How To Fix a Gurgling Kitchen Sink? (6 Step Guide)

Last Updated On June 11, 2024

Updated on January 11, 2023



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how to fix a gurgling kitchen sink

Do you hear unsettling gurgling noises coming from your kitchen sink after you use it? Don’t panic. While not ideal, a gurgling noise indicates a fixable problem that you can resolve yourself with the proper tools and know-how. 

If you don’t know the information yet, this guide will explain how to fix a gurgling kitchen sink

In this PlumbingNav guide, we will cover:

  • What you need to know about fixing a gurgling kitchen sink
  • Supplies you’ll need to fix a gurgling kitchen sink
  • How to fix a gurgling kitchen sink  

What's In This Guide?

      What You Need To Know About Fixing A Kitchen Sink Gurgle

      The gurgling sound you hear usually occurs due to one of two reasons: air passing through water lines or water simply flowing down the drain. 

      The gurgling sound probably sounds worse than it actually is, thanks to the ability of pipes to amplify noise. Sound travels about 15 times faster in steel than normal and four times faster in water. 

      Generally speaking, a gurgling sink without any other symptoms does not indicate an overly serious plumbing situation. However, you want to address the issue quickly before the problem gets worse. 

      There are a number of reasons that your kitchen sink may be gurgling, including:

      • Water shut off to sink
      • Vent pipe blocked
      • Clogged drainage pipe
      • Not enough water in the P trap
      • Water heater and washing machine use

      Supplies You’ll Need To Fix A Gurgling Kitchen Sink

      Plumbing Snake/Auger

      A plumbing snake is a thin tool with a pointed end designed to feed into your drain and break up a clog using a manual crank.

      A powered plumbing snake is known as an auger and can reach as far as 25 feet into your drain and rotates extremely quickly. 

      However, should you invest in a powered plumbing snake for DIY plumbing projects at home? You should if you want to complete drain cleaning yourself instead of calling a plumber. 

      Expanding Foam

      Expanding foam is a foam designed to fill up unwanted space, such as the space in between a double basin sink.

      did you know how to fix a gurgling kitchen sink

      How To Fix A Gurgling Kitchen Sink (6 Steps)

      Step 1: Run Water For 2 – 3 Minutes

      Run water to ensure the P trap has plenty of water. 

      The P trap requires water at all times to work effectively. 

      Not only does the P trap allow you to retrieve small items that accidentally fall down the drain, but it also prevents sewer gas from entering the home. 

      Run the water for 2 – 3 minutes to see if that resolves the issue.

      Step 2: Disassemble and Clean P Trap

      Building codes specify that plumbers must install a P trap in a way that allows you, the homeowner, to disassemble the “U” bend without removing the drain strainer.  

      You can remove the P trap with a plumbing wrench. However, you may still be able to accomplish your task even if you can’t find a wrench. 

      Once you clean everything, reattach the P trap. 

      Step 3: Use Snake Drain to Clean Clogged Drain

      If you still have a gurgling sink, you may have a drain pipe clog or sewer line clog

      Most sewer line clogs develop as a result of fat and grease accumulation inside your main sewer line. Prevent grease buildup by disposing of cooking oil and fat in the garbage instead of pouring it down your sink drain. 

      To break up the clog, use an auger for immediate results. You can also opt to use a drain cleaner, but drain cleaners can cause corrosion and aren’t always effective. 

      While most problems will develop in your drains, you’ll know you have a main line clog if the gurgling always occurs when the washing machine drains. An easy fix is to try a liquid product designed for the main line.

      Step 4: Check Plumbing Vent Pipes

      The problem may lie with your vent pipe if you notice that the noise occurs only when you turn on the kitchen sink faucet. 

      If you installed the vent pipe too far away from the P trap, it can create a vacuum, which would create the gurgling noise. The pipe should be roughly 3.5” from the bottom of the trap for optimal results. See these special considerations if you’re venting a kitchen sink under a window.

      See this post for a plumbing vent loop system.

      Step 5: Check Main Vent

      If the vent pipe appears fine, but the faucet still gurgles when you turn on the water, you may need to go onto your roof and send an auger through your main vent. 

      Things that can cause a clog in your main vent include:

      • Bird nests
      • Leaves 
      • Pests

      This is the most strenuous task, so leave it for last. Ideally, you will resolve the issue before it gets to this point.

      Step 6: Make Kitchen Sink Quieter

      If nothing works, you may simply have a loud sink. This happens more often with dual-bowl sinks since they have empty space that increases the sound. Sound sounds more amplified in empty spaces since they don’t have material muting the sound waves as they bounce.  

      You can make the sink quieter using expanding foam. 

      Remove the overmount sink from the cutout and fill the holes on the underside with the expanding foam. 

      Once the foam dries, reattach the sink. You may also decide to recaulk the sink at this time. 

      When you finish, the gurgling noises will seem much quieter since the sound waves won’t have the ability to bounce around in the empty space and create excessive noise. 

      A quieter sink does not necessarily mean that you fixed the issue but rather masked the noise. 

      Final Thoughts On How To Fix A Gurgling Kitchen Sink

      Gurgling drains indicate water draining or unwanted airflow. They can be embarrassing and alarming, but they usually indicate an early problem in your plumbing system or your sink vent. Luckily, a sink gurgling from your kitchen sink drain is much easier to address than a gurgling toilet. 

      FAQs For How To Fix A Gurgling Kitchen Sink 

      How do I stop my sink from gurgling?

      Stop the sink from gurgling by increasing water flow and air flow. 

      Why is my kitchen sink making gurgling noises?

      Some of the reasons your sink may be making gurgling noises include:

      • Water shut off to sink
      • Vent pipe blocked
      • Clogged drainage pipe
      • Not enough water in the P trap
      • Water heater and washing machine use

      How do you fix a gurgling drain?

      Fix a gurgling drain by clearing any clogs in the drain line, main line, or ventilation pipe.

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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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