Why Is My Plumbing Making That Sound?

Odd plumbing sounds coming from your pipes or various fixtures can point to plumbing issues that require your attention and at the very least prove to be quite a nuisance. But various plumbing sounds are not uncommon and not necessarily major problems if addressed quickly and properly. Here are some common plumbing sounds, what they could mean and how to solve them. 


If one of your fixtures began to whistle at you when being used, chances are that one of the washers responsible for creating a seal has begun to wear out, causing a whistling sound as air escapes or flowing water sends the washer flapping around. This is particularly common in dishwashers and washing machines. 


The solution is simple as washers, though crucial, are inexpensive and fairly easy to replace. Identify where the whistling is coming from and check for washers that are in that area. Alternatively, call a plumber that can inspect your fixture for you and make sure all of the components are in properly working order. 


This plumbing sound can be usually heard as you’re shutting off the water in your faucet, but can sometimes be heard while the water is still running. This is the result of an uneven water flow that sets a shockwave through your pipes, as water suddenly changes direction. To absorb the shock, your plumbing system has air chambers known as hammer arrestors, that act as a cushion. However, when these chambers fill up with water, there is nothing to prevent the shockwave from striking the interior walls of your pipes, creating the loud noise, known as a water hammer. 


Shut off your water main and turn on all of your cold and hot taps to allow all of the water to drain out. This will empty the water clogging your air chambers. With your taps still on, turn on your water main. Once the water begins to flow freely without spurts of air, you can turn off your taps. This should resolve the water hammer sounds from your plumbing. 


The pipes in your plumbing system are strapped into place with fasteners to prevent them from rattling around. This is especially important for pipes that are suspended in air. If you hear an odd plumbing sound that resembles a rattling, chances are that one of these fasteners came loose. Without sufficient support, your pipe will shake and rattle as water flows through.


If you have exposed pipes in your basement, you can check these first for any loose fasteners. Otherwise, you will need to contact a professional plumber who will be able to access the pipes that are hidden behind your walls, ceilings or under your floors.


Gurgling is a common plumbing sound that occurs when your pipes are having a difficult time draining. This is common in kitchen drains and toilets. This gurgling sound is a tell-tale sign that there is an obstruction somewhere along your drain pipes. 


Some obstructions in your drain may be minor and resolved with a few quick home remedies. However, if the problem persists, call a professional plumber to perform a thorough camera inspection that will allow them to establish if the situation is not more severe. By being proactive and scheduling an annual hydro jetting for your drains, you’re likely to be able to prevent this problem all together and maintain effective flow throughout your plumbing system. 


A humming like plumbing sound can be heard when pipes begin to vibrate as a result of the water pressure being too high. This points to a problem with the water pump and more often occurs in homes that rely on well water. Your water pump pumps water from the water supply, such as your well, to your house. This pump has a pressure regulator that maintains even pressure in your plumbing system. If this regulator malfunctions it can cause your water pressure levels to rise thus creating the humming noise. 

This can also happen in apartment blocks where water needs to be pumped to a higher floor. If the water pressure is cranked up to allow sufficient water flow in top level apartment floors, the water pump likely needs to be replaced.


If you have direct access to your water pump, check that the pressure level is set to around 55 pounds per square inch. If you do not have access to a reading of your water pressure, have a professional test the pressure and make adjustments to eliminate any humming noises or advice in the repair or replacement of your water pump.

Odd plumbing sounds should not go unnoticed as small problems can create bigger ones. Call your plumbing professionals at VIP Drain Services where we are available 24/7 for your plumbing emergencies!

If you have any emergency plumbing need, simply call our 24 hour emergency service line