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bathtub drain making gurgling noise

4 Reasons Why Bathtub Drain Making Gurgling Noise

Hearing strange noises in the house can be very unpleasant and annoying. This characteristic gurgling sound in the bathroom is also no exception. Whether it’s coming from the shower or the bathtub, you’ll know right away that it’s not normal. Some problems can cause a bathtub drain making gurgling noise. The question is, what is it and why is it happening in your home?

What Causes Gurgling Sounds in Your Bathroom or Shower?

The drain pipe noise problem must be fixed immediately. Let’s find out why there is gurgling air in the sewer system. The pipes of the sewage system are located on a slope. In addition, they are connected to a vertical section – the riser. During draining, the sewage water forms a kind of piston, which creates pressure on the lower layers of air and vacuum in the upper levels. Because this piston is not rigid, the gasses can overcome it.

They pass through the water stopper, enter the upper part of the pipe and begin to act on the plumbing fixtures. Sometimes the reverse process occurs – the moving water plug ejects air, which creates a significant vacuum in the upper areas close to the fixture outlets.

If this impact becomes large enough, either the odor trap collapses or the trap is drawn in. In both cases, there is a characteristic sound, which is perceived as if the sewer gurgles in a private home.

In this article, we want to give several reasons why drain makes gurgling noise.

Clogged plumbing vents

If the bathtub drain makes noise – check plumbing vents. Clogged plumbing vents can form over time and cause similar noises. Plumbing vents are designed (among other things) to let air in so that water can flow through the pipes at a constant rate without pressure problems.

It’s similar to a hole in a coffee mug that lets air in so the hot coffee doesn’t spill out in trickles and burn you.

If you know for a fact that you haven’t heard a gurgling sound before, it means the problem is recent, making a clog a likely candidate.

Since plumbing vents are usually located on the roof, it’s best to trust a professional to take care of the problem.

drain pipe noise problem

Not enough vents

If you’ve just moved into your home and the drain is making noise in your bathroom the entire time you’ve been there, you have another possibility.

Perhaps the ventilation system just isn’t right for the plumbing you have.

However, you will need a professional to determine if this is the problem. If this is the case, you will need a professional to work on the vent.

Another sign of drain gurgling sound problems is that the drain may be slow to drain and clog easily.

Drain clogs

A hairball in the shower drain can effectively clog the drain line, even if your vents are in perfect working order. And it’s easier to do than you might expect.

Even if you don’t notice dozens of hairs falling down the drain when you wash your hair, you’d be surprised how much can collect in the drain.

To reduce clogs, try installing a catch net on your shower drain.

Clogs and partial clogs can also occur in the sink and cause gurgling noises.

If the gurgling sound is localized in one fixture, it is likely a problem – such as a clog – in that particular drain, while a more general problem could mean clogged vents, sewer problems, or other less localized problems.

Sewer line clogs

Sewer line clogs are no fun. In addition to causing strange noises in several places in the plumbing system, clogs can also cause strange smells, slow draining in several places, backflow in the bathroom, and clogs that seem to affect each other.

If you suspect a clogged sewer line, don’t hesitate: sewage backups and gasses entering your home can pose a real health hazard.

After figuring out why the drain is making gurgling sounds in a private home, consider options for solving this problem. Usually, two ways are used:

  • installation of a flush pipe;
  • Installation of a ventilation valve.

Both methods have their pros and cons, so let’s consider them specifically.

drain making gurgling noise

  1. Flush pipe.

According to technical rules, the sewer riser must not end on the top floor. It continues above, passes through the floors and roof, and ends at least 50 cm from its surface. The part of the riser pipe above the uppermost outlet is called the sewage pipe. It is necessary to ventilate the piping network. Biogas generated in the septic tank of an autonomous system of a private house is freely discharged into the atmosphere.

When water passes through the riser pipe, rarefaction does not occur, as the lack of pressure is immediately compensated by air coming from above.

The need to arrange a flush pipe is clear to any plumber. However, many wretched masters try to do without it. A bathroom without a vertical pipeline going into the ceiling looks neater, there is no need to build a box or hide the riser in some other way. However, such rationalization leads to excessive pressure, when draining the water gurgles sewage, there is a bad smell in the room. Therefore, not installing a flush pipe is a grave mistake.

  1. Valve to ventilate the system.

A valve to vent the pipes allows you to compensate for excess or insufficient pressure in the system. Normally, normally closed designs are used in residential areas. They do not let gas into the dwelling, opening only when there is a vacuum. Air enters the pipes and the risk of water trap failure is eliminated. Some valves can not only supply air into the system but also discharge the excess air outside. Such designs are installed only in the attic, and the outlet pipe is connected to the pipe for the withdrawal of gasses outside, outside the attic space. Valves are used if there is no possibility of installing a flue pipe. They are less effective, there is a possibility of failure.


A hum in the pipes is a sign of either a clogged drain line or a clogged vent pipe. Clogs can prevent water or air from flowing freely through the pipes. As a result, air or gas bubbles get trapped in them, causing the gurgling sound you may hear.

Depending on the location of the gurgling sound, the problem may be in one or more places.

Other signs to look for if you think your vent system is clogged are the drainage rate and any foul odors coming from the plumbing. If you think your vent system is clogged, contact a professional plumber to check and fix the clog in your plumbing.

As always, anticipating a problem is much easier than solving it. Our experts advise you to follow a few simple tips:

  1. Clean the drains of hair, food particles, and other substances regularly. However, you should avoid using cleaning solutions with chemicals. They can be harmful to pipes and ineffective at cleaning drains.
  2. If you have a garbage disposal, be sure to run water through it after each use. This will help flush away food and trash residue.
  3. Install a strainer in the sink to collect food and trash.

Your bathtub is a very important thing in your home and it needs attention. You should always check the state of the plumbing. If you experience gurgling, it’s important to address the problem as soon as possible. After all, if the solution to the problem is postponed, the situation can only worsen. You may need the help of a professional plumber to identify and fix the problem. We advise you to contact a professional immediately, because self-intervention can cost you money, which, as you know, is never superfluous, as well as nerves. Оur team of experienced professionals provides a variety of plumbing services and water pressure repair.

FAQ about the causes of gurgling noise in the bathroom drain

How can I fix a gurgling bathtub drain?

To fix a gurgling bathtub drain, try using a plunger or plumbing snake to remove any obstructions in the drain. If that doesn’t work, you may need to call a licensed plumber to diagnose and fix the issue.

Can a gurgling bathtub drain be a sign of a more serious plumbing issue?

Yes, a gurgling bathtub drain can be a sign of a more serious plumbing issue, such as a blockage in the main sewer line or a damaged vent pipe, which requires immediate attention from a licensed plumber.

How can I prevent my bathtub drain from making gurgling noises in the future?

Regularly cleaning your bathtub drain and avoiding flushing foreign objects down the drain can help prevent gurgling noises. Additionally, scheduling routine maintenance with a licensed plumber can help detect and fix any potential plumbing issues before they become major problems.

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