5 Common Plumbing Noises Solved: What They Mean and How to Repair Them
Feb 22, 2024
It’s a good thing that your plumbing is reliable. When your plumbing is making sounds or is loud, you might start to worry. While some sounds are typical, others aren’t. We’ll walk you through five common sounds and how to solve them.
These noises involve:
Plumbing is whistling
Plumbing is gurgling
Plumbing is humming
Plumbing is vibrating
Plumbing is bubbling
1. Plumbing is Whistling
If your plumbing is whistling, you could be dealing with a couple of issues.
Cause: Mineral Buildup
More than 90% of U.S. homes have hard water, which means it contains too much calcium and magnesium. These minerals can build up in your pipes and appliances, causing clogs and less efficient operation.
If you have issues with soap scum, clogged pipes or appliances wearing out quickly, you might have hard water. Having a plumber install a water softener is the best way to fix this issue.
Cause: Aging Pipes
Plumbing doesn’t work forever. If you have an older home, you should know what pipe material you have and how long it lasts.
Brass: up to 100 years
Copper: up to 80 years
PVC: up to 45 years
If your pipes are near the end of their life span and you’re dealing with leaks, discolored water or insufficient water pressure, it may be time to have new ones installed.
Cause: Water Pressure Is Too High
This can be caused by your water supplier or problems with your water heater. A telltale indication of high water pressure is hearing knocking in your pipes, especially after shutting off a faucet.
If this is what’s creating the issue, a plumber can check and replace your home’s pressure-reducing valve as necessary.
2. Plumbing is Gurgling
Gurgling isn’t a good noise. It’s usually a symptom that you’re dealing with some sort of blockage or clog. Here are three of the most common kinds.
Cause: Clogged Drain
Your drain can either be partially or fully clogged. Here’s the difference:
Partial clog—water drains more slowly than normal.
Full clog—water rises instead of draining, particularly in multiple drains.
It can be enticing to use a liquid drain opener to fix the issue, but this can create more problems. These products are corrosive and can eat away at your pipes. It’s always recommended to have a plumber unblock your pipes, either via a snake or jetting.
Cause: Blocked Sewer Line
Your home has a sewer pipe that transports waste to the primary sewer line, usually located in your yard or in the street. If this pipe gets plugged, you will likely be dealing with backup in your basement.
Things that can block or plug this pipe includes tree roots seeking water or by flushing bathroom products besides toilet paper. Whether you’re coping with tree roots or a clogged toilet, you’re going to need assistance from a professional plumber.
Cause: Plugged Sewer Vent or P-Trap
The sewer vent system and P-traps on your drains keep icky plumbing smells out of your home. If they get blocked, you’ll likely notice gurgling, experience slow draining or smell sewage. A plumber can help you get to the root of and solve this smelly problem.
3. Plumbing is Humming
If your plumbing is humming, you’re not just dealing with an irritating noise.
Cause: High Water Pressure
Humming means your home’s water pressure is likely too high. This can cause problems like water leaks and damage to faucets and other fixtures. A plumber can help you regulate water pressure, which should be about 60–70 PSI.
4. Plumbing is Vibrating
If your plumbing is vibrating, three problems could be creating this sound.
Cause: Loose Pipe Clamp
The most common trigger of vibrating plumbing is an unsecured pipe clamp. This hardware keeps pipes in place when water is running through them. If the loose pipe is below a sink, you might be able to fix this issue yourself. If it’s behind a wall, it’s best to work with a plumber.
Cause: High Water Pressure or Water Hammer
Less frequently, pipes can vibrate because of high water pressure or a water hammer, which occurs when water that’s moving fast hits a closed valve. A plumber can identify and correct these issues.
5. Plumbing is Bubbling
If your plumbing is bubbling, you’re likely dealing with problems related to gurgling plumbing.
Cause: Clogged or Improperly Vented Drain
Whether you’re dealing with a clogged or improperly vented drain, a plumber can fix it.
Schraer Heating & Air Conditioning Can Resolve Your Odd Plumbing Noises
Nobody wants to hear a loud or odd noise coming from their plumbing. There are lots of different noises that can be heard from your pipes and what they mean may varies. If you have any questions about the noises you’re hearing in your home, give us a call at 636-456-5041 today. We’re here to help when you need a plumber in Warrenton or surrounding areas.