It's a good thing that your plumbing is reliable. When your plumbing is making noises or is loud, you might start to worry. While some sounds are typical, others aren’t. We’ll walk you through five common noises and how to resolve 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 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 be dealing with hard water. Having a plumber add a water softener is the best way to fix this issue.
Cause: Aging Pipes
Plumbing doesn’t last forever. If you have an older home, it’s important to 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 faced with leaks, discolored water or insufficient water pressure, it may be time to have new ones installed.
Cause: High Water Pressure
This can be caused by your utility provider or issues with your water heater. A telltale sign of high water pressure is hearing knocking in your pipes, especially after turning off a faucet.
If this is what’s causing the problem, a plumber can inspect and replace your home’s pressure-reducing valve as necessary.
2. Plumbing is Gurgling
Gurgling isn’t a good sound. 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: Plugged Drain
Your drain can either be partially or fully blocked. 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 tempting to use a liquid drain opener to fix the issue, but this can create more problems. These products are harsh and can erode your pipes. It’s always recommended to have a plumber unblock your pipes, either via a snake or jetting.
Cause: Clogged 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 clogged, you will likely be taking care of backup in your basement.
Things that can obstruct or clog 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 help from a professional plumber.
Cause: Blocked Sewer Vent or P-Trap
The sewer vent system and P-traps on your drains keep stinky 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 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 probably too high. This can cause problems such as water leaks and damage to faucets and other fixtures. A plumber can help you control water pressure, which should be about 60–70 PSI.
4. Plumbing is Vibrating
If your plumbing is vibrating, three problems could be creating this noise.
Cause: Unsecured Pipe Clamp
The most common trigger of vibrating plumbing is a loose pipe clamp. This hardware keeps pipes secure when water is flowing through them. If the loose pipe is below a sink, you might be able to correct this issue yourself. If it’s behind a wall, it’s recommended to work with a plumber.
Cause: High Water Pressure or Water Hammer
Less commonly, pipes can vibrate due to high water pressure or a water hammer, which happens when water that’s moving fast hits a closed valve. A plumber can diagnose and fix these issues.
5. Plumbing is Bubbling
If your plumbing is bubbling, you’re probably dealing with problems related to gurgling plumbing.
Cause: Blocked or Incorrectly Vented Drain
Whether you’re dealing with a blocked or improperly vented drain, a plumber can take care of it.
Herman Allen Plumbing, Heating & Cooling Can Resolve Your Odd Plumbing Noises
No one 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 varies. If you have any questions about the noises you’re hearing in your home, contact at 804-302-6657 today. We’re here to assist you when you need a plumber in Greater Richmond or neighboring areas.