are always exposed to unexpected means of blockage. So, if that happens to you, what are the measures that you should consider taking? Mentioned below are the basic factors that you must know when your vents or sewer gets clogged, have a look.

1. How Vents System Causes The Gurgle Sound

Vents or Air Vents, are the pipelines in a house that goes up and above the roof with an. Although simple, the importance of these vents is worth considering. Have you noticed that the bathroom drains or toilets have some amount of water filled in them all the time? This water works as a barrier to the unwanted smell or odours from spreading inside the house, and releasing it into the atmosphere. Whenever a flush is made, the solid substance makes its way through the pipe after moving through the water, while not allowing the gases to be released into the air. These gases eventually flow through the pipelines and outside the house. But what if the water holding these gases back gets blocked? It will simply make its way through the water and come out from the drain, causing the gurgling noise to appear. This is an issue with the P-trap, although not directly connected to the vents, but it has to be checked.

Vents not only get blocked due to the clogged drains but also when the outlet through the roof gets shut off due to some solid substance. Bird’s nests, leaves or debris are the reason for clogged air vents in most cases. These are easy to fix and do not require complex plumbing skills. A simple way to identify if the blockage has occurred in vents is that when the bathroom flush is used the gurgling noise will come from another room, such as the kitchen sink. Simply clearing the blocked vents can fix this issue, however, if you don’t see any problems with the vent, we recommend that you call the plumbing professional immediately.

2. How Blocked Sewer Lines Clogs the Drains

unblocking a clogged drainWater flows inside the drains by maintaining a balance with the airflow. These drains start from your kitchen sinks and bathroom and end up in the main sewer lines of the locality. However, due to some solid waste or substances in the drains, the radius of the pipeline in that area becomes smaller, not allowing sewage and air to pass easily. This forces the air to make its way through the pipeline with a lot of friction, which results in a gurgling noise coming out of the pipes just after a flush or using the sink. Fixing these issues can be more problematic than cleaning an air vent. 

Note that a gurgling sound does not indicate a completely blocked drain, but one that is going to get blocked soon. Take measures as soon as possible because it may lead to leaks and water staging in the pipes, sink and bathroom. You should either call for help or try to fix it yourself, depending on the condition of the sewer. Let us now see, what are the possible ways to fix it without making a mess.

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Is There a Way To Fix It?

A simple way to understand it is that a clogged sewer has a blockage in the path of the water flow, and it has to be removed. This can be done without any difficulty using some cleaning products and chemicals, however, if the clog has happened in the middle of the pipe and away from the sinks, it can be tricky. We recommend calling a plumber can be the best option. In any case, if you make a crack or leak during the inspection of the clog, this can lead to a major problem in the house.

1. Call a Professional 

In these cases, a plumber can be the safest option for you. There are many agencies and plumbing experts who you can easily contact. If you are confident about the clog, then there is no need for one. However, miscalculation during fixing the problem can damage the whole sewer system of your house and may cost higher to fix it. A simple leakage in the pipe can cause the water pressure to drop, and no taps would work. We recommend seeking professional help if the condition of a clogged drain is out of your control.

Read More: What to Do in Plumbing Emergency?

2. What You Can Do

plumbers unblocking the drainWhat you can do is use a plunger to clear the blockage. This is a common method yet effective. However, if the clog has formed far from the bathroom or sink, a plunger can be less effective. Another way to fix it is by using hot boiling water. This can melt or dissolve the solid substance causing the clogs. A continuous flow of hot water for 15 to 20 minutes can clear the path of the pipeline without much difficulty. However, make sure to identify the exact position of the blockage before taking any steps. 

As mentioned above, the blockage in the air vents is not difficult to fix. If you find the symptoms similar to what we have suggested above, then you can easily clear the vents. However make sure you do not cause any harm to it, as a serious plumbing problem can occur. The steps that we have mentioned here are some basic methods for dealing with gurgling noises. If the source is in the main sewer lines, the causes are more likely to be tree roots or serious stagnant solid waste. And in such cases, we recommend you not take any part in it. The earlier you call the plumbing professionals, the higher the chances for fewer problems in future.


In this article, we have shared some of the most common reasons for the gurgling noises out of your drains. These are likely to be similar in your case also. If the condition is not complex and can be fixed with less effort, clearing it by yourself can save a decent amount of money. You can use our guides and methods to do it, however, if the problem seems more serious, then call the plumber as soon as possible.

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