Why are my drains gurgling?

Gurgling drains are one of the key indicators and warning sign that you have an issue with your drains. Whether it is something small which can be fixed by yourself or something serious which requires professional assistance, you should not ignore a gurgling drain.

Gurgling drains are often caused by obstructions within your drainage system. The gurgling noise is caused by air forcing its way through when it should flow freely.

One of the most common gurgling noises can be heard in your shower, although it is not uncommon to hear gurgling noises after flushing the toilet or in your sink.

What causes my drains to gurgle?

Gurgling can be caused by three things:

1: Partial or complete blockage

We will all experience a drain blockage at some point in our life, and sometimes this may not even be your fault. A build-up of household cleaning products, grease, fat or hair can all contribute to a partial or complete blockage.

Other more serious blockages can be caused by the following things you shouldn’t put down your drains:

  • Sanitary products
  • Chunks of food
  • Plastic and other non-bio-degradable items
  • Toilet paper
  • Cotton wool balls and cotton buds
  • Wipes

2: Blocked sewer line

In some circumstances, you may have had your drains unblocked yet the gurgling persists. This can be frustrating, not only due to the noise, but because the root of the cause still hasn’t been identified.

In this situation, it may be a wider issue such as tree roots or a broken pipe. In this circumstance, a CCTV drainage service would be advisable as you can have a visual and comprehensive understanding of what the issue is. Read this guide on what is involved in a CCTV Drainage Survey.

Unfortunately, until the blocked sewer line is fixed – the gurgling will still persist.

3: Blocked ventilation system

Small wildlife, wet leaves, and dirt can clog up your ventilation system, and if you have easy access to this it can be as simple as attending to the issue yourself.

However, if you find that even after doing this the gurgling noise persists, it is probably time to call in the professionals to take a look.


It’s time to fix the gurgling! The noise is a sign that you need to sort the issue, so you can attempt to tackle it yourself, or call London Drains Direct Ltd to help you out.

Top 5 Things You Shouldn’t Put Down Your Drains

A blocked drain can often be an unnecessary burden, especially if you haven’t taken the correct preventative measures to avoid it in the first place.

Although unblocking drains is one of our specialities, we want to ensure that our customers can look after their drains accordingly so they don’t have continuous issues.

Here’s a list of 5 things you should never put down your drains!


A major cause of drain blockages is wet wipes, including baby wipes and make-up wipes. Although they are disposable, they should not be flushed down the toilet as they do not disintegrate in the way toilet paper does. Even if they are flushed one at a time, they can end up accumulating and causing a blockage. We will usually find these built up in an outside drain.

The wipes can also combine with fat and grease and other dirt trapped in the pipes, creating an iceberg-like formation called a ‘fatberg’.

Our advice at London Drains Direct Ltd, is to dispose of all wipes in the general waste bin.

Grease, oils and fat

Naturally, grease, oil and fat will pass through your drains at some point – as when washing up and cleaning it’s impossible to be meticulous. However, it’s important to avoid putting any oils or fats down your sink or toilet, as these can build up quickly.

Although fats and oils are often liquids, in cold temperatures they can solidify – causing blockages.

Cotton balls and sanitary waste

Cotton balls and sanitary waste products such as tampons and pads are made from a blend of plastic, cotton and Rayan – which doesn’t break down at all.

Cotton-based products should always be put in the bin – even if they’re “organic” or “bio-degradable”. Condoms should also not be flushed away, they should be disposed of in the waste bin.

Food waste

Throwing food waste, including vegetable peelings, tea leaves and coffee grinds, down the kitchen sink can cause waste build up in your pipework and may cause smelly and severe blockages. The obvious and practical solution would be to throw any leftover food waste into the bin. Tea leaves, vegetable peelings, egg shells and coffee grinds can all be composted.

Builders Debris

Anyone undertaking home renovations work can testify that builders dust, plaster residuals, and building rubble can easily enter the drainage system.

