These Plumbing Noises Mean Trouble

shocked-to-hearWhen people believe they live in a haunted house because they hear odd knocking and pounding sounds from the walls, they’re really dealing with a less ghostly of a problem: plumbing with an issue requiring attention.

You may need a plumber in Espanola, NM to track down what’s causing these sounds and then fix the trouble. Below we’ve written out a few of the sounds you might hear coming from your home’s plumbing and what they mean.

Abrupt banging or knocking

This is water hammer, and it’s a common problem in household plumbing. It’s also the sound most likely to make you jump and think you’ve got a ghost!

Where the sound actually comes from is the abrupt stopping of water in a pipe when a tap shuts off. When the water stops moving, it creates a shock wave and knocking sound like someone took a hammer to the outside of the pipe. You shouldn’t normally hear this because plumbing is designed with air cushions to absorb the shockwaves. When these cushions become waterlogged, water hammer starts. A plumber can restore the air barriers in the plumbing to fix this before the force of the water hammer starts to damage the plumbing or appliances.


Do you have pumps at work in your plumbing, such as for a well or for a hot water recirculation system? If so, this buzzing is warning about a problem with the motor in the pump. Even a small motor issue will vibrate through the rest of the plumbing pipes. The vibrating could also be loose hot water pipes that are moving around as they expand with the hot water.

Clanking and rumbling

Often these noises point toward trouble with the water heater. The water heater may be overheating because of limescale deposits. This is something you want a professional plumber to look into right away before the water heater breaks.

Dripping or running water

When you hear the sound of dripping water or running water where you can’t see any tap or faucet that’s on, you probably have a hidden leak in the walls, ceiling, or down in the foundation slab of the house. It’s difficult to track down the exact spot of these leaks because they create echoes up and down the pipes. A professional plumber can pinpoint the leaks using special equipment, then uncover the pipe to fix it. Please don’t ignore a warning sign of a leak, since they’ll can cause extensive damage before you see evidence of it.

Gurgling drains

When you pour water down a sink drain and hear a gurgling sound soon after, the drain probably has a deep clog or the drain vents are blocked. When water collects over a clog, air released from the clog will bubble up through the water. Blocked drain vents, which allow sewer gas to escape from the plumbing through the roof, will push the sewer gas through the water in the p-trap under the sink, making the gurgling sound. Call professional plumbers for drain cleaning or to unblock the drain vents.

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