It's a positive thing that your plumbing is reliable. 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 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 accumulate in your pipes and appliances, causing clogs and less efficient operation.
If you have issues with soap scum, clogged pipes or appliances deteriorating quickly, you might have hard water. Having a plumber add a water softener is the best way to solve this problem.
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 them replaced.
Cause: High Water Pressure
This can be caused by your water supplier or problems with your water heater. A telltale indication of high water pressure is hearing banging in your pipes, especially 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 necessary.
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, 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 recommended to have a plumber unclog your pipes, either via 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 dealing with backup in your basement.
Things that can obstruct or plug this pipe includes tree roots searching for 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 assistance 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 clogged, 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 annoying sound.
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 around 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 cause of vibrating plumbing is an unsecured 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 best to work with 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 correct these problems.
5. Plumbing is Bubbling
If your plumbing is bubbling, you’re likely dealing with issues associated with gurgling plumbing.
Cause: Clogged or Incorrectly Vented Drain
Whether you’re dealing with a clogged or incorrectly vented drain, a plumber can take care of it.
AZ Air Conditioning and Heating Can Solve Your Odd Plumbing Sounds
Nobody 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 varies. If you have any questions about the sounds you’re hearing in your home, give us a call at 800-296-5088 today. We’re here to help when you need a plumber in Los Angeles or surrounding areas.