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What’s that Racket? Common Plumbing Sounds & What’s Causing Them

November 30, 2021

Have you been hearing strange noises in your home? Don’t worry, it’s probably not a ghost haunting the place. More likely, it’s a plumbing issue. Here are some common plumbing sounds and why they happen.

Gurgling Drains

Have you noticed a loud gurgling sound coming from your sink or shower drain? This usually indicates a blockage in the vent pipe or the drain itself. This is often due to something like a piece of food waste or a chunk of bar soap washing down the drain and getting caught up. However, if you are hearing gurgling sounds from multiple drains in different parts of your house, you likely have a blockage somewhere deeper in your plumbing system.

Banging Behind the Walls

When you hear loud banging coming from your pipes this is caused by what’s called “water hammer.” Water hammer is when high-pressure water bangs loudly into either pipe walls or shutoff valves inside the pipe, resulting in a loud knocking or banging sound. This happens when you have unusually high water pressure, which is commonly caused by a blockage in your pipes.

Whistling or Screeching

If you notice high-pitched whistling or screeching sounds when you turn on faucets or appliances like dishwashers, you probably have a worn-out washer or other valve component. Have a professional inspect your plumbing to determine the faulty part that is causing the noise. This usually just means you need a small part replaced, which is quick and inexpensive.

Humming Pipes

If you’re hearing a humming sound emanating from your pipes, you probably have water pressure that is too high. High water pressure causes your pipes to vibrate, which can cause a humming sound. There are a number of factors that could cause high water pressure in your home, including a blockage in your pipes or a faulty pressure-relief valve. Call a plumber to perform an inspection and identify the issue.

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