How To Fix A Gurgling Kitchen Sink

How To Fix A Gurgling Kitchen Sink

Anthony Barnes

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It can be a very common occurrence when water is running that you can hear a distinct gurgling sound coming from your sink.

This can happen when water is being drained from a sink, when a dishwasher is draining, or even when a washing machine is draining.

If this issue is bothering you, luckily there are remedies you can try to fix the issue, and even better they are not too hard to do!

Here are the simple steps you need to follow if you want to stop this annoying problem!

What Are The Reasons Your Sink Is Gurgling?

Before fixing a problem, the best thing you can do is know what the cause of the problem is.

This generally makes resolving issues easier as well as allowing you to take preventative measures in the future to stop them from arising again. So what can cause a sink to gurgle?

  • If you have an unvented drain, or if your drain pipe has a blocked vent, this can cause gurgling in your sink. This creates bubbles that rise up to the surface and give you the gurgling sound which you are trying to avoid. This can be avoided by having the vent stay clear as having an uninhibited water flow will stop any of these bubbles from forming and leading to issues.
  • If you have damaged piping you can also have the gurgling issue. In a similar way to how the blocked vent or unvented drain will cause the air bubbles to form, having damaged pipes will disrupt the intended flow of the water and will cause similar issues.
  • If your pipes are unclean or even clogged this can also cause the issue. These clogs can be made of food, debris, or even trash and similarly to the last point will disrupt the natural flow of the water leading to a gurgling sound. Unlike the other issues, however, these blockages are much more likely to be deeper in your system making them sometimes harder to solve.

What Are The Best Ways To Stop A Gurgling Sink?

Because of the variety of different causes for a gurgling sink, there is a variety of options when it comes to solving the issue.

Read through all of these methods to see which will suit your issues best and will work best with your skill set and the tools you have available.

If all the drains in your house are having the same gurgling issue, it is probably a problem with your main vent as this is the source of most of your water flow, so this is the best go-to fix.

Clearing Your House’s Main Vent

Most plumbing systems have their main vent located around the roof of your main bathroom, however, this will vary, and checking the house plans is the best way to get your answer.

Once you have located your main vent you can begin to source the blockages.

An effective method of cleaning this vent and dislodging blockages is by shooting water with a good amount of force into the vent opening, and if this is not effective enough, renting a sewer augar to do a more efficient job. 

This can be done yourself but will be a much easier and quicker job for a professional if you have the contacts and the budget for this.

This is because you are needing easy access to the roof and will need specialized equipment which can be more expensive to buy or rent than using a professional.

But checking to see if this is the source of your issue can save a lot of time.

How To Fix Your P-Trap To Stop Sink Gurgling

Located underneath most sinks is a U-shaped pipe that is also referred to as a P-trap.

How To Fix A Gurgling Kitchen Sink (1)

This pipe is used as a barrier to stop sewer gasses from entering your house. However, if this P-trap is not attached correctly it can create a vacuum that disrupts the water flow and results in gurgling. 

The best way to solve this problem is to adjust your piping to make sure everything is the correct distance apart to stop any chance of gurgling.

How To Fix An Air Admittance Valve To Stop Sink Gurgling

Instead of using a vent system, a lot of drains now use an air admittance valve.

These valves replace the vent system but still do their function of letting air replace the water once it has been drained.

But just like a vent, it can easily become clogged, and as we now know, clogs like this are the main cause of gurgling. 

Luckily these valves are easy to unscrew and re-screw and are relatively cheap to replace if they have become permanently damaged.

How To Flush Your System To Stop Sink Gurgling

If you have checked; your main vent, your P-trap, as well as a potential air admittance valve, and none of these seem to have issues and are working correctly, then luckily there are still methods to try if your problem persists.

This potential fix is one of the simplest methods, but can sometimes be the most effective. 

Simply flush out your system by letting your water run for an extended period of time.

The recommended method is to turn your water to a hot enough setting and let it run for 15 minutes.

The heat and constant flow will hopefully dislodge clogs from any problematic areas without the need for a deeper look.

If you think your whole drainage system is dirty though this method will not be enough and does not constitute a deep clean, if this is the case hiring a professional to clean the system will probably be necessary.

How To Clean Your Drain To Stop Sink Gurgling

The last resort is to clean your drain, it is unlikely this is the cause, but there is still a chance it could be.

Food debris getting caught just a little under the surface can be enough to cause gurgling and depending on the hardness of your water there is the possibility of a mineral build-up.

The best thing to do is remove your P-trap being careful to prepare for the water and likely mess that will be inside it.

If you have found any clogs remove them and clean the trap before reinstalling.

Summary

If you have tried all of these methods, and you are still suffering from the gurgling the best thing to do is call a professional as it is likely the problem is sourced somewhere inaccessible to people without professional equipment and expertise.

But if you are willing to try these methods you can save yourself this cost and have the satisfaction of solving the problem yourself!

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By Anthony Barnes

Anthony Barnes is the founder of Water Heater Hub and a second-generation plumber by profession. Before developing Water Heater Hub, Anthony Barnes was a full-time plumber, and he has undertaken a wide variety of projects over the decades. As a second-generation plumber, it was easy for Anthony to get used to the technicalities of all from a tender age