Does your sink make gurgling sounds too? If the sound persists, you might be facing a more serious problem than the irritating noise.
You need to check the venting system and drainage pipes to define where the problem hides. The gurgling sound is often caused by a blocked vent pipe or a partially clogged drain, and the sooner you fix it the better.
How to fix a gurgling kitchen sink yourself
If you hear that the kitchen sink gurgles, don’t contact the plumber right away. There are many things you can do to fix the gurgling sound without paying a fortune for it.
Follow our simple tips on how to fix a gurgling kitchen sink, and the problem will be gone before you know it.
Establish why the kitchen sink gurgles
The first and most important step is to establish the root cause for your sink gurgling. This way, you can fix the drain pipe yourself without spending money on a costly repair. Check out Kpipe to know more about their DIY pipe repair kits.
The sink gurgling sound can be caused by a clogged drain or a problem in the vent pipes, both of which can be assessed with an easy solution. You must be well prepared and have all the information you need.
To understand the problem of the kitchen sink gurgle, grab a bottle of water. Flip it over, and you will lose how water flows out causing bubbles to rise in the opposite direction. This is also how a gurgling sink functions – if there was a hole in the bottle’s bottom, the flow would be smooth and there would be no sound at all.
In the plumbing system, the vent pipes play the role of the bottle hole. If they are clogged or blocked with food debris, they can’t work properly.
The problem could also be in the drain pipe. It usually happens when the pipe is clogged with grime, food, or other waste material.
Last but not least, consider the possibility that the gurgling sound didn’t develop in the kitchen sink. The blockage is often in the deeper system, and you may need to hire a professional plumber.
Check if the main sink vent is blocked
The number one reason behind a gurgling sink is a blockage in the main vent. It means that a vacuum has been developed inside the drain trap, usually accompanied by strong and unpleasant odors.
The vents are opened on the roof, and they get easily cluttered with windblown seeds and leaves. The reason may even be that a small bird built its nest over them.
As a result, air pressure keeps building up and creates foul-smelling gases in the P-trap. As the pressure increases, water is pushed against the gas and can’t prevent the fumes from coming out of the drain.
To break up these clogs, use a sewer auger. This is the best tool for the job, as you can push it through the entire drain until you reach the vent opening. Let the water flow and check it – if there are no gurgling sounds, you’ve successfully solved the problem
Check the P-Trap and fix it
The issue at stake may also be that the distance between the vent installation distance of the P-trap is wrong.
To check this, locate the P-trap under the kitchen sink (a U-shaped pipe that connects the sink with the drainage system and the vent pipes). There may be some water inside, also creating foul-smelling gases and fumes spreading across the kitchen.
All pipes come with specific ratings that dictate their vent distance. The most common ones are the half-inch pipes, in which case you should count with a 3 ½ feet vent distance from the bottom of the rap.
If the P-trap is longer than this, it may develop a vacuum and cause a gurgling sound.
It may also be that you have a kitchen sink with valves instead of vents. Please check whether the valve got stuck according to the following instructions.
Examine the Air Admittance Valve
Check whether your kitchen sink has an air admittance valve in the back instead of a vent pipe. Any clog or damage inside it can disrupt the air pressure, and block the plumbing system of your kitchen sink.
The air admittance valve is only activated by pressure, and therefore very common in all plumbing installments. They are mostly met in smaller kitchens, as homeowners try to avoid adding conventional pipes and vents with a roof penetration. If you also own one, check its condition.
You can find the air admittance valve behind the p-trap, right below your kitchen sink. If it is blocked, you can easily unscrew it and screw a new one instead.
Clean the drainage pipes
You will easily notice that the drainage pipes are clogged if water flows slowly. This means that there is something in the drain that doesn’t let sufficient air inside, such as residue buildup or food remains. This problem is easier to prevent than to solve, so make sure you clean the P-traps regularly and that you take all residue out.
You will first need to disassemble the P-trap and detach it. Make sure you put a bucket under it, in case there is still water inside. The trap is usually attached to the tailpiece and the walls with coupling nuts, and you can remove those with pliers.
It may also happen that the P-trap is damaged – if you notice that the nuts fall apart or won’t budge back in place, get a new one.
You can clean the P-trap with a larger bottle brush to a straightened coat hanger. They will both pull the debris out. Once done, wash the P-trap carefully inside and out, and you are ready to reassemble it.
Clogged sink past the P-trap
If you tried all of the methods above, but the sink gurgling is still there, you might be facing a more serious problem. There is probably a clog past the P-trap, and this is how you can fix it.
Flush the sink drain
It sounds easy, but that is sometimes really all it takes. With a proper flush, you will push food remains deeper down the plumbing system, all the way to the main sewer pipe. Let the water run a bit longer until the waste is completely gone and the drainage is clean.
Don’t let water flow unsupervised, as you don’t know how severe the clogging is. The water may come back up at some point and the kitchen sink may overflow.
Don’t rely on the faucet only, as you need high-pressure water. We recommend boiling water instead – pour it down the kitchen sink immediately and give it some time to get rid of stubborn gunk and other debris.
Use baking soda and vinegar
Hot water may not do the trick, so try some baking soda and white vinegar. Pour a cup of baking soda in the kitchen sink drain, and follow with a cup of hot water. The two ingredients will mix inside, so make sure you add them quickly.
Let the solution work and try it out. If you still hear the kitchen sink gurgling, repeat the process. If the clog persists, replace hot water with vinegar, and the drainage pipe will be clean.
For those among you who made a paper-mâché volcano at some point, the results will not be surprising. Baking soda and vinegar have foaming effects and air bubbles, and that is how you know your solution worked.
You can finish the process by pouring some boiling water down the drain so that any lingering debris loosens up.
Use a chemical drain cleaner
Visit the local home improvement store and get a chemical drain cleaner. These solutions are very effective in solving gurgling noise, and they are not expensive.
Keep in mind that these solutions are made of harsh chemicals, and may end up damaging the pipes. Instead, you can use a biodegradable solution, for instance, enzyme cleaner. Biodegradable solutions are not that efficient, and they take more time to unclog the kitchen sink, but they will keep your pipes safe.
The process is very simple for both types of cleaners: leave them in the system for a while, and then flush them down the drain. Remember to use a plunger instead of your hands, as the chemical de-clogger may cause serious skin damage. You can also get a protective face mask to keep fumes away.
Use an auger or a plunger
To remove the clog from a gurgling kitchen sink, get a large cup plunger that can seal the drain completely. Take the basket strainer and the drain assembly away, and start unclogging the sink. Since most kitchen sinks are built without an overflow drain, you won’t have to worry about this.
If you have a double kitchen sink, seal only one of the drains. You can cover the other drain with duct tape so that air doesn’t come out through it. Make sure it is properly covered, and that the tape stays in place all along the process.
Give it some time, and pour high-pressure water into the sink to push the debris down the drain. If the gurgling sound persists, break the clog apart using an auger. Augers may seem scary, but you don’t need to be a professional plumber to use them – it is very easy!
Final thoughts on How to Fix a Gurgling Kitchen Sink Easily
As you learned from our guide on how to fix a gurgling kitchen sink, the process is not that complicated. You only need to define the cause of gurgling and you can fix the problem without plumbing skills.
The best piece of advice we can give you is to keep kitchen skinks clean at all times, so that residue doesn’t build up in the drain. Here and there, pour some boiling water into the pipes to push oil and grease deeper into the draining system. By doing so, you will prevent most of the plumbing problems instead of having to solve them.
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