The 5 Sounds Your Plumbing is Making - And What They Might Mean

The 5 Sounds Your Plumbing is Making - And What They Might Mean

You’re lying in bed after a long day of work and Netflix, and suddenly you hear it: A strange gurgling coming from the basement, a clanging from the walls, a soft hissing in the bathroom.

These aren't horror movie sound effects; they're coming from inside your plumbing.

Our plumbing makes noises all the time, but some sounds are a little more concerning than others. Here are some common sounds you may hear from your plumbing, and what those noises can tell you about troubles in your system.

1. Hissing Faucets

If you hear a hiss when you first turn on your faucet, it might be a sign of excessive water pressure. Before going at your tap with a wrench, try calling your local water company – your area's water pressure may be to blame.

2. Whistling Toilets

Does your toilet's pipe suddenly start whistling, seemingly at random? There may be a leak in your toilet's fill valve causing water to escape. Check your toilet’s tank and try adjusting the valve by hand. If the problem continues, reach out to your plumber.

3. Vibrating Toilets

If you hear a loud vibrating sound coming from the wall behind your toilet after you flush, it’s time to check the fill valve again. Over time, fill valves can “go bad” and become dried out or broken. When this happens, the valve can cause a rattling sound. If the vibrating noise stops when you lift your toilet’s valve arm, you know you’ve got a problem, and it may be time to replace the mechanism.

4. Banging in the Pipes

When turning your faucet on and off leads to a loud thudding or banging sound, it could be one of two things:

  1. Banging, shuddering noises may signal that you have loose pipes. If a pipe is not well-secured in your wall, it may move and rattle under pressure, creating a loud banging sound when water pressure comes to a stop.
  2. If your pipes are secure, thudding may be due to a water hammer. Water hammer occurs when a pipe flexes to absorb the force of stopping water; the sound comes from the vibrating wave of pressure from the water. Water hammer can be easily fixed by having a plumber install air chambers or shock absorbers at the problem sites in your plumbing.

5. Rumbling Water Heater

A water heater that grumbles like a stomach at Thanksgiving may have built-up sediment. Over time, some materials – mostly loose minerals, including calcium – pile up at the bottom of your heater, trapping water and causing it to boil up as steam bubbles. This build up forces your heater to use up more gas or energy, making your heater less efficient – and sending your bills skyrocketing. To save money in the long run, it’s best to hire a professional to flush out your hot water heater.

So when you hear these noises coming from your plumbing, don’t panic. For these and other pesky plumbing issues, be sure to reach out to J. Blanton Plumbing!