Inevitably, every plumbing system has a problem at some point, from a leaky tap to a boiler breakdown. But what happens if your system starts making strange noises? Should you worry? Here's our explanation of what some of those odd noises mean, and what you should do about them.
A Sudden Thud
Sometime you can hear a distinct "thud" when you turn off a tap. This could indicate that your water pressure is too high. It may be useful to have a regulator fitted or even install air chambers or shock absorbers in the pipes. These compress when the water is turned off and so reduces the noisy thud by cushioning the sound.
Whistling In Your Pipes
If your taps whistle, the problem could be the opposite - your water pressure is too low! If you have a regulator, you should try turning it down to see if that solves the problem. Another source of the whistle could be debris in the pipes. Draining the system may help get rid of the debris, but an absolute sure fire solution would be to have the system powerflushed.
A Hissing Sink
Another indication that your water pressure could be too high is if you get a hissing sound from your taps. Not only can this be a stressor on your pipes, but it can also increase your water bill. Again, a pressure regulator can help keep your pressure within the standard levels.
Drip, Drip, Drip
A constant dripping in one of your fittings is annoying at the best of times, but it's also a huge waste of water and will push your water bills up. For example, a single leaking tap can waste 3,000 gallons of water per year! Quite often, the solution to this is to install a new washer. Simple. It may be that your taps have just lived their life and need replacing. Either way, it's cheaper than losing so much on your water bills each year!
A Wheezy Or Whooshing Shower
If you hear a whoosh every day when you go in the shower this could be an indication that there's sediment or debris in your pipes or water heater. This is very common in hard water areas or areas where there is a high mineral content in the water. Again, the solution to this is a clear out or powerflush and, afterwards, a water softener may be a good idea to help prevent future build up.
Gurgle, Gurgle, Gurgle
If your drain is making a gurgling noise when it drains it could be that your vent pipe is blocked, which prevents water from draining properly and can cause nasty smells to rise back up and into your house. Wherever your vent opening is, you should check it to see if something is blocking it and remove any obstruction.
A Ghostly Rattle
Do your pipes rattle when you flush the toilet or empty the bath? They may be loose. If you can access them, test the pipes to check if there is anywhere they aren't properly secured and then tighten the offending areas up.
So, there's our explanation of some of the most common strange noises your plumbing can make and our solutions to them. If you can't solve the problem yourself though, we're always here to lend a hand. You can call us on (01773) 749 713 with any plumbing questions or problems.