It’s a positive 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: Mineral Buildup
More than 90% of U.S. homes have hard water, which means it contains too much 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 issue.
Cause: Aging 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 insufficient water pressure, it may be time to have new ones installed.
Cause: High Water Pressure
This can be caused by your water supplier or problems with your water heater. A telltale sign of high water pressure is hearing banging in your pipes, particularly after shutting off a faucet.
If this is what’s causing 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 sound. 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: Clogged Drain
Your drain can either be partially or fully clogged. Here’s the difference:
- Partial clog—water drains more slowly than usual.
- Full clog—water goes up instead of draining, especially in multiple drains.
It can be tempting to use a liquid drain opener to correct the issue, but this can cause more problems. These products are harsh and can eat away at your pipes. It’s always recommended to have a plumber unblock your pipes, either through a snake or jetting.
Cause: Clogged Sewer Line
Your home has a sewer pipe that transports waste to the main sewer line, usually located 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 searching for water or by flushing bathroom products besides toilet paper. Whether you’re coping with tree roots or a plugged 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 icky 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 bottom 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 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 a loose pipe clamp. This hardware keeps pipes secure when water is running 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 due to high water pressure or a water hammer, which occurs when water that’s moving fast hits a closed valve. A plumber can diagnose and correct these problems.
5. Plumbing is Bubbling
If your plumbing is bubbling, you’re probably dealing with problems associated with gurgling plumbing.
Cause: Clogged or Incorrectly Vented Drain
Whether you’re dealing with a clogged or improperly vented drain, a plumber can fix it.
Gilray Heating and Cooling Can Resolve Your Strange Plumbing Sounds
No one wants to hear a loud or strange noise coming from their plumbing. There are lots of 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, give us a call at 715-301-0727 today. We’re here to assist you when you need a plumber in Wausau or neighboring areas.