A home can make a lot of unnerving noises. Pipes knock, floors creak, shutters bang, and wind whistles through the boards. When it comes to plumbing, understanding the source of some noises can help you diagnose a potential issue before it becomes a real problem.
Check out these three reasons why your sink is gurgling.
A Partially Clogged Drain
The most common reason for a gurgling sound in a sink is a partial blockage somewhere down the pipe that has not yet become so dense as to stop drainage. Air caught in or below that clog will bubble up through standing, slow-draining water, causing the gurgling sound.
To prevent a total back-up, treat the sink using one, some, or all of the following methods:
- Use a plunger
- Use a drain snake to try to pull up the clog
- Use a mix of baking soda and vinegar to try to break up the clog
- Pour a generous dose of boiling water down the sink
Avoid using drain cleaner. If it doesn’t break up the obstruction, the caustic chemicals can sit in the pipes and cause damage.
A Blocked Drain Vent
Drain vents are built into your plumbing system to allow gas build-up in the sewer lines to be shunted through a vent pipe and out the roof. If a bird has decided that your vent is a great place to build a cozy nest, or if leaves, acorns, and debris have clogged up the rooftop pipe, the gas from those sewer pipes will be expelled wherever pressure can be released, such as through your drains.
If you think this may be the source of the gurgling, call your plumber to clear out the drain vent.
A Break Or Clog In Sewer Line
When it comes to gurgling noises in your pipes, the worst-case scenario is a sewer line break or clog. In this case, the gurgling will usually manifest in the drains or toilets closest to the sewer line that leads out of your house, such as a utility sink in the basement or a lower-floor toilet.
If you suspect a sewer line problem, call your plumber immediately. A sewer back-up is a messy, smelly, unnerving and potentially costly event. Early detection means you can fix the problem and start preventative measures before sewage seeps into your home.
A gurgling in your pipes may seem like a small matter, but in some cases it can be a warning sign of worse things to come. Never hesitate to call a trusted plumber whenever you have questions or concerns.