Allowing concrete or cement to build up in your drains can also result in a higher increase of drain blockages caused by solids, leading to your pipes becoming blocked up and could cause the drain to overflow. Always ensure that building debris is disposed of correctly and not poured into your drains.

If you believe you have a blocked drain and you’re experiencing some warning signs of a blocked drain. Then get in touch with our team of engineers for a free consultation and call out to deal with your blocked drain.

Who’s responsible for drains in a rented property?

Who is responsible?

In most cases, the landlord will be responsible for the maintenance and repair of the drainage, pipework and plumbing serving the property.

However, in some cases, the responsibility may fall on the tenant, if they are purposely damaging or being careless with what they put into the drainage system.

It is unlikely that the tenancy agreement will go into finer details, like the responsibility for a blocked drain, but you should be aware of what has been agreed.

What are some examples of where the tenant will be responsible?

If you are a tenant, and the source of consistent drain blockages are coming from misuse such as putting wipes, sanitary products and fat or food waste into your drains, then you would be liable for the costs.
Determining responsibility would normally be based upon the cause and location of the blockage.

Ensure that you have a clear dialogue with your landlord and always let them know as soon as you start to notice any of the following symptoms of a blocked drain: –

  • Gurgling noises
  • Rising water levels when flushing the toilet
  • Foul smells
  • Slow draining of your sink

What should I do?

If you are in a privately rented property, then all you should need to do is notify your landlord. They will then deal with the issue as they see fit, so feel free to recommend us! We can help with any drain unblocking services that your landlord may need.

The Warning Signs of a Blocked Drain

It is not usually possible for you to see inside your drains without a CCTV Drainage Inspection, so it is important that you are aware of the main warning signs of a blocked drain.

If you experience any of these signs, then it is essential that you take measures to remedy the problem or get in touch with drainage engineers such as ourselves. If these problems are left unattended, they are only going to get worse and could potentially lead to a more expensive repair.

Warning Signals of a Blocked Drain:

1: Gurgling noises

If your bath, sink, or toilet are bubbling and making gurgling sounds, then there is a high chance that there are issues in the drain. Gurgling is caused by the trapped air that escapes through blockages in the pipes and your system.

2: Sewage smells coming from drain

Blockages don’t tend to move, so if there is a persistent bad smell coming from your bathroom, kitchen or drains, it could mean that there’s a build-up of waste, producing some nasty odours which travel up the pipes. 

3: Fluctuating toilet water levels

Check your toilet bowl, does the water level appear to be fluctuating when flushed? This may indicate that there is an issue with the toilet itself but if it follows a few of the other warning signs we have mentioned, then this could be the sign of a blocked drain.

4: Your water drains slowly 

This is probably one of the first and most obvious signs that you may have a problem with your drains. Blockages in the pipes are going to allow less water to drain through so you will experience a slow drain of water. If left, this will, over time lead to a completely blocked drain or waste pipe. 

Next steps?

If you have one or more of these symptoms, then you are more than likely to be experiencing a blocked drain, so what are the next steps to clearing that blockage? There are a couple of home remedies you can try, but if those don’t work then the best recommendation is to call a drainage engineer to ensure that the issues don’t get worse.

Home remedies

It’s recommended to at least try and clear the blockage with a couple of easy home remedies and over-the-counter products. Try purchasing a plunger and plunging the bathroom plugs and toilet, if the blockage is minor, the force of the suction could clear it. The second solution is to use drain-clearing products that you can pick up from the local supermarket.

Call in the experts

If the home remedies don’t work and the problem persists, then it’s essential to call an engineer out from a drainage clearing company like ours. We have a wealth of experience, professional equipment, and knowledge in dealing with all types of blockages. All our vans are fully equipped with the tools needed to clear your blocked drain and if necessary, use our CCTV camera equipment upon clearance to make sure there are no underlying issues with the pipework and provide guidance on how to avoid future blockages.

If you have any recurring issues, please don’t hesitate to give us a call to discuss it for free, or chat to us on our website at any time and we can help with any drain unblocking services that you may require.