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 sounds and how to resolve 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 excessive calcium and magnesium. These minerals can build up in your pipes and appliances, creating 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 fix this problem.
Cause: Old Pipes
Plumbing doesn’t work 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 near the end of their lifetime and you’re dealing with leaks, rusty water or low 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 indication of high water pressure is hearing knocking in your pipes, especially after turning 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 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: 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, particularly in multiple drains.
It can be enticing to use a liquid drain opener to fix the issue, but this can cause more problems. These products are corrosive and can eat away at your pipes. It’s always recommended to have a plumber unclog your pipes, either through a snake or jetting.
Cause: Clogged Sewer Line
Your home has a sewer pipe that carries 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 block 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 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 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 noise.
Cause: High Water Pressure
Humming means your home’s water pressure is likely 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 a loose 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 correct 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 flowing fast runs into a closed valve. A plumber can identify and correct these problems.
5. Plumbing is Bubbling
If your plumbing is bubbling, you’re likely dealing with problems related to gurgling plumbing.
Cause: Blocked or Improperly Vented Drain
Whether you’re dealing with a blocked or improperly vented drain, a plumber can fix it.
TopTec Heating, Cooling, Plumbing & Electrical 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, contact at 847-362-0262 today. We’re here to help when you need a plumber in Libertyville or neighboring areas.