It’s spooky season – time for haunted houses, planning your Halloween costume, and trick or treating.
But are you also noticing some spooky sounds emanating from your (hopefully not haunted) house?
It could be your plumbing, and no, it’s (probably) not possessed.
Read on to learn about the creepy sounds your plumbing can make, and what they mean.
What’s that humming sound?
Is your plumbing making a humming noise?
There could be several reasons why, but this usually means there’s a motor running, but not pumping, somewhere in your house. Sump pumps and water heaters are examples of household units that use motors to pump water. A running motor without a water supply to it could cause the motor to short out and stop working completely. Call your local plumber to get this fixed as soon as you can!
If you hear humming in your bathroom, it could be an indication that your water pressure is too high. You might need to swap out a washer in your faucet or shower head.
If the humming is coming from the toilet, you probably have a faulty valve that will need to be replaced.
Thunk! It’s water hammer
Do you sometimes hear a loud “thunk” sound when you turn off a faucet or when the water stops flowing into your washing machine or dishwasher? That’s water hammer.
When you hear water hammer sounds in the home, this means the water in your plumbing pipes is under pressure. When it’s rushing through an open faucet and you turn it off suddenly, the flow of water slams into the closed valve, creating a hydraulic shock, which can cause problems including broken pipes, loose fittings, and damage to water-connected appliances.
The shockwaves from water hammer can also cause your pipes to physically move from the jolt. If they’re not adequately secured to the joists in your home with suitable pipe straps, the moving pipes may bang against your walls, making even more noise and increasing the odds of damage.
But there are a few things you can do.
Your home’s plumbing system may have air chambers, which are a short length of vertical pipe installed right behind a valve. The air that fills the chamber becomes a shock absorber when the flow of water stops suddenly. But if water bubbles into the air chamber, it can cause water hammer.
Simply shut off the home’s main water valve and then open faucets at the highest and lowest points of the structure. As the remaining water drains from your plumbing system, the air chambers will automatically refill with air.
If your plumbing system doesn’t have air chambers and you’re experiencing water hammer, you might want to consider having them installed. You could also have devices called water hammer arrestors installed in the same place.
High water pressure could also cause water hammer. Safe water pressure can range anywhere from 50 to 80 psi. If your water pressure is above this range, it’s a good idea to take action. Consider installing a pressure regulator on your main water line to protect your pipes and appliances while also putting a stop to the racket.
Your faucet is noisy
If you have strange noises coming from your faucet, once again, high water pressure could be the culprit!
But it could be a few other things, too:
Check on the aerator: The cause of your noisy faucet could be mineral deposits in the aerator -- the screen that screws into the tip of the faucet. Simply unscrew the aerator and run the faucet. If the noise is gone, purchase a new, clean aerator, screw it on the faucet, and you should be good to go.
Install new washers: Worn out or incorrectly sized washers are a common cause of faucet noises. To replace the old washer, turn off the water supply and take your faucet apart. When you have the handles off, swap out the old washers for new, intact models that are a perfect fit for the fixture.
Replace your plumbing system: One cause of noisy faucets in older homes is when the pipes themselves are too small or have been so blocked by scale and debris that water has trouble getting through. In these cases, you might need to have your pipes replaced outright.
In that case, you’ll need a professional plumber to do the job.
Hearing spooky sounds in your plumbing? Contact us online or give us a call at 1-877-BEN-1776!