Plumbing Noises?

Posted on May 10th, 2018 by Brian Hall

Should You Be Afraid of These Plumbing Noises?

Did you hear that? Is there something other-worldly trying to make contact with us? Probably not. Many homes have problems with random noises that will certainly grab your attention. While these noises are annoying, they’re a good thing because they’re trying to tell you that a repair needs to be made. However, if you ignore them — you should be afraid of the consequences.

Gurgling Toilet

If your sink or bathtub drain gurgles for awhile after you use it, the problem is either venting or blockage. If something like hair, sediment buildup, or grease has formed a partial blockage in the drain, the water flowing down it has to work harder to move through. That struggle makes the gurgling sound you’re hearing. Hearing gurgling or hissing noises coming from your toilet usually means the flapper isn’t covering the valve opening. As a result, water will continue to run and your wallet will continue to be emptied when you pay the next water bill.

How to Fix It: Inspect the flapper and make sure it’s covering the valve opening. If it’s not, replace the flapper. If it is, check the water level and adjust the float assembly to the proper level.

Popping Water Heater Water Heater

This is a particularly important sound to catch early. If your water heater pops or kicks as it’s turned on, it could be an indication of sediment buildup. Like with the showerhead, limescale, rust, and other mineral deposits in your water can build up inside your water heater as the water that passes through it leaves deposits behind. When enough sediment builds in the water heater, it will settle along the bottom and sides of the tank. Sediment in the bottom of the tank traps heated water, forcing the tank to work harder. As water squeezes past the buildup, it generates the popping noise you hear. The worse the sediment problem, the louder the pop.

How to Fix It: Water heaters must be periodically flushed, drained, and cleaned to avoid sediment buildup. If your water heater starts getting noisy, it’s time to flush it out. Water heaters have a drain valve you can open to drain the bottom of the tank. Be sure to turn off the water to the water heater first, though.

Banging Noises

As hot water fills your pipes, the material they’re made of naturally expands. When they cool back down, they contract. The noises you hear your pipes making happen when the expanding and contracting pipes smack into fasteners or other nearby objects like the ceiling, wall, or house framing.
You don’t have to worry about these noises as much as most of the others on this list. If the noise itself is a large-enough nuisance to worry about, however, there are a few things you can do. Isolate where exactly the noisy pipe is and wrap foam pipe insulation around it. Insulated pipes don’t expand or contract as much. The insulation also absorbs most of the vibration that generates the noise when the pipe comes in contact with another surface. You could also reinforce or replace your pipe hangers, ensuring the pipe is securely fastened to an anchor such as a wall or ceiling.

How to Fix It: You may have to install fasteners on each portion of your plumbing pipes to prevent them from shaking. Consult a professional plumber to inspect the pipes and your water pressure, recommend solutions, and install any fasteners you might need.


If you’re hearing noises in your home whilst you’re alone, you may have a few plumbing problems that need your attention. When you need your plumbing inspected and repaired, contact Performance Air Conditioning Electrical & Plumbing. If you’re looking for a reliable plumber, check to see if you live in one of our many service areas!

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