What do my plumbing noises mean?

What do my plumbing noises meanThe plumbing system in your home likely doesn’t get a second thought until something goes wrong. When the shower offers hot water, the toilet eliminates waste and you can wash dishes in the kitchen sink, the details of how the pipes work aren’t that important to most people.

But what if, one morning, you notice a thud when you turn off the shower, or a rattling noise after flushing the toilet? Abnormal plumbing noises could be warning signs that something needs attention. Here are the most likely causes of some common plumbing noises.

The sink hisses

When you turn on the kitchen or bathroom sink and hear a continuous hissing sound, it’s often an indication that your water pressure is too high. Not only will you run up your water bill, but the high water pressure can overwork your pipes over time. Install a pressure regulator to help maintain normal water pressure levels.

There’s a thud when the water is turned off

A hammering noise or loud thud when you turn off a faucet also suggests that your water pressure is too high. Opt for a pressure regulator, air chambers or shock absorbers. Placing these devises within your pipes will compress the water when shut off, eliminating the thud.

The pipes whistle

If the faucet sounds like it’s whistling when the water is running, your water pressure may be too low. If you’ve installed the pressure regulator, turn it down. If the pipes still whistle, you may have air or debris caught in the pipes. Turn off the main water valve, run the water until it’s all out and open the valve again to push out the air.

The pipes rattle

If you hear the pipes shaking or rattling when you flush or allow water to drain from the sink or tub, they are likely too loose. Secure the fittings on the pipes by tightening them slightly. This should eliminate the noise if it was just a loose pipe.

The drain gurgles

A gurgling drain could simply be clogged, letting you snake out any items obstructing the pipes. If it’s accompanied by a bad smell, your vent pipe is probably blocked, preventing water from draining properly. You’ll have to check the vent opening, typically found on the roof.

The faucet drips

The annoying drip of a faucet isn’t a minor leak, it’s a major waste of water. On average, a single leaky faucet can waste 3,000 gallons of water in a single year. Ensure that the fixture and connecting pipes are secure. If that doesn’t stop the drip, put a new washer inside the faucet or replace the entire fixture.

Water whooshes from the shower

The whooshing sound in your shower is caused by one of the most common water problems in America: hard water. A crusty showerhead or spotted shower doors are also signs of hard water, which is a mineral buildup in your pipes or hot water heater.

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