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What Strange Sounds Tell You About Your Plumbing

Fixing the sink

A strange sound might not immediately tell you that something is wrong with your plumbing. Many people do not realize the proximity of plumbing to the surface of the walls. When your plumbing has a problem, you might not know it until you hear it through the wall. Here are a few sounds you might hear and what they mean for your plumbing.


Rattling, or vibrations, occur often when water passes through the pipes. At the same time, this noise should not be incredibly loud. If the rattling grows to high levels, the cause might be a loose pipe that needs tightening.

You can remedy rattling of your plumbing by tightening the mountain straps. In some cases, the best choice is to apply new mounting straps entirely.

On the rare occasion that the previous step did not work, your next step should be to assess your current water pressure. A professional can help you reduce your home's water pressure and eliminate the noises.


A gurgling noise often indicates that something is blocking water from getting to its destination. You might notice bubbling to go along with the sound, making your water drain in a strange way.

Resolving the problem often includes eliminating the blockage. If the problem is hair or a solid object, the resolution might involve a drain snake or calling a professional for something more serious.

If you notice gurgling in several of your drains, you may have poor ventilation. Poor ventilation creates air bubbles and can be caused by a blockage or improper installation. This can mean that even if you do something simple like flush a toilet, you will hear gurgling somewhere else in the house.


Whistling when you turn on the water indicates a potential blockage near an opening. Whistling occurs when the water moves quickly past the narrowing. Sometimes the matter is related to a disfigured piece of plumbing equipment or another blockage.

The problem may sound like an easy fix, but this is not always the case. The obstruction could be something slightly more serious that requires professional treatment.


A loud thud or bang in the wall is often a more serious concern than a rattle. You might hear this loud sound after your dishwasher or clothes washer shuts off.

Chances are you are hearing a water hammer. The water hammer sound comes from a fast-closing valve shutting off water very quickly. The result is a sound similar to a hammer hitting something hard. You will know it is a water hammer effect when you close the faucet slowly and notice no change in sound.

That water hammer sound is not harmless, however. If you don't do anything about it, the noise can worsen - and so can your plumbing problems. Water hammers (and air hammer noises caused by valves opening too quickly) lead to pipe vibration.

Additionally, the force of the opening and closing valves can lead to more significant problems with your pipes. In fact, the force of the water could even damage connections and joints throughout your plumbing system.

Of course, not all plumbing or sewage issues are identifiable via sound. You still need a professional to diagnose problems in your home and remedy them quickly. After all, you do not want to be left without working plumbing for days or weeks on end. Early detection is crucial.

Some of the most troubling plumbing issues are those you cannot easily spot. Anything strange you notice is notable. If you are concerned about any noises, have a professional investigate.

Call Speedy Clean Drain & Sewer if you hear any of these strange sounds in your home. You can rely on our professional team to come up with creative solutions that remedy even the loudest plumbing noises in your home.