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Of all the drains in your home, the kitchen sink is the most frequently used, and if you have a garbage disposal your sink works even harder. This means that the plumbing and drain in the kitchen receives a lot of stress throughout the day. Hearing a gurgling sound as water drains out of the sink can be a sign that you may soon have a plumbing issue on your hands.
There are a lot of reasons why a kitchen sink may gurgle, but there are the two main factors that are most commonly the cause of this problem. Here’s what you need to know about each:
Clogged Pipes Cause Gurgling
One of the most common problems in your sink is food debris causing clogs. Small food particles get stuck inside the pipes when you are preparing food and washing dishes, and a build up of those particles can cause an obstruction. That in turn traps air around the obstruction, which is the “gurgle” sound you keep hearing. If you notice bubbles coming up as water is drained, this is a good indication that you have food clogging your pipes.
Even if it’s just a minor problem at the moment, you should always take care of obstructions as soon as possible. They can develop into full clogs quickly and cause bigger issues.
In addition, clogs have a habit of developing in garbage disposals, largely because homeowners aren’t using garbage disposals for their intended purpose. If you wouldn’t chew something with your teeth or eat it directly, then it likely shouldn’t go down the disposal. This means bones, egg shells, hot oil, and grease should not go down the garbage disposal.
The best way to remove this kind of clog from a drain is to call a professional. Liquid drain cleaner can actually cause more damage than good in many cases.
Blocked Vent Pipes Cause Gurgling
Blocked vent pipes are the other most common problem that cause gurgling sinks. The vent pipe attached to the drainpipe under your sink allows sewer gas to escape. These pipes run up to the roof rather than out to the ground. It can become blocked by things coming down the pipe from above, such as dirt, nesting materials from birds, and leaves. As a result, sewer gas gets pushed back into the drain pipe, causing that gurgling noise you hear.
With this problem, the best solution is to call a professional to unclog the pipe.
Understanding Drain Function
To get a better understanding of why clogs cause that gurgling sound, you need to understand how drains function. Water is forced through a drain by gravity (kitchen sinks) or a force (toilet being flushed). After moving through the pipe, the water is replaced by air. If this didn’t happen, water would sit in the pipe and never go anywhere.
A properly functioning pipe has a vent system that allows air to move out of the pipe as it is filling the area left by the water. This means that air moves freely inside and outside of the pipe, with no suction or vacuum created.
However, if air cannot move freely in and out of the pipe, a vacuum is created. This is what causes that gurgling noise. You may also hear this problem in just about any other drain in your house.
Remember, there are two important factors for a silent, properly-working sink. Maintain a drain that is free of clogs so air can move freely, and maintain a vent that is free of clogs so that air can move outside the drain.
Use Five Star Rated to Find a Professional in Your Area
If you hear your drain making any strange sucking or gurgling noises, now you know what may be causing the problem. Call a professional to have your sink inspected and obstructions removed. Use Five Star Rated to find a qualified professional in your area and get your kitchen sink working properly again.