My Sink Gurgles When Dishwasher Drains – Here’s How to Fix it

Last Updated On July 14, 2024

Updated on April 25, 2023



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sink gurgles when dishwasher drains

If you live in the same house long enough, you will come to be familiar with most of the issues that arise.

Some of the most common issues include things like the sink gurgling when the dishwasher drains, faucets not producing hot water, washing machine leaking, smelly garbage disposal, septic tank or sewer line back up, and so on. 

While every problem has its own solution, today, we will focus on why your sink gurgles when the dishwasher drains and how to fix it. 

In this PlumbingNav guide, we will cover:

  • Why does the sink gurgle when the dishwasher drains?
  • How to fix a gurgling noise coming from your dishwasher?
  • Frequently asked questions about the sink gurgling when the dishwasher drains

What's In This Guide?

      Why Does The Sink Gurgle When The Dishwasher Drains?

      There are several reasons why your kitchen sink gurgles when the dishwasher drains and knowing the root cause takes some investigating.

      However, what is certain is that this irritating sound acts as a precursor to more serious problems should you not fix things immediately. So, what are some of the reasons why this noise occurs?


      The main cause is pretty much the same for almost every mechanical breakdown you have ever experienced: usage. When you wash your dishes in your dishwasher, there are often small food particles that go down the dishwasher drain no matter what.

      This is one reason professional plumbers recommend a hose connection to the disposal itself.

      did you know sink gurgles when dishwasher drains

      Some of these food particles don’t wash away but stick to the drain hose. With time, more and more particles will stick to the insides of the pipes causing a clogged drain.

      These clogs begin to obstruct the pipe system, and as you pour water into the sink and down the drain, these clogs trap air around them. It’s this air that causes that irritating gurgling sound. 

      Blocked Vent Pipe

      There is another possible cause for this gurgling sound: a blocked vent pipe. There is a vent pipe that’s connected under your sink pipe, which runs to the roof. This pipe is there to help eliminate sewer gas. 

      When this pipe experiences any blockage from leaves and birds’ nests from above, the gas it’s supposed to vent gets trapped inside and pushes upwards within the drain pipe.

      When this happens, you get that gurgling sound whenever your dishwasher drains. 

      Now that you know what could be causing a gurgling drain, what can you do about it?

      How To Fix That Gurgling Noise From Your Dishwasher

      Here are some simple steps you can take to rid your dishwasher of that gurgling sound:

      Step 1: Determine the Root Cause of the Gurgling Noise

      As we have seen, there could be several causes of this gurgling noise. You first need to determine what the real problem is before you can attempt to fix it. This calls for some detective-like observations and investigations. 

      Here are some ways through which you can try to figure this out:

      Did you recently install a new sink? If so, the issue could be that the sink vent wasn’t properly installed and, consequently, is letting in air causing a gurgling sound in the drain line. In this case, the sink vent needs proper sealing. All you have to do is check the vents to see if they were properly installed.

      Is the sink partially clogged? If the sink were completely blocked, you would know because the water won’t drain. However, when it’s just partially blocked, you might not notice it at first because the water does drain, albeit slowly.

      One of the best ways to determine whether the issue is a blockage is to smell the air around the sink. Is it mildly foul? Is there some kind of dark scum around the drain? If so, then you might need to use a sink drain to try and get rid of the blockage. 

      Once you have determined the issue, you can use a few tactics to resolve the problem.

      Step 2: Troubleshoot the Problem

      To determine whether the problem is an installation one, you have to know a bit about plumbing and your home plumbing system – not that much, just a bit. For instance, every drain pipe size has a specific rating.

      If your drain uses one and a half-inch pipes, then the distance between the vent and the P-trap should be about 3 ½ feet. 

      Anything more than that and a vacuum may develop, and this is what leads to the gurgling sound. Another issue could be that the drain uses a valve as opposed to a vent. In this case, all you have to do is check if the valve is stuck. 

      Step 3: Remove the Clogs

      More often than not, the problem is a clog that’s either just forming or is already formed and therefore obstructing the free flow of air and water down the drain. The only solution to a clog is getting rid of it, and there are several ways to do this.

      Ways To Remove A Clog To Prevent Sink From Gurgling

      Use Chemical Clog Removers

      There are several clog chemical removers in the market today. Something like the Green Gobbler Drain Clog Dissolver is quite effective at removing clogs. There are, however, some reservations about using a drain cleaner.

      Depending on how harsh the chemicals are, these removers can eventually corrode your drain pipes and, as such, create a much more expensive replacement problem in the long run. 

      Use a Drain Snake or Auger

      The less destructive yet labor-intensive method of removing clogs is using an auger or a sink drain snake

      Use a Plunger

      You could also use a plunger to try and dislodge a clogged drain. Use it just as you would to remove a toilet clog. 

      Run Hot Water

      Another alternative involves running boiling water down the drain. In some cases, it’s not just food particles that cause a blocked drain but grease and other types of fat that we use in the kitchen and our food.

      In this case, pouring scalding hot water down the kitchen sink drain might do the trick. 

      Any one of these tricks should get the job done when it comes to fixing a gurgling sink. However, you might find that the issue is a bit more advanced than any reasonable level of DIY skills can fix in some cases. 

      In this case, there is no shame in calling a professional plumber and letting them handle the issue. Having a professional take a look at your kitchen sink is a good way to ensure that you don’t run into bigger hidden problems down the line.

      FAQs On Sink Gurgling When Dishwasher Drains

      What might cause a gurgling noise coming from my sink?

      You may get gurgling noises for a number of reasons, including:

      • Dishwasher usage
      • Clogged vent pipe
      • Blocked drain

      How do you fix a gurgling kitchen sink?

      Some of the ways to fix a gurgling sink include:

      • Chemical cleansers
      • Snake
      • Plunger
      • Boiling water


      See this post for how to stop a gurgling bathroom sink:

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      About Plumbing Navigator

      We write about "all things plumbing," helping you navigate common questions, repairs, and the best plumbing products on the market.

      About Plumbing Navigator

      We write about “all things plumbing,” helping you navigate common questions, repairs, and the best plumbing products on the market.

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