How to Fix a Gurgling Kitchen Sink? (This Fix Always Works)
If your sink makes strange gurgling noises, you might wonder how to fix it. A blockage usually causes these sounds in your drain or your vent pipe. So after diagnosing the problem, how do you fix a gurgling kitchen sink?
To fix a gurgling kitchen sink, use a plunger and plunge your kitchen sink 3 – 5 times to clear any blockages. This will help to dislodge any debris that may be causing a blockage. To further your success, you can use a drain snake.
Your drainage system is very important! Any potential problem could result in a big mess. Don’t fret, though. There are ways to clear most blockages from your drain and from your vent. Let’s dive in.
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Here’s a Quick Pro Tip!
The most common reason why your kitchen sink is gurgling is a blockage in your drain or vent pipe. Luckily, it can be cleared up pretty quickly (in most cases). Let’s look at some must-have products.
Here are our favorite products from Amazon to fix your gurgling kitchen sink!
1. Plunger – a great tool to dissolve clogs in your drain.
2. Drain Snake – ideal if you don’t want to use chemicals to dissolve a clog.
3. Invade Bio Drain Gel – is not harmful to your pipes and purposefully dissolves leftover food stuck in pipes.
We use our kitchen sink multiple times daily, so naturally, it can be concerning to hear strange gurgling noises coming from the drain.
In this section, we will look at the cause and what can be done.
What Causes a Kitchen Sink to Gurgle?
Usually, a clogged drain is the cause of gurgling noises coming from your kitchen sink – since food and other debris can quickly accumulate and cause a clog in your kitchen sink drain.
The air will be trapped when the drain pipe is obstructed by debris. The trapped air causes the gurgling noises you hear.
You can use a drain snake to try and clear the blockage or call a professional plumber.
Why Are My Sink Pipes Gurgling?
If your sink pipes are gurgling, the most likely cause is a clogged drain pipe. It’s common in kitchen sinks since we often rinse food and other debris down the sink. The food tends to build up over time, even with the garbage disposal.
The gurgling noises could also be from a blocked vent pipe. These pipes are attached to the drain pipe, allowing sewer gas to escape.
Usually, a vent pipe exists through the roof of your house, so leaves or bird nests often cause a blockage.
How Do You Unclog a Gurgling Drain?
You should first determine where the problem lies. If only one particular sink is gurgling, you know the problem lies in those pipes. However, if all the sinks in your house make this noise, there could be a problem with the main line.
If the noises are emitting from one specific sink, use a drain snake to try and dislodge whatever is clogging the pipes.
The air is trapped in the pipe and makes these gurgling noises. If a drain snake does not seem to work, you should call a plumber.
How Do You Diagnose a Gurgling Sink?
A gurgling pipe is usually an indication of a bigger problem. The first step is to determine where the noises are coming from. If it’s coming from the pipes of one particular sink, you would know that pipe is probably clogged.
You can use a drain snake in that sink to try and clear the blockage. However, noticing these gurgling sounds throughout your house under most sinks indicates a bigger problem.
You should immediately contact a plumber to check if your water or sewer line is clogged.
Why Do Sinks Glug?
The glug sound that sinks make sometimes is actually air bubbles that form around a clog and get pushed upwards. Water runs down the sink, but the air is pushed up, making odd gurgling noises.
In most cases, this can be fixed by cleaning the clog with a drain snake. However, if the clog is too far down the drain or the gurgling does not cease, you should call a plumber.
Ignoring the gurgling sound could cause a significant problem to worsen, potentially costing you a pretty penny to repair.
What to Do When Your Sink Gurgles but Drains Fine?
If you notice your sink gurgling but don’t notice any clogs in the drain, you might have a blocked vent pipe. The vent pipe allows sewer gas to escape but can also produce a gurgling sound when blocked.
Another clear sign of a blocked vent pipe is a foul odor emitting from your sink. You might also see water taking a long time to drain or back up from the pipes.
