Why is My Sink Making Noises?

By John C. Flood

There are a few common noises that plumbing fixtures in your home can make: a gurgling sound, or creaks, and groans. As a homeowner, these are not only frustrating, but we’re triggered to assume that noises in our home will lead to bigger problems.

If your home has been experiencing these noises, we’ve got some diagnostic steps you can take as well as steps to solve the problem. Some fixes are DIY, others require an expert. Either way, your plumbing and sink issues will be “out of earshot, out of mind.”

Why does my sink make a gurgling sound?
If you hear a gurgling noise shortly after using the shower, sink or toilet, you may have a blocked drain or vent pipe. Over time, all sorts of things can build up in the drains and plumbing. And when air and water struggle to move past them, the gurgling noise happens.

What’s going on?
The buildup is causing the water to drain slowly and air bubbles aren’t being expelled correctly. This is what makes the sound. With a cleaned drain line, water and air bubbles can move through and be expelled correctly.

What can I do?
In-store solutions are available to clear clogged drains and they are usually effective for small clogs. It’s important to follow all instructions on the bottle, for both safety and effectiveness. If this method doesn’t work, you can try an augur. An auger is a flexible, long coiled piece of metal that can reach far down a drain and break up debris.

Other potential problems.
The other possibility is a blocked vent pipe. Believe it or not, your home plumbing system vent pipe is typically on your roof. Issues with the vent pipe could be with the internal setup or the vent area on the roof. If the above steps don’t seem to help your gurgling issue, it’s time to call a Virginia plumbing professional.

Why does my sink creak and groan?
Do you hear a loud groaning clamor when water is coming out of the faucet? This is common in sinks that have two basins within one singular unit. Bonus — if these basins are made out of stainless steel, you’ll hear more of a gong sound. Yikes.

What’s going on?
These basins sit next to each other, but there’s an empty space on the underside of the sink that separates them. It’s basically acting as an echo chamber.

What can I do?
If you insulate this empty space, that echo chamber will be no longer and the noise will stop. It’s best to remove the basins before starting the project.

• Purchase basic expanding foam from a hardware store.
• Wear any and all necessary protective gear like gloves, face mask, etc.
• Fill in the space with the solution — but be careful not to add too much. It will expand and you may have difficult to refit those basins.
• Put the sink back into the countertop and caulk all of the edges.
• Refit any plumbing you disconnected.

It’s a good thing we’re primed to pay attention to abnormal sounds in our homes. Abnormal sounds coming from your plumbing could result in major issues if left alone — and can absolutely impact your system’s efficiency and effectiveness. If you’re hearing consistent creaks, groans, thuds, knocks, drips or other things coming from your home’s plumbing, schedule a consultation with John C. Flood.