A rooftop plumbing vent.

Plumbing Gurgling

In this post, we’re going to cover what causes a plumbing gurgling sound, and potential solutions to stop these sounds from occurring.

What causes it?

Gurgling is typically caused by one of two things:

Clogged Sewer Lines

Every drain in your house eventually connects to your main sewer drain line, which brings waste water to a city sewage or septic tank.

If this line gets clogged, waste water will build up in your lines (pushing out air) and eventually start backing up all your drains.

Because this is a possibility, we’d recommend getting in touch with a good plumber, who can catch this potential before it occurs.

Blocked Vent Pipes

Plumbing systems have vents to allow air to flow in and out of the drain system. This is necessary because when water goes down a drain, it changes the amount of fluid in the pipes of the drain system.

Without vent pipes, this extra water will increase the pressure in your drain system, and air will be forced out of other drains connected to the system.

This is hazardous, as noxious sewer gasses can be let out of other drains in your house.

Blocked vent pipes are a cause we see regularly for gurgling sounds and sewer gas smells.

Bathroom Drains Gurgle When Toilet Flushes

Because bathrooms have many plumbing fixtures near each other, and toilets push down a good bit of water, this is a common place to notice gurgling.

We sometimes run across gurgling occurring from another drain in the restroom not having a P-Trap, although normally this is a sign of a vent issue on the restroom drains.

Kitchen Drains Gurgling

Although this can be a venting issue, we’ve seen many times that there can be a partial blockage of drains due to bits of food, oil, etc getting stuck in the drains.

Often, these types of clogs can be resolved with a plunger.

As an aside, drain cleaners are bad for your plumbing system, and should be avoided.


If you’re experiencing gurgling, don’t wait to call a plumber. Although gurgling sounds can be minor issues, they can quickly become large issues with costly solutions if ignored.

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Posted on September 01, 2021