Gurgling sounds at sink

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Published: December 28, 2014 Last Updated: January 5, 2020

Air being partially trapped in the drain line may cause gurgling sounds at sinks. As this trapped air rushes past the existing standing water in the drain, a gurgling sound occurs.

The air can get trapped for several reasons. The most common reasons are that the drain is partially clogged or there is a venting issue.


Drain partially clogged

If a partial clog in the sink’s drain line is causing the gurgling sound, then unclogging the drain line will usually cure this. Plungers, drain cleaning liquids or an auger wire (usually called a “plumbing snake”) are often used to clear the line.

Vent issues for the drain

There are 3 common vent issues that may occur:

  1. If the drain’s air vent gets obstructed, then a gurgling sound may occur.
  2. If the vent is installed too far away from the drain or if there is not an air vent.
  3. If the vent gets clogged with snow or ice at the roofline in cold climates.

All three of these will create a gurgling sound at times. Unclogging the vent generally solves most of these issues and is not that difficult to do. If there is no vent or if a vent needs to be changed, then this will generally require a plumber.

Who to consult? Plumbers and qualified handymen.

Home owners may cure or fix most of the of gurgling sounds at sinks and tubs themselves. Plumbers are most proficient at handling this type of work, as well as many qualified handymen.

Additional Resources

  • The most common reason for a gurgling sound is...

  • Water, like air rushing over a saxophone reed, will produce a squealing sound. Also squealing sounds can be made by...

  • Squeaking are caused for different reasons than squealing sounds. They are caused by...

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