What Do Those Plumbing Noises Mean?

Common Plumbing Problems, How-To,

You depend on the plumbing system in your building every day. Whether at home or in the office, plumbing ensures you can gain easy access to water. This helps you make coffee, drink a glass of water, and when taking a shower. Over time, pipes can degrade and cause potential issues, including leaks and bursts. There are sometimes signs that we overlook, including weird noises that pipes in our homes make. We are going to consider common plumbing noises that you should know about in this post, as well as share details about what each of these might mean.

Whistling Sounds

If you notice whistling sounds in the pipes that run throughout your building, then there are three possible problems behind this. According to one report, at least 90% of households in the United States have hard water running through their pipes. The term refers to water that contains more magnesium and calcium, both of which are minerals that can accumulate on the inside of your pipes.

The accumulation of these minerals does not only affect your pipes but can also be harsh on your appliances. Clogs can also develop, and your plumbing may start to feel less efficient. The continuous buildup can cause your plumbing to make a whistling noise at times.

Another potential problem behind a whistling sound in your plumbing is high water pressure. There is a pressure-reducing valve in your plumbing setup, and sometimes, it does not reduce water pressure efficiently. In addition to whistling sounds, high water pressure can also cause a slamming noise when you turn off an open faucet.

You may have old pipes in your house if you hear these whistling sounds. The pipes used in the setup of plumbing systems do not last forever. Even though durable, brass will last for around 100 years, whereas copper pipes have an expected lifespan of up to 80 years. If your pipes use PVC, then the lifespan is much lower – as they are expected to last for around 45 years.

Humming Sounds

Sometimes, you may hear a sound that is best described as “humming.” This particular sound relates to the water pressure of your plumbing setup. The pressure level of your water supply should be around 50 PSI. If it is higher than this, then the pressure can cause both humming and whistling sounds, especially when you have a faucet open.

If you do not attend to this particular problem, then the high water pressure starts to damage the faucets you use in the building. The pressure can also result in leaks.

Gurgling Sounds

A gurgling noise from your plumbing is another indication of a problem that you should not ignore. Gurgling and bubbling sounds are generally considered a sign of blockages and clogs. When you have a clog, your drainage systems may not work correctly. This can cause waste to push back into your toilet, bathtub, or sink. You may sometimes notice that the gurgling sounds are accompanied by unpleasant odors throughout your home.

A clogged drain is definitely a possibility that you should consider. When you have a partial clog, then water will drain at a slower rate than usual. With a full clog, you will notice that water does not drain. In fact, with a full clog, water may sometimes rise instead of draining out.

Other causes may include a blocked sewer line or sewer vent. Your plumbing connects to these systems, which then carry waste out into the sewers. If a sewer line is blocked, it can also cause these gurgling sounds.

There are multiple solutions to a clogged drain, but it is important to avoid the use of liquid drain unblockers. While these solutions are helpful, they are often made with ingredients that can cause damage to the interior walls of your pipes. This can eventually lead to leaks in your pipes.

Vibrating Noises

Vibrating noises can also sometimes be heard in plumbing systems and often means there is a pip clamp that is not securely fitted. These clamps are fitted on pipes in order to keep them in place, even when water is running through them. If the clamp comes loose or is not fitted properly, then your pipes can make a vibrating noise when you have a tap open.

Note that high water pressure levels can also be the cause behind these vibrating noises. This is not as common as compared to a pipe clamp that is not securely fitted, but still a possibility to consider.

When To Call A Professional

Many people feel tempted to approach their plumbing problems themselves. A DIY job keeps your hands busy and saves you money, but when it comes to plumbing, doing it yourself is not always the best solution.

When you hear noises from pipes in your walls, then do not attempt to fix the problem yourself. Breaking down the wall only to find you are not at the correct location will lead to costly mistakes. WaterPork Plumbing gives you access to professional plumbers in Detroit. These professionals are equipped with the tools required to assess the plumbing noises you hear and diagnose the problem. They can also work in such a way to cause minimal damage to your property while fixing a problem that has developed with your plumbing system.

When the problem is with a pipe that is not enclosed behind a wall, you can take a closer look at it and see why it makes a noise. It is, however, still a good idea to get the professionals to do a thorough inspection, as this will save you a lot of money in the long run.


When you hear strange noises from pipes in your home, it may be concerning. Ignoring these sounds can lead to more severe problems in the future, which is why a checkup on your plumbing system is important as early as possible. Professional plumbers in Detroit, such as WaterWork Plumbing, can help you diagnose the problem and implement the right fix to avoid further damage.