Did You Hear That? A Homeowner’s Guide to Plumbing Sounds

When you’re sitting in your home, you probably take it for granted that water will flow freely when you turn on a faucet. You may also assume that water will flow almost silently from an open faucet, with the splash of the liquid hitting the basin the only audible sign that water is flowing at all.

While your assumptions may be accurate the vast majority of the time, there may come a time when your plumbing emits other sounds. More specifically, your plumbing may issue audible sounds that indicate there’s a problem that can range from a minor issue to a much bigger problem.

You might not realize it because you can’t see them, but water pipes run within the walls throughout the physical structure of your residence. For this reason, you might hear your plumbing make odd noises even when you’re nowhere near a sink, tub, shower, toilet, spigot or washing machine.

Vibrating or Rattling

One noise that’s commonly heard is vibrating. Your pipes will vibrate at least slightly whenever water passes through them. If you notice some vibrating or rattling, loose pipes might be the cause. If that’s the case, you can tighten the pipes’ mounting straps to better secure your pipes or you can use new straps.

If that doesn’t stop the rattling sound, your water pressure may be too high. Contact your local plumber and ask to have a pressure-reducing valve installed.

Thudding, Shuddering or Banging

Thudding, shuddering or banging sounds are another sign of vibrating pipes. Unfortunately, these sounds are an indicator of a much more serious problem than loose pipes. These sounds are indicative of what’s called the “water hammer” effect. This happens when a fast-closing valve shuts off the flow of water quickly, which produces a sound that resembles a hammer coming into contact with a solid surface.

If you allow these sounds to continue for too long, the hammer effect can cause serious, lasting damage to your plumbing. If the sounds get progressively louder, it means your problem is getting even worse. The moment you hear thudding, shuddering or banging sounds related to your plumbing, get in touch with a professional plumber as soon as you can.


If you hear gurgling when water is flowing down a given drain, it’s probably the result of something blocking the water’s movement. To stop the gurgling, remove the blockage.

If all of your drains gurgle, it’s likely that your drain vents are the culprit. If your drains aren’t vented properly, it’ll cause air bubbles which will then cause your drains to gurgle. To have the appropriate drain vents installed, contact a professional expert.

Screeching or Whining

If you hear screeching or whining when you turn a faucet on, it’s a definite sign that the faucet has a loose or broken part. The simplest way to resolve an issue with a screeching faucet is to replace the faucet.

Our Plumbing Repair Service

Since 1940, Garvin’s Sewer Service has been serving residents and businesses in and around Denver, CO. If you’ve heard a noise that indicates you may have a problem with your plumbing, we can help. Contact Garvin’s Sewer Service to schedule an appointment today.

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