It’s a positive thing that your plumbing is dependable. When your plumbing is making noises or is loud, you might start to worry. While some sounds are normal, others aren’t. We’ll walk you through five common sounds and how to solve 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: Hard Water
More than 90% of U.S. homes have hard water, which means it has excessive calcium and magnesium. These minerals can build up in your pipes and appliances, causing 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 add a water softener is the best way to fix this problem.
Cause: Old Pipes
Plumbing doesn’t last 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 close to the end of their life span and you’re dealing with leaks, discolored water or insufficient water pressure, it may be time to have them replaced.
Cause: High Water Pressure
This can be caused by your utility provider or problems with your water heater. A telltale sign of high water pressure is hearing knocking in your pipes, particularly 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 sign that you’re experiencing 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 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 enticing to use a liquid drain opener to correct 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 through a snake or jetting.
Cause: Blocked Sewer Line
Your home has a sewer pipe that carries waste to the primary sewer line, usually located in your yard or in the street. If this pipe gets clogged, you will likely be dealing with backup in your basement.
Things that can block or plug this pipe includes tree roots searching for water or by flushing bathroom products other than toilet paper. Whether you’re coping with tree roots or a plugged toilet, you’re going to need assistance 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 blocked, 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 sound.
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 about 60–70 PSI.
4. Plumbing is Vibrating
If your plumbing is vibrating, three problems could be creating this sound.
Cause: Unsecured Pipe Clamp
The most common trigger of vibrating plumbing is an unsecured 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 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 flowing fast hits a closed valve. A plumber can diagnose and fix these problems.
5. Plumbing is Bubbling
If your plumbing is bubbling, you’re probably dealing with issues associated with 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.
Contra Costa Heating & AC Can Resolve Your Odd Plumbing Sounds
Nobody 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 noises you’re hearing in your home, contact at 510-343-9841 today. We’re here to help when you need a plumber in The Bay Area or neighboring areas.