We Solve 5 Common Plumbing Noises: What They Mean and How to Repair Them

December 08, 2021

It's a good thing that your plumbing is dependable. When your plumbing is making sounds 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 a couple of issues.

Cause: Mineral Buildup

More than 90% of U.S. homes have hard water, which means it has too much calcium and magnesium. These minerals can accumulate in your pipes and appliances, causing clogs and less efficient operation.

If you struggle 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: Old 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 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: Water Pressure Is Too High

This can be caused by your utility provider or problems with your water heater. A telltale indication of high water pressure is hearing slamming 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 needed.

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 kinds.

Cause: Plugged 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 rises instead of draining, especially in multiple drains.

It can be tempting to use a liquid drain opener to fix the issue, but this can create more problems. These products are corrosive and can eat away at your pipes. It’s always best to have a plumber unclog your pipes, either via 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 clogged, you will likely be taking care of backup in your basement.

Things that can block or plug 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 assistance 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, 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 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 control water pressure, which should be around 60–70 PSI.

4. Plumbing is Vibrating

If your plumbing is vibrating, three problems could be creating this sound.

Cause: Loose Pipe Clamp

The most common cause 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 fix this issue yourself. If it’s behind a wall, it’s recommended to call a plumber.

Cause: High Water Pressure or Water Hammer

Less frequently, pipes can vibrate because of high water pressure or a water hammer, which occurs when water that’s moving fast runs into 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 problems associated with gurgling plumbing.

Cause: Blocked or Incorrectly Vented Drain

Whether you’re dealing with a blocked or improperly vented drain, a plumber can fix it.

Brandon Heating and Plumbing Can Resolve Your Strange Plumbing Sounds

Nobody wants to hear a loud or odd noise coming from their plumbing. There are lots of 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 204-728-0180 today. We’re here to assist you when you need a plumber in Brandon or surrounding areas.