It’s a good thing that your plumbing is reliable. When your plumbing is making noises 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 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 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 solve this issue.
Cause: Old 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 lifetime and you’re faced 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 utility provider or issues with your water heater. A telltale sign of high water pressure is hearing banging in your pipes, especially after turning off a faucet.
If this is what’s creating the problem, a plumber can check 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 types.
Cause: Plugged 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 goes up instead of draining, especially 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 corrosive and can erode your pipes. It’s always best 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 situated in your yard or in the street. If this pipe gets plugged, 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 other than 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 resolve this smelly problem.
3. Plumbing is Humming
If your plumbing is humming, you’re not just dealing with an annoying noise.
Cause: High Water Pressure
Humming means your home’s water pressure is probably 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 around 60–70 PSI.
4. Plumbing is Vibrating
If your plumbing is vibrating, three problems could be creating this noise.
Cause: Loose Pipe Clamp
The most common trigger of vibrating plumbing is an unsecured pipe clamp. This hardware keeps pipes secure when water is running through them. If the loose pipe is under a sink, you might be able to fix this issue yourself. If it’s behind a wall, it’s recommended to call a plumber.
Cause: High Water Pressure or Water Hammer
Less frequently, 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 identify and correct these issues.
5. Plumbing is Bubbling
If your plumbing is bubbling, you’re likely dealing with issues related to gurgling plumbing.
Cause: Clogged or Improperly Vented Drain
Whether you’re dealing with a clogged or improperly vented drain, a plumber can take care of it.
Herman Allen Plumbing, Heating & Cooling Can Resolve Your Strange Plumbing Noises
No one wants to hear a loud or odd 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 sounds you’re hearing in your home, contact at 804-302-6657 today. We’re here to help when you need a plumber in Greater Richmond or surrounding areas.