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3 Reasons Your Drains Might Be Gurgling

Soap foam and water flowing into bathroom drainage hole
A residential plumbing system can produce many different sounds. Some of these sounds, like water moving through your pipes, are not cause for concern. Other sounds could be an indication of serious plumbing issues within your home.

Water should go down the drains in your home without producing audible noise. If you suddenly start to hear a gurgling sound coming from your drains, this noise could be warning you that your plumbing system is in trouble.

A gurgling drain could be caused by a variety of plumbing issues. An experienced plumber will be able to help you pinpoint the problem and make the repairs needed to quiet your drains and keep your plumbing system functioning properly.

1. Clogs

Clogs are among the more common plumbing problems that homeowners must deal with on a regular basis. Some clogs can be dislodged with a plunger, but others form deep within your drain pipes.

Deep drain clogs can be especially problematic because they often go undetected until they produce flooding that can compromise the structural stability of your home. As water attempts to flow past a clog deep within your drain pipes, pockets of air are released from the clog into the water above it. These air pockets travel up and out of your drain, producing the gurgling noises that you might hear when emptying a sink or tub.

Only specialized plumbing tools like an auger or hydro-jetting equipment can dislodge a deep drain clog. Don't ignore a gurgling drain, as allowing the deep drain clog to remain in your pipes could result in a plumbing disaster in the near future.

2. Blocked Vents

The drains within your home rely on vents to help eliminate any dangerous accumulation of sewer gases within your pipes. These vents allow sewer gases to travel upward and escape your home through openings on your roof.

Vents can become blocked with leaves, debris, or animal nests over time. When a vent no longer allows gas buildup to escape, the sewer gases will seek another exit within your home. The next easiest escape route for sewer gases that encounter a blocked vent is through the water in a drain's P-trap. As the sewer gases move through the water in the P-trap, you will hear a gurgling noise coming from the affected drain.

In addition to being an audible disruption, gurgling drains caused by blocked vents can pose a health risk to your family. Sewer gases that are released back into your home through a drain's P-trap can be toxic. Clean out your plumbing vents regularly to avoid gurgling drains and the problems that accompany them.

3. Damaged Sewer Lines

Many homes are connected to municipal sewer systems via drainage lines that run from the home to the street. These sewer lines are susceptible to damage over time. Driving over a sewer line repeatedly could crush the pipe, preventing the proper flow of sewage through the main line.

Many sewer drainage lines are also exposed to damage caused by tree roots. The moisture and nutrients within the waste moving through a main sewer line can cause tree roots to penetrate the pipe.

If all the drains in your home are gurgling, this is a good indication that your main sewer line is damaged. Toxic sewer gases are backing up into all of the P-traps within your home and causing the drains to gurgle. As soon as you hear universal gurgling in your home's drains, a raw sewage backup isn't too far behind.

Gurgling drains are trying to warn you of plumbing problems within your home. Contact Souza & Viviani Plumbing Co. for help addressing your drain and sewer problems.