Question: Why does my sink gurgle when washing machine drains? My washing machine makes my sinks gurgle when it drains out the water. Every time I wash my clothes in my washer, once it goes to drain the water, the kitchen sink makes gurgling sounds and sometimes suds and water comes out. Once it gurgles for awhile it goes back down. A little while later the main bathroom toilet gurgles and the bathroom sink and bathtub drain gurgle. Do I have a plumbing issue? I have not changed anything and this issue has been happening in my home for about 6 months. I do not have a septic tank. What can I do myself to fix this annoying issue?
Answer: Your washing machine probably shares the same waste pipe as the sinks, bathtub, and toilet. When your washing machine drains or empties the water, it pushes the water out at high volume using its drain pump. When gurgling at sinks or toilets occur, this usually means the shared waste pipe is partially blocked. The blocked waste pipe does not allow the water from the washer to pump out fast enough. There may be all types of lint and gunk from the washing machine that is partially blocking the waste pipe. The waste pipe needs to be cleaned out either by a plumber or by using an enzyme based cleaner. (You may also have a venting issue which is a whole different problem, see bottom of page).
Main waste drain line partially blocked?
If you assume the main waste pipe is blocked, you can try and fix this blockage yourself. Use an enzyme based drain cleaner such as ROEBIC bacterial drain and trap cleaner. This cleaner can be bought at any Home Improvement store. Put it in the kitchen sink, the washer drain, and the bathtub drain. Do this at night when the sinks and bathroom will not be used. Let the enzyme cleaner sit as long as possible and repeat many times. If a partially clogged waste line WAS the cause of your gurgling issue, you will begin to notice improvements. Once the gurgling stops, it is best to keep using the cleaner every 3 months or so and you will have no problems. This type of cleaner is safe to use regularly. This cleaner works well because the enzymes eat the soap and organic material in the drain line. This then allows the lint and other gunk to be flushed out completely. It will open up the drain lines to let the waste water flow properly therefore no more gurgling.
Roebic K-87-Q-4 SGP Soap, Grease And Paper Digester
Roebic Laboratories K-67 Granular Concentrate Drain and Trap Cleaner
Your washing machine may not have the correct drain connection. Do you experience slow draining or water on the floor? If so, install a 2″ inch drain with a P trap and connect a vent that connects to the main vent stack. If your home plumbing is the correct configuration, plunging your toilet can stop the gurgling. A partial blockage in the toilet waste line used as a vent can create venting problems. If you suspect you have a venting issue and not a waste line blockage, go on the roof and spray high pressure water into the main vent stack to clear anything that may be obstructing it.
Avoid washing machine gurgling with proper plumbing – Studor Vent
If the air vents are blocked, negative pressure will pull air from wherever it can. Water forms an airtight seal as it flows through the drain pipes. As the water flows, it pushes air and creates a vacuum. This vacuum can be strong enough to pull air through the toilet, sink, or bathtub drain, and create the gurgling noise. A gurgling toilet usually means that the vacuum will suck water out of the toilets trap and the room can fill with sewer gas. As said above, if a vent is clogged, spray water down into the main vent stack to clear it.
If all else fails, you may need to install other devices to your plumbing, redo your plumbing, snake your drain line, or call a professional plumber before the drain gets fully clogged and you have an overflow of water into your home.
Do you know of any other reasons a washing machine draining water would make sinks and toilets gurgle? Please leave a comment below.