When water goes down any drain of your home, you should reasonably expect it to make a sort of “swish” sound as it goes down the pipe. However, if you instead hear a gurgling noise, or hear one shortly after (like someone blowing air through a straw in their drink), then you may have something wrong with your drains.
A gurgling drain can be a minor issue, however it could also warn of a much larger plumbing problem. To find out for sure, be sure to reach out to our team. Oh, and stay away from that store-bought chemical drain cleaning “solution,” okay? It actually does more harm than good to your drains.
The Cause of Gurgling Drains
A drain that gives off an occasional bubbling noise is typically not something to be too concerned about. Air bubbles get into the water all the time. If the sound keeps persisting, though, it can mean one of these things:
You Have a Deep Drain Clog. The gurgling noise you hear may be a warning sign that there is a full clog deep down in your drain line. Not enough water has built up yet to see water backup from your drain, but that could be following shortly behind. The reason you hear gurgling if this is the case, is that the clog is releasing pockets of air up into the water above it. For deep drain clogs, a plunger and some elbow grease just won’t do—it’s time to give our plumbers a call!
Blocked Drain Vents: To prevent the build-up of sewer gas inside your drainpipes and the sewer line, your drains have vents that open up onto the top of your home. If these vents get clogged, though (which can occur due to birds nesting or debris blown onto the roof), then the sewer gas escapes through the next best passage—likely through the water in the p-trap of the drains. This creates that gurgling noise we’re discussing. We must urge you to resist going up on the roof yourself to attempt to clear out the vents. You’d be better off hiring a pro.
Major Sewer Line Problems: What if all the drains around your home are gurgling? Well unfortunately, this likely means that there is a serious problem with the sewer line connecting your home to the municipal sewer pipe. Blockage in the sewer will create a backup of sewer gas that travels up through the p-trap. Before long, actual sewage will begin backing up into your home and property, typically starting at the lowest point. Eliminating this type of clog and preventing a disastrous backup requires a professional drain cleaning method known as hydro-jetting.
Another potentially damaging sewer line problem is a broken pipe. This can occur with older homes—that is, homes built prior to 1970. The problem with these homes is that the sewer line is made up of galvanized steel, which isn’t used anymore due to its susceptibility for corrosion. If you suspect you have a sewer line problem, don’t delay—call our team!