Believe it or not, but your drains should not be making all those eerie gurgling noises. When your plumbing system is healthy, it is a more or less soundless process. Gurgling means that something is not right, that there is something malfunctioning somewhere within the plumbing system. If you hear gurgling or other noises more often than not, you should start searching for the cause. Otherwise, you may wake up one day to a waterlogged house.
Here is everything you need to know about those gurgling noisy drains, including some diagnosis and troubleshooting tips:
Why Do Drains Make Noises?
Noisy drains are caused by air that is trapped within the piping, or when water cannot flow through the plumbing system. Sometimes, when there are blockages, a meager amount of air slips through, allowing air bubbles to form. That results in a blub-blub or gurgling or any other kind of noise.
How To Tell What Is Causing The Drain Gurgle
Take a moment to think about what is gurgling. Is it an appliance in the bathroom? The kitchen sink? The shower after you flush the toilet? Sometimes, even the washing machine or dishwasher can make other drains in the household gurgle, depending on the location and size of the blockage in your plumbing system.
Partial vs. Complete Blockages
There are two kinds of blockages that exist: partial (or incomplete) and complete blockages. A partial blockage means that there is still some space around whatever is clogging the pipes, allowing for air and water to move beyond. Depending on where the incomplete blockage is found, the solution will change. Have an environmentally friendly drain cleaner on hand to breakdown the blockage. Baking soda and vinegar poured down the drain usually does the trick.
Usually, when you fail to deal with the partial blockage, it will transform into a complete blockage. This means the water can no longer pass by the blockage, and it will backflow into the drain, which can be dangerous.
Causes of Complete Drain Blockage:
- Dead skin
- Toilet paper and tissues
- Oil, grease, and other gunk from cooking
- Shampoo, conditioner, and soap residue
- Hair clumps
- Toys or other small objects accidentally flushed or lost down the drain
if you have multiple drains around the house gurgling all at once like some kind of dissonant orchestra, it usually points to a blocked sewer line. In that case, you will require the assistance of a professional plumber.
In the event that your sewer line, or the line leading to your septic system, is blocked, it could be caused by broken pipes, clogs caused by unflushable items (feminine products, baby wipes, etc.), and plant or tree roots that have breached the pipe.
Do you hear the kitchen sink making sounds while the washing machine runs? That could mean a blocked vent. Located up on the roof, plumbing vents are used to bring air into the drains and assist with smoothing water flow. However, when the vent pipe gets clogged somehow, the whole plumbing system is affected.
You know a vent pipe is blocked when the following happens:
- Foul smelling drains
- Water is draining more slowly
- Multiple drains are gurgling
Be sure to check the roof for any damages or debris that could have impacted the plumbing vents. Sometimes pests get into the vent to build their nests, as well. You will have to clean out the pipe to get everything working again.
Drains should not gurgle, especially when you are not using them. If you are hearing a lot of rattling and gurgling and noting other weird things, like odd smells, then you probably have a blockage somewhere in the plumbing system. Do not wait to have it inspected by a professional plumber.