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 typical, others aren’t. We’ll walk you through five common sounds 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: Hard Water
More than 90% of U.S. homes have hard water, which means it has too much calcium and magnesium. These minerals can accumulate in your pipes and appliances, causing clogs and less efficient operation.
If you struggle with soap scum, clogged pipes or appliances wearing out quickly, you might be dealing with hard water. Having a plumber install a water softener is the best way to solve this issue.
Cause: Old Pipes
Plumbing doesn’t work 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, rusty water or low water pressure, it may be time to have new ones installed.
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 knocking in your pipes, particularly 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 noise. It’s usually a symptom that you’re experiencing 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 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 cause more problems. These products are harsh and can erode your pipes. It’s always best to have a plumber unclog 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 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 block or plug this pipe includes tree roots searching for water or by flushing bathroom products besides toilet paper. Whether you’re dealing 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 stinky plumbing smells out of your home. If they get clogged, you’ll likely hear gurgling, experience 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 sound.
Cause: High Water Pressure
Humming means your home’s water pressure is probably too high. This can create 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: 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 commonly, pipes can vibrate due to high water pressure or a water hammer, which happens when water that’s moving fast runs into a closed valve. A plumber can identify and fix these problems.
5. Plumbing is Bubbling
If your plumbing is bubbling, you’re likely dealing with problems related to gurgling plumbing.
Cause: Clogged or Incorrectly Vented Drain
Whether you’re dealing with a blocked or incorrectly vented drain, a plumber can take care of it.
Age Heating & Cooling Can Solve Your Strange 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 differs. If you have any questions about the sounds you’re hearing in your home, contact at 208-578-4258 today. We’re here to assist you when you need a plumber in Sandpoint or surrounding areas.