If your water pipes are making a humming noise, this could be due to several reasons. In some cases, homeowners describe this strange humming noise sounding like a foghorn, as it usually reverberates.
Water pipes can make a humming noise due to high water pressure. It could also be a faulty ballcock valve in the toilet tank or a loose faucet washer. Other causes are a worn-out solenoid fill valve in an appliance or a faulty gate valve. Turn off the valves one by one until the humming stops to help find the source.
Regardless of why your water pipes are humming, we’ll walk you through all possible causes. With a little troubleshooting, you can stop that annoying humming noise coming from your water pipes and fix the underlying problem.
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Why Are My Water Pipes Humming?
There could be several reasons why your water pipes are humming. Let’s explore each of these in detail, along with their possible solutions.
1. High Water Pressure Causes Pipes To Make A Humming Noise
If water is running somewhere in your house and the pipes are making a humming noise, it could be the water pressure. Even if it just lasts for a few seconds, the problem might be that your water pressure is too high. It’s also widespread for increased water pressure to emit a loud high pitch sound as well.
The cause of water pressure being too high could be an issue with your water pressure regulator or your thermal expansion relief device. Your water pressure in your home should be between 40 and 50 psi. Typically, the highest is 60p psi, and it shouldn’t be more than 75 psi.
It may also be directly related to the physical location of your home, especially if it’s at the bottom of a hill. We’ll take a closer look at what you can do about high water pressure in a moment. First, check out the other possible reasons your water pipes are making a humming noise.
2. Problem With Ballcock Valve In Toilet
One of the most common causes of that humming, foghorn noise in your plumbing could have to do with your toilet tanks. If you hear the noise every time someone flushes a toilet, the problem could be inside the tank.
More specifically, the humming noise is most likely caused by a problem with the ballcock valve. (Also known as the fill or flapper valve in the toilet.) Many older toilets are fitted with these types of valves.
When these valves get offset or old, they will no longer close properly. When the ballcock cannot close correctly, it starts to shudder, leading to an incredibly loud echo in some cases.
The easiest solution for this is to replace the “ball” piece of the valve so that it can close completely. Depending on the extent of the damage, you may need to replace the whole valve. For best results, we recommend contacting a certified professional to troubleshoot the issue. Then, if necessary, they can replace the ballcock valve to eradicate the humming noise.
Video: How To Replace A Ballcock Fill Valve
3. Loose Faucet Washer
Another possible cause for your water pipes making a humming noise has to do with your faucets. Are you hearing this sound when you turn a faucet on? If so, then it’s most likely an issue with a faucet washer.
When exposed to water, a loose faucet washer can create quite a bit of noise and may start to sound like “humming.” To correct this problem, tighten all of the screws throughout your faucet system. If the humming in your faucet continues, contact a local plumber to take a look.
3. Issue With Washing Machine Or Dishwasher
Do you hear a very strange sound from your dishwasher or washing machine as it fills up with water? One of the most common noises these appliances make is a sharp, “machine-gun-like” noise that signifies a valve issue. If the rattle grows in intensity, it may result in reverberating, humming sounds.
When you have these noises coming from your dishwasher or washing machine, it is most often a worn-out solenoid fill valve. This valve is very similar to the one in your toilet but is much stronger, smaller, and more challenging to reach. In this case, it is probably time to replace your solenoid fill valve before it fails.
4. Problem With A Gate Valve
A gate valve is what controls the flow of water through a pipe. They are generally the valves with a twist-type handle on top, similar to an outdoor spigot.
If you have an issue with this valve, you may hear a humming noise anywhere along your water pipeline. The humming noise will be most apparent when you turn your water on and off. With an issue like this, it is best to consult the expertise of a certified professional.
How To Fix High Water Pressure Problems
If you have humming noises in your water pipes caused by high water pressure, you need to get to the root of the problem.
For most cases of high water pressure, you can correct the issue by implementing a water pressure regulator or water pressure reducing valve. This device can be installed yourself, or you can opt to have a plumber install it for you. It installs on the main water line coming into your home.
If the cause of high water pressure has to do with the location of your home, it becomes a bit more challenging.
Homes near fire hydrants or tall buildings can be especially prone to experiencing water pressure issues. The reason is that towns and cities tend to keep pressure higher in these areas. Or, if you live at the base of a hill, gravity could contribute to your high water pressure problems.
How Do You Determine If You Have High Water Pressure?
Regular household water pressure should be between 40 and 50 psi. You need to get a pressure gauge to determine your home’s water pressure.
Hook it up to a hose faucet and make sure all other water sources (including water-using appliances) are turned off to get a baseline reading. If there is any water running in the home, you won’t get an accurate reading.
