When you’re suddenly woken up by a loud boom in the middle of the night, and it sounds like it came from inside your home, you might get worried and think that something’s wrong. Those who live in older condos, apartments, or detached houses may have experienced this before—but there are often logical reasons for the noises that pipes make, and there’s usually no need to panic. Some are normal, and some mean you need to call a plumber right away. Let’s look at the most common household plumbing sounds you might hear:

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Water Hammer

It happens when the pressure of the flowing water is suddenly stopped by the valve in your faucet, causing the pipes to bang against each other or wood framing. If not fixed, this can be a major problem since it will vibrate loose hangers and supports, causing pipes to knock against wood studs or joists. Eventually, this can lead to broken pipes. A plumber can easily fix this by installing an air chamber to absorb the sudden pressure change and eliminate the banging sound.

Pulsating Pipes

You may have noticed that your pipes start to pulsate when someone turns on a faucet or flushes a toilet. This is normal, but again can be annoying if it happens too often in your home. The pulsation is caused by pressure changes in your piping system due to changes in water flow, causing pipes to vibrate against each other or their brackets, creating a thumping sound.

Faucet Bang

A common problem with toilet water flow is when it stops running and starts again with some force, causing a loud bang. The problem could be an issue with the water hammer arrestor, also known as a shock absorber, an air-filled canister meant to stop your pipes from rattling. If you have any issues with this tool, replacing it with a professional plumber may solve your toilet banging issues.

Whistling Faucets

A whistling faucet could indicate air in the pipes or that you have a faulty washer or valve seat. The air inside the pipes in your home could make whistling noises as you run your faucet or flush your toilet. A plumber can help determine if your air chambers are clogged or cracked, which would need to be repaired or replaced. In addition, if you hear whistling coming from specific faucets in your home, it could be due to a loose washer or worn valve seat.

High-Pressure Water

This is the most common cause of loud plumbing sounds. When water goes through a pipe at high speed and pressure, it creates vibrations and noise. Sometimes this is caused by a clogged pipe with the reduced flow; sometimes, it’s just normal pressure. If this sound is coming from your hot water pipes and lowering the temperature of the water does not resolve the issue, contact a plumber to look further.

If you are experiencing these issues with your plumbing or pipes, when the problem continues to “go away” on its own but is not resolved, it’s time to call in the experts. At Sacramento Repipe & Plumbing, we have years of experience and advanced training, skills, and expertise surpassing other trades. We can investigate your plumbing problem and resolve it permanently, no matter its cause or severity.


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