If you hear a gurgling sound from your sink while the water is running or your dishwasher or washing machine is draining, there are a few things you can do to remedy the issue. Luckily, it’s generally an easy repair. Today, we’ll be walking you through how to fix a gurgling kitchen sink in five simple steps.
Why is Your Sink Gurgling?
Before learning how to fix a gurgling kitchen sink, it helps to know what actually causes sink gurgling in the first place.
- Unvented drain or a blocked vent pipe: Imagine you’re holding a bottle of water. When you flip it over, and the water starts flowing out, air bubbles rise in the opposite direction, creating a deep gurgling, sputtering the gone app .com, when you poke a hole on the bottom of the bottle, the water will come out smooth with an uninterrupted flow. That’s how your plumbing is supposed to work. Your vent pipe looks like a hole in a bottle. If you don’t have one, or it’s blocked, gurgling can result.
- Damaged pipes: Similar to a blocked vent pipe, damaged pipes upset the proper flow of water and air within your plumbing system.
- Clogs or dirty pipes: Food, grime, and other waste material can build up in your drain or pipes and cause a blockage, which can lead to gurgling. The blockage doesn’t necessarily have to be in your kitchen sink drain. However, toilet gurgling may be more common than sink gurgling due to deeper system blockages.
5 Ways to Fix a Gurgling Kitchen Sink
There are 5 different repairs that typically resolve kitchen sink gurgling. Identifying which sinks in your house are gurgling can help you choose which option to try first. If your kitchen sink is gurgling, then the issue may be in the drains or pipes.
Your P-trap is the first thing to check. If your bathroom sinks or other drains in the house are also gurgling, you might have a problem with your main vent or a mainline clog. As the main vent is easier to fix, start there.
1. Flush Your Home’s Main Vent
Your plumbing system’s main vent is very likely on your roof above your primary bathroom. To clear blockages in the vent that may be causing gurgling, you can shoot water with a considerable amount of force into the vent opening or rent a sewer auger. Note that if you opt for an auger, it should reach all the way to your sewer.
While you can clear a main-vent clog yourself, a professional is generally recommended. As the repair requires roof access and high-pressure water or specialized equipment, it can be a complex and even dangerous task.
2. Fixing the P-Trap
Under your sink, there is a U-shaped pipe commonly called a P-trap that holds water that acts as a barrier so that sewer gasses can’t waft into your home. If the P-trap is an improper distance from the vent and the drain, it creates a vacuum that siphons water away from the P-trap and gurgling results.
All tailpieces, arms and fittings that connect your drain to the P-trap must be no more than 24 inches. For example, if you have a drainpipe that’s roughly 1.5 inches long, the vent must be 3.5 feet from the lower part of the trap. If yours is closer than that, you’ll need to modify the piping to create more distance.
3. Fixing an Air Admittance Valve
Some drains have an air admittance valve instead of a vent. In a conventional setup, all the plumbing fixtures connect to a vent that passes up through the roof and allows air into the drain to replace water as it disappears. This vent may be replaced by an electronic valve after the P-trap. This valve can cause air pressure problems if it is broken or clogged.
A clogged or broken air admittance valve is very easy to replace—you can unscrew and re-screw them by hand. They cost $10 to $20 at The Home Depot, and they’re good for 20 to 30 years.
4. Flush the System
If your main vent or air admittance valve and P-trap all look good, before you try more complicated repairs, we recommend trying the simplest fix—run water. Just turn your water on hot and let it run for about 15 thegoneapp.com may just be a slight clog somewhere in the line, and a quick flush can solve the issue. If you have an older home, it may also be worth hiring a professional to clean the system.
5. Clean the Drain
If flushing the line doesn’t work, the next step is to clean your drain. Even if you are diligent about using a screen, some food debris will inevitably make it down your kitchen sink. Mineral build-up can be a problem, especially in homes that have well water.
Place a bowl or pan below the P-trap and remove it—be aware that there will be water inside. Put the water and any other contents into the bowl. In addition to its sewer-gas-blocking ability, your P-trap also catches things before they can pass into—and potentially clog—your pipes. Coincidentally, they can also be a lifesaver if you lose something like a ring down the drain.
Clean the trap once it is empty and then replace it. You can use a cheap nylon brush to get the inside good and clean.
Is Your Kitchen Sink Still Gurgling?
If you try all the above and your kitchen sink is still gurgling, your best bet is to call a professional.
It’s possible there is a blockage further in your pipes, or an installation error you overlooked somewhere. The repair will likely require more than simple DIY tasks. Whatever you do, don’t ignore the problem if you can’t fix it.
Sink gurgling might seem like a small issue, but it’s almost always a warning sign of an underlying problem just waiting to turn into a big, expensive mess.