8 Easy Steps on How to Fix a Gurgling Kitchen Sink 

Have you been hearing a gurgling kitchen sink noise? The problem might be in the venting system or drainage pipe. Your kitchen sink’s annoying gurgling sound might indicate a more serious issue in your drains.

Flushing the sink might be enough to fix a gurgling kitchen sink. However, in some situations, you might have to take some additional steps or might need to call a professional to do some repairs for you.

Common Causes of Gurgling Kitchen Sink

It is quite frustrating when you are trying to concentrate on cooking, and suddenly, your kitchen sink starts making weird noises. Before you begin fixing the problem, it is essential to know what causes the gurgling sound in the first place, and below are the most common causes:

⇉Clogged Drain Pipe

When the drain is clogged, water and waste cannot flow freely. This will cause the sink to gurgle as the water tries to find another way out. Even if there is no garbage disposal, a lot of food gets rinsed off plates and drained down the sink.

Certainly, hardened grease and food waste will accumulate over time and eventually cause a clog. If the sink starts to gurgle after you have just used it, this is most likely the problem.

⇉Blocked Vent Pipe

The vent pipe carries air from the drainage system to the roof. When it becomes blocked, water cannot flow out of the sink quickly enough, causing that gurgling sound. This is often caused by a bird’s nest or leaves that have fallen into the pipe.

⇉Low Water Pressure

If your sink is gurgling and there is no blockage, it might be due to low water pressure in your home. It is often caused by a municipal water supply problem or a leak in your home’s plumbing system.

⇉Incorrect Drain Pipe Installation

If your kitchen sink is gurgling and you have ruled out all of the other potential causes, it might be that the drainage pipe was installed incorrectly. This is a job for a professional plumber to fix.

These are the common causes of a gurgling kitchen sink. Now let us move on to how you can fix the problem.

How to Fix a Gurgling Kitchen Sink

Once you have identified the cause of the gurgling, you can take the necessary steps to fix it. There are repairs that a homeowner can do, but some might require the help of a professional.

But you should identify first which sinks are making this noise. If it is just one sink, then the problem might be with that particular sink and not the entire drainage system. However, if all of your sinks are making this noise, then the problem is with the drainage system. You can follow the methods below to fix a gurgling kitchen sink:

✔Check the Installation of the Sink Vent

If you only hear a gurgling sound when water is removed from the kitchen sink, it’s because the vents or vent are clogged. Probably, the vent was clogged or not properly sealed from the p-trap in the first place. If you have a drainage pipe in 1.5-inch size, the vent should be installed 3.5 feet from the trap’s lower end.

Doing this eliminates the vacuum in the vents, which is one of the causes of the gurgling noise. If you are unsure about doing this repair, call a professional to help you.

✔Flush Your Home’s Main Vent

If your home has a gurgling sound coming from all of the drains, there might be a blockage in the main vent. To fix this problem, you need to flush out the main vent. Your plumbing system’s primary vent is very likely on your roof above your main bathroom.

To flush it out, you need first to remove the cap and then pour a gallon of water into the vent. If the water drains quickly, that means the vent is clear. If not, there might be a blockage that needs to be removed. This will require tools and materials, including a garden hose, screwdriver, and pliers.

You should also have some gloves and safety glasses. The process is not difficult, but it can be a little messy. Remember that if you choose an auger, it should reach all the way to your sewer. While you may resolve a major-vent clog yourself, a professional is often recommended. Since it might be complicated and dangerous because the repair necessitates roof access and high-pressure water or specialized equipment.

✔Check for a Low-Water Pressure Problem

If your sink is gurgling but has no blockage, it might be due to low water pressure. This can often be resolved by checking the municipal water supply and fixing any leaks in your home’s plumbing system.

You can check the water pressure at each of your sinks by turning on the faucet and determining how long it takes for the water to reach a full stream. If you have less than 20 psi of pressure at each sink, you might want to call your local water utility company to resolve the problem.

✔Check the Air Admittance Valve

If you have a GFCI-protected kitchen sink, the air admittance valve is likely malfunctioning. This valve allows air into the drainage system when water is not flowing, and it’s located behind the wall where your kitchen sink is installed.

An excellent way to fix this is to replace the valve with a new one. You can buy a new valve at most hardware stores, and the installation is not difficult. If you are uncomfortable doing this repair yourself, call a professional to help you.

✔Check for Clogs Inside the Drainage Pipe

If the sink is still gurgling after you have tried all of the previous methods, there might be a clog somewhere inside the drainage pipe. When the drainage pipe does not get enough air, the water flows slowly. The accumulation of residues results in a blockage in the pipe. So the p-trap must be cleaned as often as possible.

Here’s how you do it: 

  1. To clean a p-trap, first, remove it from the rest of the plumbing system.
  2. Place a bucket beneath it to keep the ground dry.
  3. Remove the trap’s coupling nuts from the sink’s tailpiece and adjacent wall fitting using pliers.
  4. Finally, remove the p-trap if it is still in place; get a new trap if the nuts won’t budge or break apart when you try to move them.
  5. To clean out the debris, insert a straightened wire coat hanger or a sturdy plastic bottle brush made of nylon into the p-trap.
  6. Clean it thoroughly both inside and outside, and reassemble it.

