Have you ever been kept up late at night by strange noises coming from your plumbing? You’re not alone – faulty plumbing can cause all kinds of noise issues that can be both disruptive and worrying.
Don’t worry, though – in this article, you’ll learn how to identify and solve common causes of noisy plumbing:
Whistling or Hissing
Whistling or hissing noises in your plumbing often signal a problem. Usually these noises originate in the fixtures themselves and can be caused by a variety of plumbing components, such as worn out seals or valves, running toilets, and broken pipes. While some of these problems require professional repair, there are several steps you can take to attempt to identify and fix the source of the whistling noise yourself.
First, check the area around your fixtures for leaks: check for loose connections and worn washers. Turn off the water supply to each fixture for a few minutes at a time and see if that stops the sound. If it does, then this is likely where the leak is coming from. If that doesn’t help pinpoint or solve the problem, try flushing all toilets at once to see if this stops the whistling sound. This might identify an issue with your sewer vent stack or provide more evidence of corrosion in your pipes that needs repair by a professional.
If you determine that there is corrosion present in your pipes, you can use a corrosion inhibitor to reduce further damage caused by corrosion buildup. Corrosion inhibitors are available over-the-counter at most hardware stores; carefully follow directions provided on product labels when using these products.
Other sources of hissing sounds may include:
- Physical obstruction within pipes (such as tree roots)
- Faulty pressure regulators/regulators stuck open or closed
- Water hammering inside walls from washing machine shutoff valves stuck open or closed too quickly
- High flow rates causing “water hammer noise”
- Air trapped in pipes near faucets causing “air hammer noise”
All of these issues should be addressed by a licensed plumber who has experience correcting them safely and efficiently.
Banging or Clanging
Banging or clanging sounds in your plumbing system can be caused by loose pipes, air in the pipes, high water pressure, a faulty faucet or appliance valve not closing completely, or a nearby appliance shaking the pipes.
In some cases, it may be possible to fix the banging or clanging sound simply by tightening any loose connections that can be easily accessed. If this does not resolve the issue and you are certain that no appliance is to blame, you might need to consider other solutions such as:
- Installing water pressure regulator devices.
- Checking for air in your plumbing system and addressing it with a process known as “hydronic balancing“.
If you are unable to identify and fix the cause of these noises on your own, it is recommended that you contact a professional plumber to quickly assess the issue in more detail and suggest more permanent solutions.
Gurgling sounds in your pipes and drains are usually created when air gets trapped or water pressure is low. This common issue is typically caused by a few different sections of plumbing in your home, including the sink drain system, the main sewer line and other vents and stacks.
In order to fix this noise and prevent it from happening again, you should inspect the fixtures to identify any blockages that can be cleared out. You may need to use a plumbing snake which will help loosen clogs caused by accumulated dirt and debris. Additionally, check for any sections that may need more air ventilation so that air can pass through freely.
Once these tasks have been completed, flush out your system with clean water to remove by-products from the unclogging process, as well as any lingering debris. If the gurgling noises still remain after this is done, it may be an indication of a bigger issue and professional help should be sought out.
Dripping or Trickling
A steady dripping, trickling, or tapping sound coming from your plumbing system is often caused by a faulty pipe connection or valve. It could also be caused by a broken seal on a fixture such as a toilet, bathtub, sink, etc. If you notice such sounds, it is recommended that you contact a qualified plumber to inspect the piping and take the necessary steps to repair or replace it if needed.
Your plumber may need to adjust the water pressure valve to stop the noise and ensure the pipes are properly sealed in order to prevent any further water leakage.
Humming or Buzzing
Humming or buzzing noises coming from water pipes can be a sign that there’s something awry in the pressure-regulating system. These noises can indicate a small air pocket bubble has developed somewhere in the system. The humming noise is caused by the circulation of water through it and the vibration of water pressure that rushes against it.
To solve this issue, you will need to check all valves and faucets to identify where the air bubble is before repairing or replacing any parts. Additionally, it might be useful to invest in an adjustable pressure regulator valve if you don’t already have one—this helps maintain stable water pressure levels to avoid any such bubbling and humming sounds.
It’s important to be on the lookout for any odd sounds coming from your pipes, as these noises can indicate a problem within your plumbing system. By addressing the issue promptly and accurately, you can prevent your plumbing from sustaining further damage that could cost more in repair or replacement costs.
Fortunately, repairing or replacing a noisy pipe is not overly difficult and can usually be done with just a few household tools. However, there may be an even easier solution due to the nature of the problem. If you’re unsure about what needs to be done, consider consulting with a professional plumber who can provide an informed opinion based on their experience handling similar problems in a variety of different contexts.
Remember, it’s always better to be proactive than reactive when it comes to plumbing!
Frequently Asked Questions
What kind of noises do plumbing pipes make?
Plumbing pipes can make a variety of noises, including banging, whistling, humming, and rumbling.
How do I fix noisy plumbing?
To fix noisy plumbing, check for loose connections and tighten them. You may also need to replace worn parts. If the issue persists, it is best to contact a professional plumber for assistance.
What causes plumbing pipes to make noises?
Plumbing pipes can make noises due to water pressure, loose connections, worn parts, and air bubbles in the lines.
Andrew Lee is the founder of My Plumber. He has been in the industry for over 20 years and has extensive experience in all aspects of plumbing. He also enjoys sharing his knowledge with others and has written several articles and given talks on plumbing.