Why does water gurgle when it’s flowing out from a bottle?

Every year, Troy makes it a part of his bucket list to trek on a new trail. On a summer day, they decided to hike to the Ice Age Trail about 1,200 miles in the state of Wisconsin. As they walk, their sight was amazed by the woolly mammoths that grazed the lush grasslands cultivated by the retreating glaciers, porcupines, foxes, and black bears also add to the fascination on the trek. After a few hours, Troy felt so thirsty, so he gets his water bottle and drinks enough to quench his thirst.

Glug glug glug! The sound Troy hears while pouring some water from a container to his mouth. Why does pouring out water from a bottle produces a gurgling sound?

There are three things to consider to understand what produces this gurgling sound: water, container, and the air. When you pour water, for instance, or other liquid from a container, the water flows out, and the air pressure enters as you turn the container upside down. The air pressure outside forces its way through the bottle’s neck bubbles up. It is followed by more water escaping, and more air bubbles moving up, and so on. These two alternating processes cause the sound.

However, if the container has a wide mouth like a tumbler, as you pour the water, there will be no gurgling sound because the air can flow evenly as the liquid flows out. The same thing happens when you transfer soda from the bottle to the glass, it produces the same sound because the soda is trying to get out under the pull of gravitation, and the air, which is trying to push its way past the soda to fill up space in the bottle. Sometimes the air pushes back the soda and vice versa. This means that the air is thrown into little disturbances, which we hear as gurgles. We say that water gurgles, but the air is disturbed by this contest between it and the water. So we call these disturbances’ disturbances’ gurgles”. (click here for more details)

Although not the same thing happens when you drain water from your washing machine, the air’s presence also produces that gurgling and whooshing sound every time you empty it. Even, in water dispensers, and emptying sink, this gurgling sound will be heard.

On the other hand, this gurgling sound is not to be taken for granted, as it might be an unusual sound from a significant appliance that needed your concern. This is just as true for your water heater that barely receives attention except when something’s wrong. You may ask, why are there gurgling noises from my water heater? Gurgling sounds are common signs of a significant problem in a heater.

Over time, sediments from mineral deposits (calcium, magnesium) build up on the bottom of the tank. The water is safe, but the hardened minerals settling at the bottom of the will cause the gurgling noise when the water passes through it. It might not seem a big deal since your water heater will still function. Unknowingly, it will constitute your extra expenses. How?

The formed sediment will create a thick layer that acts as a barrier to your heater’s fast heating process. It is like an insulating layer between the water in the tank, and the heaters intended to warm it. Therefore, your water heater needed to burn more gas to do its job, costing you more money and increasing strain on the tank’s bottom. Not fixing it, could eventually cause a breach in the tank, forcing you to replace the entire unit. But a plumber can quickly fix your problem. He will drain the tank and clean off the sediment as a fairly standard operation for most plumbing services, and some companies can install water filters in your home to cut down on the build-up. (click here for more details)

Meanwhile, when you hear a gurgling sound from your pipes after you use your shower or toilet, it is more likely that you have a blocked drain or possibly a vent pipe. It is frequently caused by a mixture of dirt and grease that can gradually build up in your plumbing and result in water not draining as quickly as usual. Since air bubbles are unable to pass through the pipes, they escape through the first route causing the gurgling noise. (click here for more details)