• Geoff Burke

What Is All Of That Noise? Pt. 1



Over the next two weeks, we’re going to talk about all of the different noises your plumbing system makes. While we’re in the field, the sounds that your system is making is often our only point of reference when diagnosing an issue. Since we can’t see inside your pipes, it’s sometimes all we have to work with!


Gurgling Drains: As you may have guessed, gurgling drains usually mean a partial blockage in the drain or venting system. When there is a buildup of hair, grease, etc. the waste water must work harder to make its way down the drain. The gurgling you hear is the air in the system fighting for space against the water. If this is happening, it’s a good idea to have someone in to clear the drain before it becomes fully blocked!


Screeching or Chattering: This terrifying noise is much more common than you may think. It’s often loud enough that I’ve had customers say their neighbours could hear it! Although it may sound like a big deal, it is usually something quite easily fixed. Often times, these noises are caused by a faulty part causing constriction in the water pipes – it is the same idea as letting the air out of a balloon while pinching the opening. If this is happening, make sure all the valves that supply water to the fixture are fully open. If they are, parts may need replacing in the fixture itself.


Snapping or Popping Pipes: Have you ever taken a nice hot shower then come downstairs to hear a tapping noise in the ceiling? It sounds like water dripping, but there is no sign of a leak? What is most likely happening in this case is the expansion and contraction of the pipes. As piping heats up, it expands – the longer the pipe, the more it will expand! Unfortunately, there usually isn’t much we can do about this without cutting open some drywall, but no need to worry. As long as you don’t see water damage, there isn’t any real harm done!


That’s all for Part 1 of your noisy plumbing system. We’ll be back again next week with Part 2 to touch on the other noises your plumbing makes!

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