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Why Plumbing Makes Burping Sounds

Are you hearing strange sounds come from your plumbing, such as hissing, gurgling or burping? If so, you’re probably wondering why this is happening. Unusual, inexplicable gurgling and hissing noises can usually be traced back to a pressure imbalance that is caused by the water that flows through the pipes.

As water flows through the plumbing, it pushes air in front of it, creating a vacuum effect. The plumbing vents, which are located on the roof, are supposed to prevent this from happening. So, if you’re hearing unusual sounds, it means there is a vent issue that needs to be corrected.

Understanding the Plumbing Vents

Your house has what is called a drain-waste-vent system, a name which indicates that “vents” are an important aspect of your home’s plumbing system. Each house has a vent on the roof, which does more than just dissipate sewer gasses, it equalizes pressure and allows air to escape the plumbing pipes.

Each toilet in a home has a tee that’s connected to the home’s main vent. This way, the pressure can be equalized and the drains “noise-free.”

Whenever you flush a toilet or drain a bathtub, you’re releasing a large amount of water. As the water is released, an airtight seal is created inside the pipes. This causes a pressure difference between the pressure in front of the wastewater and the vacuum created from behind.

If the plumbing vents are not functioning as they should, the air will not travel in the pipes properly to fill the vacuum. When this happens, air can enter into the toilet P-traps, the shower or bathtub. Usually, when you hear a hissing sound, it’s coming from the affected traps, and if you have a strong enough vacuum, it can literally suck the water right out of them.

Are your pipes making strange sounds?

Your plumbing is not supposed to sound like a coffee maker or make burping or hissing sounds. If your plumbing has become rather noisy recently, it’s time to have a plumber take a look at the vents. Your plumber would have to climb on top of the roof and inspect the vents for debris.

If the gurgling sound is coming from just one fixture in the home, a plumber can clear out the blockage with a handy plumbing snake. Occasionally, the culprit is a poorly-installed vent, and if that’s the case a licensed plumber can give you advice on how to correct the faulty installation.

If your plumbing is making noises, call A-1 Sewer & Septic Service Inc. for a free estimate. We look forward to hearing from you!