Screeching, Banging, and Other Plumbing Warning Signs

By Four Seasons Heating, Air Conditioning, Plumbing & Electric - August 9, 2018

The old phrase “no news is good news” definitely applies to the plumbing in any Chicago area home. If you don’t see, hear, or smell anything strange, your pipes are probably functioning well. Unfortunately, however, things don’t always go as planned, especially if you live in one of the city’s older properties. From whirring to banging to a screeching, here are what some of the most common plumbing warning signs might mean—and a few plumbing tips for fixing them.

Plumber repairing a water tap

Five Weird Sounds That Could Be Plumbing Warning Signs

1. Rattling

As water moves through your pipes, they naturally shake a little. Normal shaking is silent, however, not loud and Rattley.

  • Cause: Rattling is often caused by loosely secured pipes. Either the pipes’ mounting straps have slackened or a part of the wall has broken away.
  • Solution: If the mounting straps are loose, they can be tightened fairly easily. If they have been pulled away or the wall has deteriorated, you may need to replace the parts and/or patch up the wall.

2. Banging

Banging is similar to rattling but usually sounds a bit sharper.

  • Cause: Depending on the pipe’s size and location, banging could be caused by loose mounting. However, it’s often the result of a malfunctioning water hammer, broken water hammer arrestor, or excessively high water pressure.
  • Solution: The solution to banging really depends on the cause. Since many issues could be at play, it’s probably best to call a local plumber rather than attempt a DIY fix.

3. Screeching

High-pitched screeching sounds are most commonly emitted whenever you turn on a faucet.

  • Cause: Although screeching noises can be quite off-putting, the cause is usually rather small—just a defective valve in the faucet.
  • Solution: Typically, screeching can be fixed with a simple parts replacement.

4. Rumbling

Rumbling or grumbling may point to a problem not with your pipes but rather with your water heater.

  • Cause: As you use your water heater over time, sediment builds up in the bottom of the tank. When this sediment heats up, it causes trapped water to boil and gurgle.
  • Solution: You or a local plumber can drain the watery sediment through a pipe at the bottom of the unit. Be careful, though! If you aren’t familiar with your water heater, it’s easy to get burned.

5. Gurgling

Gurgling noises sound pretty gross, and once you learn the cause, it’s no surprise why.

  • Cause: Gurgling generally points to a clog in your pipes. Clogs are comprised of hair, pet dander, household debris, built-up sediment, minerals, or even dead vermin.
  • Solution: If caused by a single clog, gurgling noises may be fixable with a drain cleaner or a plumber’s snake. If you hear gurgling in one location as water drains from a completely different location, however, you may have a system-wide clog on your hands. This may require a full plumbing check-up and/or new drain vent installations.

It’s not uncommon for Chicago houses to make noise, and just because you hear something doesn’t mean something is wrong. The only way to know for certain is by calling a certified local plumber like Four Seasons Plumbing and Sewer.

We’ve been Chicagoland’s most trusted plumbing service contractor since 1971, and we offer 24/7 services and same-day service calls to address even the loudest plumbing warning signs. Submit our online form to request your fast in-home plumbing inspection, or call us now for emergency services right away!

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