The vent opening is usually on your roof, which makes it quite vulnerable to natural elements.
You might also enjoy our post on If a Toilet Will Unclog Itself
Kitchen Sink Clogs
So now we know that the gurgling sound is usually due to a clog in your kitchen sink drain.
There are multiple different ways to dissolve a clog, at-home tricks or professional help – either way, let’s look at your options.
What Is the Best Product to Unclog a Kitchen Sink?
The most effective product to unclog a kitchen sink is a drain snake. However, the clog might sometimes be too far down for the drain snake to reach. Then you could use chemical drain cleaners designed to break down the clog.
The Drano Max Gel Drain Clog Remover can be poured directly into the drain and starts to clear your clog immediately.
In comparison, the Invade Bio Drain Gel contains natural microbes that do not damage your pipes but eliminate organic debris (like food build-up).
How Do You Clear a Slow-Draining Kitchen Sink?
A slow-draining kitchen sink tends to have a clog related to food particles and other debris. Before buying an abrasive product, you can try a DIY drain cleaner solution. All that you need is boiling water, white vinegar, and baking soda.
Pour half a cup of baking soda down your drain, followed by half a cup of vinegar. The mixture will start to fizz out of your drain – that’s a good sign!
Leave it be for 10 minutes, and carefully pour boiling water down your drain.
Open the faucet and check if the water is draining faster. If not, it might be time to get those drain cleaners!
We recommend the Invade Bio Drain Gel since this product is designed to attack kitchen sink clogs.
What Liquid Do Plumbers Use to Unclog Kitchen Sink Drains?
Plumbers have access to many tools and chemicals that the public does not, simply due to the associated risks. Hydrochloric acid is a common acid used by plumbers to unclog drains.
Hydrochloric acid is pretty strong and can cause severe injuries if mixed improperly. Thus it’s only available at certain stores and if you carry a plumber’s license.
Plumbers also use augurs (drain snakes) if acid is unnecessary.
How Do You Unclog a Kitchen Sink With Standing Water?
There could be multiple reasons why a kitchen sink has a clog, although still standing water can complicate the solution. It would be best to start by using the good old plunger.
A plunger works with water pressure, so if you have standing water in your sink, it could actually benefit the plunger.
Place the cup over the clogged drain and push the plunger up and down a few times.
Remove the plunger and see if the still-standing water starts to drain. If not, repeat the process another time.
You can also remove the still-standing water with cups from the drain to access the clogged drain.
Once all the still-standing water is removed, you can pour half a cup of baking soda and half a cup of vinegar down the clogged drain.
Let the solution fizz for 10 minutes (maybe more if you have a stubborn clog), and open the hot water faucet.
How Do You Plunge a Kitchen Sink?
If you have a double sink in your kitchen, block the unclogged drain with a cap or rag. Then pour a small amount of water into the sink with the clogged drain. The water should be enough to cover the plunger cup and establish a tight seal.
Place some pressure on the plunger and push it up and down a few times. Remove the plunger and check if the water starts to drain.
In most cases, the plunger‘s pressure is enough to unclog your kitchen sink.
Kitchen Sinks and Other Household Water Features
It might seem unrelated if your kitchen sink gurgles when you shower. However, all the plumbing in your house is connected through pipes.
Noise coming from your kitchen sink could indicate a problem in any part of your plumbing system.
Why Does My Kitchen Sink Gurgle When the Dishwasher Drains?
If your kitchen sink gurgles when the dishwasher drains, it could indicate a clog in the dishwasher pipe. These clogs are caused by leftover pieces of food that stick in the pipes and build up over time.
The gurgling noises might also be due to a blocked vent pipe. These pipes are connected to your sink pipe, and their primary purpose is to release sewer gas.
This vent runs to the roof, making it vulnerable to dirt, debris, bird nests, and various natural elements that cause a blockage.
You might also enjoy our post on If a Bathroom Sink Needs a Vent
Why Does My Kitchen Sink Gurgle When I Flush the Toilet?
