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  • gurgling sounds from kitchen sink

    We live in a low rise apartment building (on the 3rd of 6 floors) which has plumbing dating from the mid-eighties. We've just recently started hearing random gurgling noises lasting a few seconds to as much as five or ten seconds each time from our kitchen sink. They do not relate to any plumbing usage in our apartment.

    Our sink had been draining a bit slowly but natural (non toxic) drain cleaners fixed that easily. We consequently used the natural as well as more conventional drain cleaners a few times to see if that helped further with the noise, but they did not.

    Our upstairs and downstairs neighbors report no similar noises. (Though our downstairs neighbor reports that for years our dishwasher has backed up into their sink.) We're mystified as to what could be the cause and why the noises would start now.

    Thoughts? Thanks.

  • #2
    greenbergman,

    Your kitchen drain and the drain of your downstairs neighbor is probably on the same stack. Its quite possible that the neighbors above you are also on the same stack. Since it sounds like you are on good terms with your neighbor ask them to fill a sink with water and let it drain all at once. I think your sink will make the same sound you have been hearing. Your landlord needs to have his maintenance man or his plumbing contractor out to properly clear the drain line.

    Ask the neighbor above to do the same. Since you know that you share a drain with your neighbors it is important that you watch what you put in your drain since a blockage will affect more than just you.

    The natural enzymes that you used are a good thing. Stay on a monthly basis with it and you will have fewer problems. Your landlord may be willing to pay for the cleaner if you are willing to do the treatments as it will benefit him financially.
    Work hard, Play hard, Sleep easy.

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    • #3
      Thanks. I'll definitely work on the upstairs kitchen sink test. And, yes, the kitchens above and below are on the same stack, and separate from the bathrooms.

      Most of what I've read elsewhere suggests it is a vent problem and not the drain. Would the upstairs test indicate whether the problem is one or the other?

      The building is a condo, btw, so in terms of responsibility, I have to ascertain whether the issue is in the stack or in my unit's piping.

      Thanks again.

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      • #4
        Your units are probably wet vented if in the past your dishwasher has backed up into the neighbor below's sink. Wet venting is where they use the stack as a drain and a vent for the fixtures tied into it. This would not be an issue with your unit, but the buildings stack. So the HOA or Property management should take care of this. Gurgling is usually a precuror to a backed up line so this should be done soon, or your neighbor below may experience a flood.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Theron:
          Your units are probably wet vented if in the past your dishwasher has backed up into the neighbor below's sink. Wet venting is where they use the stack as a drain and a vent for the fixtures tied into it. This would not be an issue with your unit, but the buildings stack. So the HOA or Property management should take care of this. Gurgling is usually a precuror to a backed up line so this should be done soon, or your neighbor below may experience a flood.
          theron, not sure about your local jurisdiction, but out here (upc) wet venting is only allowed for fixtures on the same floor level.

          what it does sound like is a stoppage that is building up and is creating a siphon leg. so on that note i agree.

          rick.

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          • #6
            Here in kentucky wet venting is prohibited, but accross the river in ohio most things is are wet vented and it is not uncommon to see a three or four story apartment building with one stack for a group of units on top of each other that is also the vent for those same units.

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            • #7
              Theron, in Illinois a common drain stack is allowed but each floor must be vented seperatly to a vent stack that does not carry a drain load from the floor or floors above it. Some muncipalities and counties have prohibited common waste stacks as well which is something I endorse whole heartedly. A person away on vacation should never have to come home to find his upstairs neighbors waste running across his floor.
              Work hard, Play hard, Sleep easy.

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