What It Means If Your Drains Are Gurgling

Posted on: 25 March 2020

Drains typically make little to no noise beyond the sound of water running down them. But if your drains are making gurgling, watery, or bubbly sounds, what does that mean? Unfortunately, it likely means that you have a problem on your hands. Here's what's causing those noises and what you should do about it.

Blockage

One of the potential causes of a drainage pipe gurgling is that there's a blockage somewhere in the pipe, or just beyond it.

The reason that it makes noise is because you're essentially hearing the sound of water drifting past the blockage. This is what happens when it's not a full clog that prevents anything from passing through. Instead, it's likely a partial clog that has just enough space for some water to pass through. As the water slowly drains through that opening, it may make a gurgling noise as a result.

Gas

Another possibility is that you have air or gas in your pipe. Don't panic — this doesn't mean that you have a dangerous kind of gas in your pipes; rather, it may be sewer gas.

Sewer gas is essentially air that's released when things that are rinsed or flushed down the drain start to break down within the pipes. As the air shifts, and especially when you try to run something down the drain, gurgling noises may be heard as the air gets pushed around by the fluid going down the drain. This is usually due to partial clogs in the line, but it can also be due to sewer gas coming up from the sewer line directly.

Getting Help

If your pipes are gurgling, consider it a warning sign. This is your opportunity to do something about the situation that can prevent it from getting much worse. What you need to do here is to call a plumber.

Plumbers can quickly and easily clear out a drain pipe of any clogs or problems that can be causing the gurgling that you're hearing (and possibly smelling). This will ensure that your pipes are clear and ready to use and that you won't get a full blockage just down the road.

With gurgling in particular, it's not a good idea to use drain cleaning fluid at home. The gurgling indicates that the drain fluid could potentially come back up, which would be a big and dangerous mess to clean up. It's better to contact a plumber directly and have them use a non-toxic means of clearing the drain, like hydro jetting or using a plumbing snake.

Contact a company like American Minuteman Sewer & Drain for more information.

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