Do you have a gurgling sink at home? The problem could be more serious than merely annoying. It’s not normal if your drains make a strange gurgling sound. So, what’s causing the sound? How do you fix a gurgling sink? And, is the weird sound coming from only one sink or many? We’ll tackle these questions, and the issue, in this blog.

You use your bath or kitchen sink every day. Since it’s connected to your home’s garbage disposal, it’s not wise to ignore a gurgling sink. If you do, it could grow into a bigger, more money and time-consuming problem. If multiple sinks in your house are gurgling, you must contact a plumbing professional immediately.

Reasons for a gurgling sink

You need to know what causes sink gurgling. Only then will you be able to fix it. Here are some plausible reasons.

  • Broken P-trap: A P-trap is a U-shaped pipe that’s located under your kitchen sink — usually hidden inside a kitchen cabinet. The role of your p-trap is to stop all the dirt and debris from clogging your kitchen plumbing system as well as bathroom plumbing. When your sink p-trap becomes damaged or breaks, it may cause obstructions in your drains — resulting in gurgling noises.
  • Food clogs: Be careful of the kind of kitchen waste you shove down your sink. Keep in mind that your garbage disposal is not meant for grease, oil, grime, and other tough waste materials. These can clog your drain — trapping air and causing those annoying gurgling sounds. 
  • Blocked vent pipes: Vent pipes attached to your drain pipes help to allow the sewer gases to safely escape your plumbing system through the roof. This is where dirt and debris can block the vent opening. If the pipes get blocked, the sewer gases may enter your home. This is a serious problem, and you should hire a professional plumber to deal with it.
  • Damaged drain pipes: If your drain pipe is not working how it should, it can upset the flow of water and air within your plumbing system.

How do you clear a gurgling sink?

gurgling sink reasons

Here are some easy and practical solutions to fix a gurgling kitchen. 

Flush your main vent

If there’s a slight clog somewhere in the line, a quick flush can solve the issue. Usually, your plumbing system’s main vent is located on your roof — generally, just above your master bathroom. Shooting water with force into the vent opening is a good way to clear a main-vent. Calling a professional, especially if you live in an older home, is generally recommended as this kind of repair work requires roof access, high-pressure water, and specialized equipment.  

Fix the P-trap

Since the P-trap has a sewer-gas-blocking ability, it’s important to keep it in good working condition. Also, make sure the P-trap is at a proper distance from the vent and the drain. The length between your drain and the P-trap should not be more than 24 inches. If it is, you’ll need to modify the piping accordingly.

Fix the air admittance valve

Sometimes, instead of a vent, drains have an air admittance valve just after the P-trap. If this valve breaks or clogs, it can upset the air pressure in the plumbing system. This kind of repair work, where you’re unclogging or replacing a broken air admittance valve, is easy enough. It generally requires part replacements, re-screwing, or adjustments. 

Clean the drain

drain trap location

Cleaning your drain is important as food debris inevitably makes it down your kitchen sink. Or, the pipes may have mineral build-up. You can begin the cleaning process by removing the P-trap and emptying out the water or grime into a pan. Once empty, clean the trap with a nylon brush and replace it. 

Fix the smaller issues yourself

If the sink clog isn’t too serious, you’ll be able to remove the obstruction yourself with the help of plumbing tools such as plungers and drain snakes. It’s important to clean your sink drains regularly to prevent foul sewage odors and improve the life of your plumbing system.

However, you must avoid using chemical drain cleaners. These can make the pipes corrode and leak. Instead, you can prepare a homemade solution of baking soda and vinegar to dissolve minor clog problems.

Last thoughts

A gurgling kitchen sink is usually when an obstruction prevents the flow of water or air through your drains. That’s when air bubbles form — creating a gurgling sound.

Keep in mind that if the problem of a gurgling sink is not rectified immediately, it can grow into a larger plumbing concern. Also, if the sound of drain gurgling is coming from multiple sinks, it could be an indicator of a clog in the main sewer line. If the problem looks more serious than a simple DIY project, calling a professional plumber is the best solution. 

Know how to fix your gurgling sink for good was last modified: December 23rd, 2022 by Ramona Sinha
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