5 Common Plumbing Noises Solved: What They Mean and How to Fix 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 noises and how to solve 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 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 build up in your pipes and appliances, creating clogs and less efficient operation.

If you have issues with soap scum, clogged pipes or appliances wearing out quickly, you might have hard water. Having a plumber install a water softener is the best way to fix this issue.

Cause: Aging Pipes

Plumbing doesn’t last 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 close to the end of their lifetime and you’re dealing with leaks, discolored water or low water pressure, it may be time to have new ones installed.

Cause: High Water Pressure

This can be caused by your utility provider or issues with your water heater. A telltale sign of high water pressure is hearing banging in your pipes, particularly after shutting off a faucet.

If this is what’s creating the problem, a plumber can inspect and replace your home’s pressure-reducing valve as needed.

2. Plumbing is Gurgling

Gurgling isn’t a good noise. It’s usually a sign that you’re dealing with 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 blocked. Here's the difference:

  • Partial clog—water drains more slowly than normal.
  • 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: Blocked Sewer Line

Your home has a sewer pipe that carries waste to the primary sewer line, usually situated 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 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 create 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 noise.

Cause: Unsecured 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 under 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 commonly, pipes can vibrate because of high water pressure or a water hammer, which occurs when water that’s flowing fast hits a closed valve. A plumber can identify and fix these problems.

5. Plumbing is Bubbling

If your plumbing is bubbling, you’re probably dealing with problems related to gurgling plumbing.

Cause: Blocked or Incorrectly Vented Drain

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

Aggressive Mechanical Can Solve Your Odd Plumbing Noises

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 varies. If you have any questions about the noises you’re hearing in your home, give us a call at 732-806-5536 today. We’re here to assist you when you need a plumber in Neptune City or surrounding areas.