It’s a good thing that your plumbing is dependable. When your plumbing is making sounds or is loud, you might start to worry. While some sounds are typical, others aren’t. We’ll walk you through five common sounds and how to resolve 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 contains excessive calcium and magnesium. These minerals can accumulate 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 be dealing with hard water. Having a plumber add a water softener is the best way to solve this issue.
Cause: Old Pipes
Plumbing doesn’t last 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 dealing with leaks, discolored 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 issues with your water heater. A telltale indication of high water pressure is hearing banging in your pipes, particularly after turning off a faucet.
If this is what’s creating the issue, a plumber can check and replace your home’s pressure-reducing valve as necessary.
2. Plumbing is Gurgling
Gurgling isn’t a good sound. It’s usually a sign 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, 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 corrosive and can erode your pipes. It’s always best to have a plumber unblock your pipes, either via a snake or jetting.
Cause: Blocked 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 clogged, you will likely be dealing with backup in your basement.
Things that can obstruct or plug this pipe includes tree roots seeking water or by flushing bathroom products besides toilet paper. Whether you’re coping with tree roots or a clogged toilet, you’re going to need help from a professional plumber.
Cause: Plugged 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 notice gurgling, experience slow draining or smell sewage. A plumber can help you get to the root of and resolve this smelly problem.
3. Plumbing is Humming
If your plumbing is humming, you’re not just dealing with an annoying 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 regulate water pressure, which should be around 60–70 PSI.
4. Plumbing is Vibrating
If your plumbing is vibrating, three problems could be causing this noise.
Cause: Unsecured Pipe Clamp
The most common cause 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 correct this issue yourself. If it’s behind a wall, it’s best to call a plumber.
Cause: High Water Pressure or Water Hammer
Less frequently, pipes can vibrate due to high water pressure or a water hammer, which occurs when water that’s flowing fast runs into a closed valve. A plumber can diagnose and correct these issues.
5. Plumbing is Bubbling
If your plumbing is bubbling, you’re likely dealing with issues related to gurgling plumbing.
Cause: Clogged or Improperly Vented Drain
Whether you’re dealing with a clogged or improperly vented drain, a plumber can fix it.
Ilten's Can Solve Your Strange Plumbing Sounds
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 varies. If you have any questions about the noises you’re hearing in your home, contact at 319-208-2351 today. We’re here to assist you when you need a plumber in Cedar Rapids or surrounding areas.