If the blockage is further down the drainage pipe, you might need a cable auger. This long, flexible wire can reach deep into the sewer system to remove any clogs. Remember to use caution when working with this tool, and be sure to have someone help you if the clog is located in a difficult-to-reach place.

✔Replace the P-Trap

If none of the previous methods worked, then it’s likely that your p-trap needs to be replaced. This is a simple repair that you can do yourself. The p-trap is the curved pipe below your sink, and it’s where water collects and traps any debris before flowing down to the sewer system. Here’s how to replace the P-trap:

  1. Turn off the main water supply to your home to replace the trap and disconnect the drainpipe from the sink.
  2. You will then need to remove the old p-trap and install the new one.
  3. After you have installed the new p-trap, turn on the main water supply and check for any leaks. If there are no leaks, then your repair is complete.

✔Cleaning the Garbage Disposal Unit

If your sink has a garbage disposal unit, it’s essential to keep it clean to prevent clogs. The best way to clean garbage disposal is to use a brush or scrubber explicitly made for this purpose. You can find these brushes at most hardware stores.

To clean the garbage disposal, insert the brush into the unit and twist it around to reach all nooks and crannies. You can try pouring a cup of baking soda down the drain and let it sit for a few minutes before running hot water down the drain. This will help remove any tough buildup that might be causing the gurgling sound.

If you have a clog in your garbage disposal, use a plunger to try to clear it. If that doesn’t work, you should use a cable auger to remove the clog. Be sure always to exercise caution when working with these tools, and never put your hands directly down the drain.

✔Take the Plunge

If none of the repairs above have worked, there is likely a clog somewhere in the plumbing system. The best way to find out where the clog is located is to use a plunger. A plunger creates suction and pressure, which can help to clear blockages. Here’s how you do it:

  1. Fill water on the sink enough to cover the plunger’s cup.
  2. Place the plunger over the drain and push and pull it up and down.
  3. Do this for a few minutes, then remove the plunger and check if the water is draining properly. If it is, then your repair is complete.

If the water is still not draining properly, a clog might further down the pipe. In this case, you should use a cable auger to clear the clog. Remember to always use caution when working with these tools.

Get Help from a Professional

If none of the above methods work, it’s time to call a professional. A plumber can locate the clog and clear it using the appropriate tools. It’s best if a professional take care of this job, as improper use of tools can cause damage to your plumbing system.

Tips to Prevent a Gurgling Kitchen Sink

To ensure that your kitchen sink doesn’t gurgle anymore after fixing it, here are some tips that you can follow:

➤Pour Boiling Water Down the Drain

One way to prevent clogs is to regularly pour boiling water down the drain. This will help break down any grease or debris that might be causing a blockage.

➤Keep an Eye on What You Put Down the Drain

Be mindful of what you put down the drain, as certain items can cause clogs. Avoid putting grease, coffee grounds, or eggshells down the drain. These items can harden and create a blockage.

➤Invest in a Drain Screen

A drain screen is a simple tool that you can use to catch debris before it goes down the drain. This will help to prevent clogs and keep your sink gurgle-free.

➤Clean the Sink Regularly

It’s also important to clean your sink regularly. This will help keep any grease or debris from building up and causing a clog.

You can fix a gurgling kitchen sink and prevent future issues by following these tips. If you have any concerns, be sure to call a professional for assistance.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is the best way to unclog a blocked vent pipe?

The best way to unclog a blocked vent pipe is to use a cable auger. Take caution when using this tool, and never put your hands directly down the drain.

Q: Can I fix a gurgling sink by myself?

Yes, you can fix a gurgling sink by yourself using some simple tools and methods. But if you’re not confident to do the repair yourself, it’s always best to call a professional.

Q: What would I do if the sink started gurgling again after fixing it?

If your sink starts gurgling again after you’ve fixed it, there’s likely a clog further down the pipe. To prevent this, follow the tips above to avoid doing repairs repeatedly. If the clog is still there after trying these tips, then it’s time to call a professional.

Q: Why does my sink gurgle after I flush the toilet?

There are a few reasons why your sink might gurgle after you flush the toilet. There must be a clog in the vent pipe. Another possibility is that the P-trap is not installed properly, which can cause water to back up into the sink. If you’re unsure what the problem is, it’s best to call a professional.

Q: What should I do if my sink starts overflowing?

If your sink starts overflowing, turn off the water at the source and then call a plumber. Do not try to fix it yourself. This is a job for a professional.

Final Thoughts

A gurgling sink can be a nuisance, but it’s easy to fix. By following the steps above, you can have your sink working properly in no time. Just be cautious when using tools and always call a professional if you’re unsure of what to do. With a little care, you can keep your sink gurgling-free for years to come.

Do you have some other tips on how to fix a gurgling sink? Please share them in the comments below!

Recent Posts