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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.