What is that noise in my house?

Houses make sounds. Some sounds are normal, and some sounds are an indication that there is a problem with one of the areas in your home. Gurgling, banging and whistling noises are some of the the noises that indicate there is a problem with one of your plumbing fixtures. Some of these noises can be corrected if you have access to your water supply pipes. Some of the sources of these noises need to be corrected by a professional plumber.

Gurgling Wastewater Systems

Gurgling noises are typically noises that are coming from the wastewater system in your home. It could be making a gurgling noise because the drain is clogged and it needs to be cleaned out. It also could be because there is no air supply vent to the plumbing fixture, or the vent has some sort of blockage. For example, in a bathroom, if you flush the toilet and there is no vent to that toilet or the vent is not working properly, it may suck the water out of the trap on the bathtub into the trap on the toilet. This will cause the bathtub trap to become dry, and you can sometimes hear a gurgling noise from the drain. Also, if one of the traps is not full of water anymore it will not stop the sewer gas from coming into your home and you may start to smell a foul odor.

Whistling Faucets or Fill Valves

Whistling noises are typically noises that are coming from malfunctioning faucets or fill valves inside of your toilet tank. If there is water flowing over an opening that is not fully open and there also is air present it will make a whistling sound. Typically, by replacing the internal cartridges in your faucet or the internal parts of the shutoff valve in your toilet the noises will go away. Whistling noises also can be an indication of high-water pressure.

Banging Pipes Problem

At times, you may hear your pipes start to bang if they have not been secured properly or if they have become loose. If you check, your pipes should be secured to every other joist in the wall, or about every 32”. The worst hammering and banging noises occur on fixtures with quick closing valves, or electric valves called actuators. The two that are the most common are for the dishwasher and the clothes washer. As they become filled with water, the appliance will electrically shut off the valve. This abrupt shut off of water will sometimes cause a banging reaction and sound. There are devices that can be installed at the water supply to each of those fixtures that provide a small shock absorption to reduce the noise or take it away completely. Hand controlled fixtures, such as faucets, usually do not cause as much banging because the shutoff is much more gradual.

Whole Home Shock Absorber

Finally, there is a whole home shock absorber, a device that is added to the main line of the home directly after the water meter. It resembles a small propane tank. It is pre-pressurized with air and contains a rubber bladder on the inside. As the system pressures up, it allows for expansion and contraction inside preventing the pipes from banging. The extra air goes directly into the device causing the rubber bladder to move. Recently St Paul Pipeworks did a repipe where a customer was hearing a banging noise. They could not isolate where the sound was coming from, so they installed a whole home shock absorber, but even that didn’t stop the noise. Finally, they isolated the sound to the water meter itself. They called the City of St. Paul and the city came out and replaced the water meter free of charge causing all the noise to go away.

St Paul Pipeworks goes the extra mile to make sure all of their customers plumbing needs are satisfied. If you are hearing strange noises that may be coming from your plumbing fixtures or are just looking for a quality plumber in the St. Paul and Minneapolis metro area, give St Paul Pipeworks a call today.

Yours Truly,
Matthew Dettwiler
Social Media Manager

Why is my plumbing making noise?