4 Plumbing Noises You Never Want to Hear
Nobody likes mysterious noises in their wall. You assure yourself that the unexplained knocking, banging, and clanging in the walls isn’t a ghost. You remind yourself every time you hear it from your bed late at night. But without a more reasonable explanation…
Well, we’re here to give you that more reasonable, less paranormal explanation. It’s your plumbing! We’ve put together a list of four plumbing noises you never want to hear – and what causes them. Find your issue on this list and bust your ghosts by dealing with the mystery sounds permanently.
No, nobody is at the front door. Knocking noises coming from your pipes can have a number of different sources, depending on when the sound occurs. There are three times a knocking sound can occur, and each occurs for a different reason. They can happen after you shut off a water supply, while water is running, or randomly throughout the day or night.
When you turn off a water supply
If the knocking happens when a water supply shuts off such as when you flush a toilet or when your washing machine finishes filling with water, the problem is due to an issue called water hammer. Water hammers happen when running water crashes into a valve that’s suddenly shut, causing shaking and banging. Water hammers usually mean the water hammer arrestor in the pipes has worn out. In homes built before the 1960’s, it’s also possible that a water hammer arrestor was never installed.
When water is running
If the knocking happens when water is running, the most likely cause is high water pressure. You can test this out by using a water pressure test gauge. If the pressure is too high, you’ll need a plumber to adjust or replace the pressure reducing valve.
Randomly during the day
If the knocking happens at random, it’s likely the result of sediment buildup in your water heater. Buildup leads to increased reverberations within the unit and, in turn, the pipes in the walls. Having your water heater flushed can remove this sediment and the problems it causes.
The Environmental Protection Agency predicts that unaddressed plumbing leaks waste more than a trillion gallons of water annually, nationwide? Someone has to pay for that water. In the case of a dripping faucet in your home, that person is you. The sound of a dripping faucet can be deceptively easy to ignore. The potentially swelling of your water bill and damage to your home won’t be.
If your drains or toilet make gurgling or bubbling sounds when you flush or run water, there’s a problem. The specific problem can be a number of different things. It could be an unaddressed clog, air bubbles trapped in the pipe, or even a problem with the sewer line.
These are all problems that can seem small at first, but if left unaddressed can get significantly worse. That’s why it’s important to call a professional as soon as you start hearing that tell-tale bubbling.
If you ever hear a high pitched squeaking or whining, it’s a sign of a worn out pressure-reducing valve. You could have a whole-home pressure-reducing valve, as well as bathroom or kitchen varieties. Going without a pressure-reducing valve can lead to burst pipes, problematic overflow, and other issues over time.
No matter what sort of sounds your pipes are making, there are experts like the ones at Ben Franklin Plumbing in MN who know how to fix them. All you have to do is call, and we’ll be there to help quiet things down. Unless the sounds really are ghosts. But then you already know who to call.
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