Your home shouldn’t make more noise than your TV, nor should it wake you up in the middle of the night. If it does make loud sounds, you shouldn’t see it as ‘just the house’ or that the house is settling, and it probably isn’t a ghost. Knowing when to call for a plumbing inspection will help stop these noises and potentially save you money in the long-run both on repair and water bills.
Whistling Sounds When Fixtures Are in Use
Hearing whistling coming from your pipes is not a sign that your pipes are working hard or want to please you with a tune. Typically the whistling is caused by water pressure that is too high and rushes through your pipes.
It can also be caused by the vibrations of rushing water. If you think about it, the reason makes sense--try to whistle--you’re forcing air through a smaller opening than normal which makes a sound.
The same goes for water in your pipes. Another common cause also has to do with high water pressure but the reason is mineral buildup making a smaller diameter in your pipes.
When this happens, your water pressure can be adjusted for a short-term solution, but to keep the problem at bay, a full inspection should be done, followed by the cleaning of your pipes. To take the solution one step further, the addition of a whole house water softener can be discussed.
Late Night Plumbing Knocks
A loud bang or knock is typically startling. If this occurs when you turn your water on, it is likely due to the fact that the air pressure in the pipes has dropped when water is moving from the main line to your residential supply.
The water will bang or knock around, creating startling sounds. Upon a professional inspection, it might be determined that this is not the cause, but your steam heating pipe is.
When this is the case, it is typically due to an improper slope leading to the boiler or condensate being trapped in the radiator valve.
Continuous Running Water
People run water or buy fountains for their soothing sounds. If you aren’t leaving the water running and haven’t purchased a fountain lately, chances are the running water you hear is because of a leak.
This is one of those problems that should be taken care of quickly by a professional. Although you might not see the leak at all, chances are it is causing water damage and definitely increasing your water bill.
Pipes sounding like they haven’t been fed in a week can usually be chalked up to a clogged drain. Clogs and blockages aren’t a simple DIY fix.
Sure, you could run to the hardware store for some pipe cleaner, but you also could damage your system. This is due to the fact that one of the active ingredients used is lye. Lye will break down the clog and possibly burn through your pipes.
In addition to this problem, if it comes into contact with skin, it will sting and leave marks, and when in contact with household cleaners, it can create toxic fumes. The best bet for all of the sounds listed here is simply maintenance. An annual plumbing inspection can identify and eliminate potential problems--before they happen.