What to Do If You Hear Noises in Your Shower or Bathroom Sink Drain
Hearing noises in your shower or bathroom sink drain? Gurgling sounds could mean several issues. Find out what to do and when it’s time to get help.
You come home late at night and you take a quick shower. Several minutes after your bath, you brush your teeth and open the faucet. Then you hear something odd.
You hear your bathroom sink drain gurgling.
But what exactly causes the gurgling sound? These sounds come from air bubbles trying to force their way up from within your drain.
The main culprit that causes this gurgling noise is the clog that is forming inside your pipes. Air pockets can form and surround the clog. In turn, it causes the trapped air to exit up as the water flows down the drain.
Success in resolving this issue depends on the severity of the clog. Homeowners may spend anywhere between $175 and $450 when things require professional expertise.
But what should you do when the plumber is not yet around? Continue reading below to find out.
1. Find the Source Inside the House
First, you need to find the exact source of the drain sounds. Though a blocked or sluggish sewer piping is likely the culprit, a private septic system that needs some fixing may sometimes cause the problem.
The best place to start your diagnostics is inside the house. Determine the fixture that produces the gurgling sound. If it is your bathroom sink drain or shower, take note of it.
If the sound comes from that particular area, then the block is likely local to that specific fixture. If the sound comes from all the other fixtures including your kitchen sink, then the problem may be bigger and more serious. It may involve a system drain problem or a problem with the vent system.
Also, you want to try flushing your toilets. If there is a blockage on your vents or if you have few vents or none at all, gurgling noise and slow drains may also occur.
You also want to check if your shower drain has a p-trap. Or if the shower drain has one, check if it is still in good working condition. The p-trap works by keeping sewage gases from rising and reaching your bathroom.
It also keeps air from exiting your plumbing system. It also closes your shower drain. To check if it’s working, insert a small wire down the drain. Pull it up and see if there are about four to six inches of water on the wire.
If there’s water, then you’re good.
2. Examine Other Appliances
Do you have any appliances or systems that are sending waste into your drains? Items like heat pumps, air conditioners, clothes washer, and dishwashers may also cause drain noises every once in a while.
Also, revisit your attic and check the plumbing drain line. You want to see if the drain line passes up from the first floor up through your roof. If there’s none, then your home likely doesn’t have appropriate plumbing vents.
Additionally, check your home’s exterior, particularly your home’s plumbing vent pipes. You want to keep watch if any vents are poking up through the roof.
3. Troubleshoot the Sink Vent
Speaking of vents, you must learn how to troubleshoot your sink vent. But you should only do this after determining that the problem only involves the vent for a particular sink.
There are two possible reasons for your sink vent to malfunction. First, there is no proper distance between the vent and the p-trap. This error occurs during the vent’s installation.
If your drain pipes measure one and a half inches, you should install the vent within three and a half feet of the p-trap’s bottom. Anything farther than that may form a vacuum. This vacuum may cause a gurgling sound.
The second possible reason for a problematic sink vent is a blockage. Blockages occur when birds and other small animals climb up the vents and leave twigs and waste. In this case, you will need the help of a plumbing snake.
4. Work on the Main Vent
Sometimes, the problem is with your home’s main vent. You can tell if the problem is with the main vent if you flush your toilet and hear gurgling sounds in a different sink from a different area.
Thankfully, those gurgling sounds also double as a warning sign. The sounds tell you that you need to clean the main vent before the vacuum becomes stronger. When this happens, the vacuum may have enough force to drain the sink trap.
In turn, your home will be full of foul sewage odor in no time. Thus, you need to go up the roof and clean the main vent. You can use a sewer auger to clear out the blockage.
However, make sure to use one that has enough length to reach the sewer. This is crucial since the blockage can be anywhere between the sewer and the vent opening.
Furthermore, you can try spraying water into the vent opening. This may help loosen the blockage.
Additionally, install any missing plumbing vents. Not only will the vents keep your house odor-free, but they will also protect against any sewer gas explosions.
5. Call a Professional
If you performed the steps above and the gurgling persists, then it’s time to call a professional plumber. When choosing a plumber, make sure to go for one that offers drain cleaning, repair, and installation.
This is crucial especially if you do not know the extent and severity of the problem. If there are frost-blocked plumbing vents, you need a professional who knows how to repair them ASAP.
The good thing about hiring a professional is they know what to look for and where to find them, fast.
Let’s Fix Your Bathroom Sink Drain, Today!
That gurgling sound in your shower or bathroom sink drain is something that needs careful attention. If basic troubleshooting doesn’t work, then you shouldn’t waste more time trying to fix it up. Thankfully, we can lend a helping hand and take the burden off your shoulders.
Request an appointment so we can start working on your drains. We have the tools and knowledge to fix that slow draining sink and gurgling sound, today!