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 Gurgling noise in shower
Author: Tipster1 (PA)

Some times, when we flush toilet, which is next to shower, we hear a gurgling noise coming from shower drain. It seems to go away after running drain cleaner down drain. There is no similar noise when draining sinks, which are "down-stream" from shower, or when flushing toilet in another bathroom which is "up-stream" from shower. There is no simple access to see what is happening under shower, but there is no leakage to room below, for what that's worth. Any ideas or suggestions?


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 Re: Gurgling noise in shower
Author: stuckinlodi (MO)

Is the toilet that causes the shower drain noise to happen one of the older ones that has more water in its tank, or is it one of the newer ones that has less water in the tank?

It could be that your shower and toilet share the same vent pipe (instead of the toilet having a separate vent) and when the large slug of water goes down the toilet drain after a flush it affects the shower drain, pulling some air thru the shower drain trap instead of getting all the air thru the vent like it should. If running the sink faucet in that bathroom does not cause the shower drain noise I'd think the difference has to do with the volume of water your toilet puts down the drain, which of itself isn't a problem but it induces the noise you hear.

Has it always been this way, or recently started? When taking a shower does the shower drain like it should? Is this shower in a tub with an overflow opening?

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 Re: Gurgling noise in shower
Author: Tipster1 (PA)

Thanks, stuckinlodi.

Problem has been intermittent for years and, to be honest, it bothers my wife, who then bothers me about it. The shower drains fine, there is no over flow valve since it's a stall, immediately next to toilet. I don't know exactly where the vent stack is but there is only one for the bathroom. I don't know if it shares a vent stack with the adjacent bathroom and am not in a position to check it out.

Is it possible that flushing the toilet sucks the water out of the trap, at least partially, and then the next time, the trap is dry or partly dry which causes the gurgling?

Would that suggest a partially blocked vent pipe? If so could that be fixed easily from the outside of the house?

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 Re: Gurgling noise in shower
Author: stuckinlodi (MO)

From what I've seen a vent gets suspected and blamed a lot but is not the problem very often, as long as the plumbing vents were installed properly in the first place. But they sometimes are the cause.

If you are a handy type of person you can get on the roof and run a garden hose down your bathroom vent as far as you can, work it up and down a few times in case something is in there like a birds nest or dead squirrel <joke, sorta>. Some odd things have been found in vents, they are usually open to the world.

A plumber would use a snake with a correctly sized tip to do the job (and you can rent one if you want) and he could work the snake further down into the drain. Sometimes stuff running down a sewer drain can dry and stick to where the vent pipe connects to the sewer line and block it off. But your shower drains fine so that would indicate the bathroom vent is ok, or working well enough for that volume of shower water. I don't know how your bathroom vent is connected to your toilet and shower drains. I'm wondering if the large amount of water suddenly going down the drain after a flush is pulling on the water in the shower trap. Is your toilet in that bathroom a newer water-saver model (1.6 gallon flush)? Honestly, the problem may be due to how the plumbing was installed in that bathroom, they don't always get built with the correct methods.

Each time you flush the toilet it probably pulls a little water out of the shower trap, until it gets low enough to gurgle. That's why it doesn't gurgle every time you flush, and why when you pour drain cleaner in the shower trap it gets better, you are just filling the shower trap back up, pouring water into the drain instead of drain cleaner would probably do the same thing.

You can consider getting a plumber or drain cleaning person to come out and clean the sewer line from your toilet onward. He could probably do the vent also. If you can show him the noise the shower makes then he will know the problem he is trying to solve.

Until you get it figured out a cheap-fix would be to keep a plastic cup on the bathroom sink and each time you flush the toilet and wash you hands fill the cup and pour it into the shower drain.

Edited 11 times.

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 Re: Gurgling noise in shower
Author: Tipster1 (PA)

Thanks again, stuckinlodi. Sounds plausible. I'll try the cup of water approach. Toilet is old style high volume, slow flush. In spring time, I'll try the hose in roof vent experiment.

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