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Why is My Shower Drain Bubbling and Making Noise? – 5 Causes and Solutions

August 22, 2023

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Why is my shower drain bubbling? If you’re a homeowner with this question, it’s important to find the answer quickly! A bubbling shower drain typically indicates water in your plumbing lines. If left unchecked, this can risk costly damage down the road.

Why is my shower drain bubbling? Five potential causes include:

  1. Clogged drain vents
  2. Partial blockage
  3. Main sewer line blockage
  4. Lack of proper ventilation
  5. Rapid pressure changes

This is just a quick overview of what can cause bubbling from a shower drain. Also, while you might be able to tackle some issues, remember to call a professional plumber when needed. They can offer expert fixes that last! Additionally, professional plumbers ensure those fixes are up to code, protecting your home’s value.

why is my shower drain bubbling

Why is My Shower Drain Bubbling and Making Noise?

If your shower drain is bubbling, it’s usually an indication that there is a problem with the plumbing system.

Bubbling can be a sign of air being trapped in the pipes, usually due to various reasons, including a simple drain cleaning. Here are a few possible causes:

1. Clogged Drain Vent

Plumbing systems have vent pipes that allow air to flow into the drains, preventing airlock and helping water flow smoothly. If a vent pipe is clogged or blocked, air might not be able to enter the system properly.

This risks water bubbling in the drains. Blockage can be caused by debris, birds’ nests, or other obstructions in the vent. Also, some homeowners might perform DIY repairs and installation without adding needed vents. In turn, airlock might soon form in the pipes.

2. Partial Blockage

If there’s a partial blockage in the drain line, water might not be able to flow freely. As water tries to pass through the clog, it can create air pockets. These result in bubbling when air is pushed back up through the drain.

3. Sewer Line Issues

If there are issues with the sewer line, such as damage, cracks, or breaks, it can lead to air infiltration. This air in the lines risks bubbling in drains. Cracks are often caused by encroaching tree roots or severe clogs. Also, pipes might simply crack over time due to degradation and age.

4. Improper Ventilation

If the plumbing system was not properly designed or if there is a lack of proper venting, airlock issues can occur. This risks bubbling from drains, especially those in the shower.

5. Pressure Changes

Rapid changes in water pressure can lead to air being forced through drains, causing bubbling. These pressure changes often originate in city-supplied pipes and lines.

pipes bursting

Why Does My Shower Drain Gurgle When I Flush the Toilet?

Homeowners often forget that their home’s plumbing lines are all connected. In turn, an issue in one area or use of one fixture can mean problems elsewhere! For instance, some plumbing issues can cause a shower drain to gurgle when someone flushes a toilet.

If your shower drain gurgles when you flush the toilet, it’s usually a problem with the plumbing ventilation system. Also, there might be a partial blockage in the drain system. Here are a few possible reasons for this happening:

  • Plumbing systems have vent pipes that prevent airlock and help wastewater flow smoothly. If the vent pipe is blocked, air might not be able to enter the system properly when the toilet flushes. This can result in negative pressure in the drain lines. Negative pressure causes a gurgling sound in the shower drain as air is drawn through the trap.
  • If there’s a partial blockage in the main sewer line, flushing the toilet can cause a surge of water. This surge pushes air and gas through the pipes, creating air pockets. These pockets lead to a gurgling sound as the air escapes through the shower drain.
  • Inadequate or improperly designed plumbing venting can lead to pressure imbalances in the drain system. These pressure imbalances often cause gurgling and other issues when plumbing fixtures are used.
  • Flushing the toilet can cause a sudden surge of water to flow through the plumbing system. This creates pressure changes that affect other connected fixtures, leading to gurgling in the shower drain.

How Do You Fix a Gurgling Shower Drain?

Addressing a gurgling shower drain is best left to a professional, as said. They can pinpoint the issue and provide expert repairs. In fact, most plumbers guarantee their work for both labor and materials! They can also ensure your plumbing is up to code for your area.

However, if you do want to tackle this issue, note that fixing a gurgling shower drain involves addressing the underlying plumbing issue. Check out some tips for how to approach bubbling or gurgling drains:

  • Start by checking the plumbing vent system. Look for vent pipes on the roof of your house. Make sure they are clear of debris, such as leaves or nests, that might be blocking the airflow.
  • If you find any obstructions in the vent pipes, carefully remove them to restore proper airflow. You might need to use a long brush or plumbing snake to clear the obstruction.
  • If the gurgling is caused by partial blockages in the drain lines, you might need to use a plunger or a drain snake. Follow appropriate instructions for using these tools to avoid damaging your plumbing system.
  • If the gurgling is occurring throughout your house, it could be due to a blockage in the main sewer line. In this case, you might need professional assistance to clear the blockage using specialized equipment.
  • If your plumbing system has inadequate or improper venting, a plumber might recommend adjustments to improve ventilation. This can help prevent negative pressure in the drain lines.

A Word From Our Professional Plumbing Crew

Princeton Plumbing Pros is happy to explain, why is my shower drain bubbling and making noise? Hopefully we’ve explained the issue sufficiently. If you’re near the city, call our Princeton plumbing contractors for more information. Also, you can reach out to us when you need expert plumbing repairs and installation.


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