I've got a radon fan installed in my basement, but no sump pump. Starting a few days ago, I've started hearing a constant gurgling or bubbling sound from a basement wall that is 15 feet from where the radon fan is.

This has me worried we might have standing water under our foundation. In trying to diagnose what's going on here, this is what I know at the moment:

  • The sound is definitely related to the radon fan. When we turn off the radon fan, the sound stops
  • The sound can only be heard in the wall 15 feet from the radon fan. Right next to the radon fan, the sound can't be heard
  • We've verified we don't have any leaking pipes inside or outside by watching the water meter
  • We haven't gotten much rain this past week, so I'm relatively certain it's not natural water running into the house

A few more pieces of information that might be useful:

  • The sound is a constant gurgling/bubbling sound. It hasn't stopped at all in the past 5 days. I don't remember hearing this sound before in the past couple of years.
  • The wall we are hearing this from is the same wall where our main water line from the meter is.
  • We have a sprinkler system outside with a pipe maybe 5 feet away from where we are hearing the sound.

Any ideas on why we might be hearing this sound? Or how to diagnose? Is it possible that we aren't hearing water, but something that sounds like it?

Thanks for any help!

  • 2
    Does it sound like somebody taking a hit off a water bong?
    – Tester101
    Jul 15, 2015 at 13:59
  • 1
    Wild theory: you have a vent stack that terminates inside the wall. To diagnose, I'd open up the wall and take a look.
    – DA01
    Jul 15, 2015 at 16:30

1 Answer 1


We had the same thing happen to our system. During the winter, water accumulated under the concrete where the radon pipes went into the basement slab and totally blocked the air flow causing our radon levels to go up. We have a 24/7 radon alarm that showed the higher levels. We ordered a new fan but that was not the problem. We cut the pipe near the basement floor and installed a "y" with a clean out cap and used this to pump out the water with a small pump. The pump had to be primed first but after removing 15 gallons, the radon pipes no longer gurgle. Be sure to put the clean out cap back on!

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