When you flush the toilet, strange gurgling noises from your kitchen sink indicate a ventilation issue in your pipes. You might also notice a foul odor coming from your kitchen sink drain.
The gurgling sounds should not be ignored as it’s not a problem that will go away. Eventually, your whole pipe system could be blocked and cause backflow.
It’s best to call a licensed plumber to assess and fix any problems you might have.
Why Does My Kitchen Sink Gurgle When the Washer Drains?
A clog in the dishwasher pipe or a blockage in the vent pipe causes your kitchen sink to gurgle when the dishwasher drains. It is most likely that a clog in the pipe is causing your pipes to gurgle.
You can use a plunger or a drain snake to try and dissolve the clog.
If it does not work, you probably have a clog somewhere else in your pipe system and need the help of a professional plumber.
Why Does My Kitchen Sink Gurgle When I Shower?
Your sink will gurgle when there’s a blockage in the drainage system. You will need to remove the blockage to stop the gurgling. If not, the blockage will get a lot worse until you cannot use any sink, shower, toilet, or bath in your house.
If the gurgling noises are coming from your kitchen sink, the blockage could be in your kitchen drain.
You can pour some baking soda and vinegar down the drain and let it sit for a while. Then pour boiling water down the drain.
If this does not solve your problem, grab the plunger and blunge your kitchen drain a few times.
If the noise still persists, you should contact a plumber to evaluate your water line and check for any blockages.
Why Does My Kitchen Sink Gurgle When It Rains?
The vent pipe that releases sewer gas from your drainage system is located on your roof. When it rains, some of the water might fall into the pipe and backflow into the water line. This is something you should keep an eye on.
Wait up to 24 hours after the rain stops and use your faucet as usual. If your kitchen sink continues to gurgle, you might have a blockage in your vent.
Also, test out flushing the toilet and running the shower.
Can a Washer and Kitchen Sink Share a Drain?
Technically, a washer and a sink can share a drain. However, most plumbers don’t recommend this. Two different appliances using the same sink will increase the speed of debris building up.
This means you’ll probably have clogs in this drain more frequently, damaging your whole water line.
Sinks usually have a U-shaped pipe, while washers have an L-shaped pipe – these shape discrepancies can actually make it quite tricky to connect them to the same drain.
You might also enjoy our post on Whether You Can Drink Water out of the Kitchen Sink
How Do You Clean a Kitchen Sink Vent?
The vent pipe runs to the roof of your house, so you would need to get a ladder and climb onto your roof. You would also need to bring a screwdriver and a garden hose onto the roof.
Once you’re on the roof, locate the pipe vent outlet and use the screwdriver to unscrew the cover. Clear any debris that might be lying on top of the vent as well.
Inspect the vent for any obstructions and remove them if necessary.
If you can’t see any more obstructions, use your garden hose and spray water into the vent. In most cases, this will be enough to clear any blockages.
How Do I Know if My Vent Pipe Is Clogged?
A tell tail sign of a clogged vent pipe is water draining slower than usual or a foul smell coming from your drains. Although if water is only draining slowly in one specific drain, it might be a clogged drain.
Another sign that your vent pipe is clogged is dry or empty toilet tanks.
The vent regulates the air in your plumbing system, so when it’s blocked, there is no air pressure to keep the water where it should be.
Can a Sink Drain Get Air Locked?
A sink drain can get an airlock, which is a pocket of air that has no way to escape. It creates pressure that prevents water from running down the drain. Luckily it’s usually quite easy to fix an airlock in your sink drain.
Since an airlock creates pressure, a plunger is a perfect tool to combat it. A plunger also creates pressure and can potentially push the airlock out of the drain.
Simply seal the cup over the drain and push the plunger up and down a few times. It should do the trick!
So the best way to fix a gurgling kitchen sink is to find the problem – either a drain blockage or a vent pipe blockage.
Either you can attempt to fix it at home or contact a licensed plumber to fix your problem.