It’s a positive thing that your plumbing is dependable. When your plumbing is making sounds or is loud, you might begin to worry. While some sounds are normal, others aren’t. We’ll walk you through five common noises and how to solve them.
These noises include:
- 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 facing several issues.
Cause: Mineral Buildup
More than 90% of U.S. homes have hard water, which means it contains excessive calcium and magnesium. These minerals can accumulate in your pipes and appliances, creating clogs and less efficient operation.
If you struggle with soap scum, clogged pipes, or appliances deteriorating quickly, you might have hard water. Having a plumber install a water softener is the best way to fix this problem.
Cause: Old 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 lifetime and you’re dealing with leaks, discolored water, or insufficient water pressure, it may be time to have them replaced.
Cause: Water Pressure Is Too High
This can be caused by your water supplier or issues with your water heater. A telltale sign of high water pressure is hearing slamming in your pipes, especially after shutting off a faucet.
If this is what’s causing the problem, a plumber can inspect and replace your home’s pressure-reducing valve as needed.
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 usual.
- Full clog—water goes up instead of draining, particularly in multiple drains.
It can be enticing to use a liquid drain opener to correct the issue, but this can cause more problems. These products are corrosive and can eat away at your pipes. It’s always best to have a plumber unclog your pipes, either via a snake or jetting.
Cause: Blocked Sewer Line
Your home has a sewer pipe that transports waste to the main sewer line, usually situated in your yard or in the street. If this pipe gets clogged, you will likely be taking care of backup in your basement.
Things that can block or plug this pipe include tree roots seeking water or flushing bathroom products besides toilet paper. Whether you’re dealing with tree roots or a clogged toilet, you’re going to need help 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 clogged, you’ll likely hear gurgling, encounter slow draining, or smell sewage. A plumber can help you get to the bottom of and resolve 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 probably too high. This can cause problems such as 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 causing this sound.
Cause: Unsecured Pipe Clamp
The most common cause of vibrating plumbing is a loose 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 call a plumber.
Cause: High Water Pressure or Water Hammer
Less commonly, pipes can vibrate because of high water pressure or a water hammer, which happens when water that’s moving fast hits a closed valve. A plumber can diagnose and correct these problems.
5. Plumbing is Bubbling
If your plumbing is bubbling, you’re likely dealing with problems related to gurgling plumbing.
Cause: Blocked or Incorrectly Vented Drain
Whether you’re dealing with a clogged or improperly vented drain, a plumber can fix it.
Kowalski Heating, Cooling & Plumbing Can Solve Your Strange Plumbing Noises
Nobody wants to hear a loud or strange noise coming from their plumbing. There are many different noises that can be heard from your pipes and what they mean may vary. If you have any questions about the noises you’re hearing in your home, contact us today. We’re here to assist you when you need a plumber in McMurray or neighboring areas.