When strange noises start coming from your drain, don’t turn a blind eye. Gurgling sounds can indicate a clog or blockage somewhere in your plumbing system. The issue can progress without proper repair, resulting in extensive and potentially harmful damage to your Idaho home. Read on to learn the cause of a gurgling drain and the steps you can take to fix it. 

What Causes Gurgling Drains?

Gurgling noises occur when blockages prevent water or air from flowing through your drain. When the water can’t pass through properly, air bubbles form, creating a gurgling sound.

Three main types of blockages can cause your drain to gurgle: blocked drains, blocked sewer lines, and blocked plumbing vents.

Blocked drains

The primary cause of a gurgling drain is a partial or complete clog in your sink, shower, or bathtub. A partial clog only blocks part of your drain and causes water to flow much slower than usual. A complete clog will form without proper repair, preventing anything from flowing down your drain.

The most common causes of a clogged drain include:

  • Hair
  • Soap scum
  • Dirt and debris
  • Toilet paper
  • Oils and grease
  • Foreign objects

When these items enter your drain, they can build up or block it, causing a clog.

Blocked sewer line

Blocks in multiple drains in your home likely mean you have a sewer line clog. Your sewer line is responsible for carrying wastewater away from your home. When it’s clogged, it will affect all of the drains in your home.

Tree roots are the leading cause of sewer line obstructions. Deciduous trees like silver maple and aspen are known to invade sewer pipes causing cracks and blockages.

Flushing bathroom products, including baby wipes, diapers, female hygiene products, and dental floss, can also clog your sewer line and cause a gurgling toilet.

Blocked vent pipes

Plumbing systems have a vent to balance the air and water flow. A blocked vent leads to poor air flow and causes a gurgling sound. Gurgling drains, slow-moving water, and foul odors are the top indicators that your vent is clogged.

DIY Solutions for Gurgling Drains

When your drain starts to gurgle, try these DIY solutions to unclog it:

  • Pour boiling water: You can break up the clogged materials in your drain by pouring boiling water down it. Mixing baking soda and vinegar with the water can enhance the effect and flush the materials away.
  • Use a plunger: A plunger can resolve minor blockages. Seal the plunger around the drain’s opening and plunge vigorously until you hear or see the drain unclog.
  • Drain cleaners: Chemical drain cleaners can break down clogs in gurgling pipes but are often a last resort due to the potential damage they can cause.

While these DIY methods can be effective, it’s important to note that they may be only a temporary fix. If the gurgling noises return, have a plumber assess your plumbing system to identify the root cause and prevent the need for further repair.

When to Call a Professional Plumber

Call a professional plumber if you experience repeated clogs and gurgling noises. Recurring or completely blocked drains can cause severe water damage to your home and require professional repair. Improper or DIY repairs can also lead to further damage and result in costly repair bills.

You should also call a plumber if you suspect that a sewer line blockage is the cause of your gurgling drains. Sewer line repair is a complex process that requires professional equipment and experience.

How Professional Plumbers Fix Gurgling Drains

To fix a gurgling sink, our professional plumbers will thoroughly inspect the system and check for signs of blockage. If we suspect that the clog is in your sewer line, we will insert a camera into your piping to assess the condition. The inspection will allow us to determine where the blockage is and take the proper steps to repair it

The most common tools used to fix a blocked drain include:

  • Snakes or augers: Insert these manual tools down the drain to break up and remove clogs.
  • Hydro-jetting: High-pressure water is forced through the pipes to remove debris and break down blockages.

Using these tools and techniques,our plumbers can remove the clog from your drain and prevent damage. If there is damage to your sewer system, we can use minimally-invasive techniques, such as trenchless repairs.

We will also likely recommend preventative measures, including regular maintenance and proper disposal of household items. To prepare for your plumbing visit, clear the area around the drain and stop further use until we arrive.

Call Express Plumbing for Drain Repair

If you hear gurgling sounds coming from your drain, call Express Plumbing, Heating, and Air. Our team has helped thousands of customers in Boise and surrounding areas with their plumbing needs. Our highly-trained technicians have the experience and tools to identify the issue and effectively clear your drain from blockages. We’ll gather any required permits and follow all Boise regulations throughout the repair.

With our customer-focused mindset, you can rest assured that you’re in good hands, from start to finish. We’ll arrive at your house on time and treat it as if it were our own. If you’re not satisfied with the drain service for any reason, we’ll make it right or your money back. Call us or book online today to schedule your drain repair!


Brad Jordan

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