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Why Do My Pipes Make Sounds?

5 Star Plumbing > Blog > Why Do My Pipes Make Sounds?

Probably it has happened to anyone when you are just sitting at home and suddenly hear strange noises from a wall. One can think about ghosts or other creatures, but usually, the reason is far more natural, the noises are from the pipes. 

These noises are not only unpleasant, sometimes they can indicate serious problems in your plumbing, but the problems can also vary. Moreover, by the type of noise, you can even tell what precise problem occurred in the pipes. 

So, you have to listen to your pipes carefully, and this article can help you to distinguish different noises and to know what they are trying to tell you. 

Squealing or whistling noises 

If the sound isolation in your apartment is bad you can do little to prevent hearing the normal sound of water going through the plumbing system. However, if these noises resemble squealing or whistling it means that water flows not without problems. 

When you are hearing whistling noises problems can come from different places. The most common place for such noises to occur is the faucet. And if indeed you hear whistling from a faucet it is a piece of good news because it means that the problem is inside the faucet, probably one of its details has become worn so you just have to replace it and the problem is solved.       

However, if you hear the whistling not from the faucet but somewhere throughout the apartment, the problem must be somewhere inside the pipes. The reasons for the problem can be different, it can be a mineral build-up on the walls of the pipe, or it can be an old and worn valve that produces the whistling. If it is the case it would be better to call a professional plumber to solve the problem.   

Vibrating noises

The next type of strange noise from the pipes is also pretty common. Usually, strong vibrating noise from the pipes indicates that the water pressure inside the pipe is too high and something has to be done. 

Before calling a plumber it would be better to verify whether the pressure in the pipes is indeed excessive. Obviously, to open a valve would not be a good idea, so you would need a special device to check the pressure. The device is a threaded pressure gauge that can be found on the internet or in stores like home depot.    

To check the pressure you have to put the gauge directly in a sink faucet. If a gauge indicates that the pressure is lower than 80psi it means that everything should be okay. However, any indications above 80psi would mean that you have to call a plumber and repair the system. In some cases, even a pressure regulator has to be installed. 

You have to look at vibrating noises very seriously because high pressure can damage your plumbing system beyond any repair. 

Squeaky noises 

This is probably one of the most annoying types of noise, and many homeowners in the country have encountered it. Usually, this noise is easy to hear, yet it is very hard to identify the precise place from where it goes. In most cases, squeaky noises are going from copper pipes that were not properly insulated. 

As a result of the bad insulation, copper pipes, when heating is increasing in size and crush to the walls of the house which cause these unpleasant squeaky noises.     

The possible ways of the solution include obviously proper insulation of copper pipes, or at least you can try to set the heater down, probably less hot temperature will solve the problem. 

Ticking noises 

This type of noise can indicate more than one problem, it could be expanding pipes like with squeaky noises, but the chances are that this sound indicates a dripping leak; sometimes, these sounds will resemble hammering noises. In this case, you just have to carefully listen to where a pipe is leaking and fix that. 

To fix hammering or ticking noises, you have to do a few easy steps:

  • Turn off the water by closing the shut-off valve 
  • Drain all pipes by opening all faucets 
  • Turn water on, the reset of the plumbing system should stop water hammering
  • If water is still hammering, inspect the pipes and find the leak  

Gurgling noises 

Another type of unpleasant noise that people often hear in their houses is gurgling noise. And most of the time this noise is caused by clogged passaged of water, it can be either minerals or some piece of rubbish that block the pipe and do not let water to go through freely, the best way to fix this situation is to call a professional plumber because they have special equipment that can indicate where exactly the clog is situated.    

So, now you know what problems different noises which your pipes make can indicate and how to solve them. Most of these problems can be easily solved with your hands. However, if you are not sure, do not hesitate to call a professional

Peter, plumber

I bring over 9 years of dedicated plumbing experience to the table. As a seasoned professional in the plumbing industry, I've tackled a wide range of projects, from residential repairs to large-scale commercial installations.

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