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What Does it Mean If My Pipes are Making Noise?

What Does it Mean If My Pipes are Making Noise?

If you’re sitting in your home listening to strange noises coming from all over your house, it could be your plumbing pipes making noise. Perhaps you’re listening to a gurgling sound coming from the kitchen or a rattling sound coming from down the hall. These sounds could be a sign of a problem with your plumbing system.
There are a variety of sounds your pipes can make as they age. While there are many different reasons for these sounds, let’s look at some of the more common ones:

Water Hammer

Water hammer is a term used to describe the knocking or banging sound made when a water valve is closed suddenly, changing the water flow. As the water flows towards the valve, the pressure and momentum create a banging noise when the valve suddenly shuts, causing your pipes to vibrate and make noise. This may seem harmless, but water hammer can lead to leaks and joint damage in your pipes.
Luckily, fixing a water hammer is usually pretty simple and just requires installing water hammer arrestors. Your plumber will place them near major valves to help absorb the shock of the water when it suddenly stops or changes direction. Sometimes a pressure-reducing valve is also required to reduce the water pressure in the pipes, subsequently reducing the knocking sound when the water hits a closed valve.
A banging sound could also be caused by trapped oxygen in your pipes. If this is the case, you’ll hear the sound when you turn on a faucet and it may be accompanied by a bubbling noise as the air moves up the chamber. To fix this, you can simply shut off the water supply and open every faucet in your home, then turn the main water supply back on for a few minutes to let the air release.

Loose Pipes

If you hear squeaking or squealing it could be due to small plumbing pipe components becoming loose, such as washers or aerators. If this is the case, the sound will be confined to a specific plumbing fixture and requires the part to be replaced. Sometimes pipes are hung with fasteners and if one of the fasteners becomes loose or comes off, then the part can begin moving as water passes through it resulting in shaking or rattling sounds. Properly refastening the pipe should fix the problem.

Water Pressure

If your pipes sound like they’re humming all throughout your house, you probably have high water pressure. High water pressure can cause your pipes to vibrate and can lead to loosened joints or leaks, which in turn can lead to mold or water damage. A professional plumber can test your water pressure and help adjust the issue. This could be as simple as modifying the pressure-reducing valve near your water entry point, but it’s important you only lower your pressure to the right amount. It may also require locating and fixing any clogs that could be backing up the system.

Mineral Buildup

If there is a build-up of minerals in your pipes, such as magnesium or calcium that’s often found in hard water, it can cause the pipes to narrow and become restricted. This leads to increased water flow and can create a squealing sound throughout your home as water tries to squeeze through the narrow openings. Wear and tear on the plumbing system can also cause whistling or squeaking noises. These types of situations require a professional plumber to diagnose and repair. A video inspection can aid in confirming the problem.


Like mineral build-up that makes it more difficult for water to flow through your pipes, clogging can cause a similar issue in your drainage pipes. When hair, grease, soap scum, or even objects are clogging your drain, it will likely create a gurgling sound. Clogged shower, sink, and sewage drains can lead to bacterial growth and that can negatively impact your health. If left untreated, the clog could result in flooding or stagnant water that can cause further damage to your home.
Many people believe that a commercial drain cleaner can solve their issue, but in reality, they don’t really work and they actually contain harmful chemicals that can damage your pipes further and create future issues down the line. The best option is to remove the clog by snaking the pipes.
If your pipes are making weird noises, it is a good idea to have them checked by a professional plumber. An expert can identify the cause of the noise and provide any necessary repairs to fix the problem. Ignoring noisy pipes can lead to more serious issues in the long run so don’t wait. Contact us at Fox Plumbing today.