Make sure to screw the gauge onto the hose faucet, don’t use the hose. You should be able to do this by hand easily. However, if it is leaking a bit, tighten it carefully with a pair of tongue-and-groove pliers or an adjustable wrench.
If you don’t have a hose bib you can use, you can attach the pressure gauge to the cold water supply line of the washing machine. Shit off the water behind the machine and disconnect the hose from the faucet.
Have a bucket handy to catch water from inside so you don’t make a mess. Screw the pressure gauge onto the faucet, then open the faucet completely to test the water pressure. If you get a pressure reading greater than 75, you should consider taking steps to lower our water pressure.
Is High Water Pressure Bad?
High water pressure is much better than low water pressure when it comes to showering, washing dishes, or even washing your car. However, it does come at a cost.
Water pressure that is too high means that twice the amount of water is flowing through your pipes, much of which is wasted. More water means a higher water bill.
High water pressure also puts an excessive amount of strain on your plumbing system as a whole. It can even decrease the life span of your appliances that need water to function, such as your water heater, washing machine, and dishwasher.
Is It Dangerous When Water Pipes Make A Humming Noise?
If your water pipes are giving off a humming sound, this indicates that something is wrong or broken somewhere. This problem, no matter the cause, will not go away until it is fixed.
As with most plumbing concerns, it’s recommended to have it corrected as soon as possible to prevent it from getting any worse. By ignoring the problem or putting it off for later, it will cost you much more money to fix if more damage occurs over time.
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When To Call A Professional About Water Pipes Making A Humming Noise
If this is a venture you are not comfortable taking on your own, then perhaps it’s best to call a professional. Calling a pro is especially helpful if you’re not sure what the issue is.
A contractor will come out and inspect your pipes, valves, and the works to find out what’s going on. They will also fix any issues as they find them.
When looking for a contractor, it’s best to get at least three quotes to compare the price. Also, be sure to ask them what’s included in the quote so you know whether or not you’ll have to come out of pocket for anything.
Are Your Water Pipes Making A Different Sound?
Water pipes making a humming noise isn’t the only indicator of a problem. Pipes make all sorts of sounds for different reasons. Other common sounds you might hear are gurgling, banging, or whistling.
Pipes Making A Gurgling Sound
When pipes are having a hard time draining, they may emit a very distinctive gurgling or glugging noise. This noise most often signifies the existence of an obstruction or clogging in the pipes.
This blockage could be the result of an item that was accidentally put down the drain. It could also be mineral or hard water deposits on the sides of the pipes, soap scum, or other debris buildups. To correct these gurgling noises, you need a professional drain cleaning to eradicate pipe obstructions.
Pipes Making A Banging Sound
Banging noises in your water pipes is another indication of water pressure issues. It may also have something to do with the water flow.
The most common causes of this are trapped air bubbles or water hammers. Water hammers occur when a valve or faucet is suddenly turned off. The water that was rushing to exit has high momentum, and when it meets a closed valve, it results in a loud bang.
Issues in your water line may result in the air becoming trapped in your pipes. If the banging noises are a result of air in the pipes, the noise will generally happen right when you first turn on a faucet. Both of these issues can happen for various reasons, so it is best to have a professional evaluate and fix the problem.
Pipes Making A Whistling Sound
Your plumbing system relies on several small pieces to make faucets and valves function correctly. If one of these components wears out, you may hear a whistling or squealing noise when that area of plumbing is in use.
Most often, broken or worn washers will occur near your washing machine or dishwasher. If you notice these noises coming from those appliances, have a certified plumber come out to verify that all the valves and components are operating correctly.
Wrapping Up Why Water Pipes Make A Humming Noise
Water ipes can make all sorts of noises, and most of them signal some sort of issue. If your water pipes make a whistling sound, it’s likely due to high water pressure or a faulty ballcock valve in the toilet. Other potential causes are a loose faucet washer, a worn-out solenoid fill valve in an appliance, or a broken gate valve.
If the high water pressure is to blame, you can try using a water pressure reducer or regulator valve. Replace a faulty flapper valve in the toilet tank or a loose faucet washer.
If it’s the solenoid fill valve in your dishwasher or washing machine, you should replace it before it fails completely. A broken or faulty gate valve is best handled by a licensed plumber.
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Jessica considers herself a home improvement and design enthusiast. She grew up surrounded by constant home improvement projects and owes most of what she knows to helping her dad renovate her childhood home. Being a Los Angeles resident, Jessica spends a lot of her time looking for her next DIY project and sharing her love for home design.
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If your home's water pressure is too high, it can result in a humming sound within your pipes. The water pressure coming into your home shouldn't be more than 80 psi. If you think this may be the reason for the humming, contact a qualified plumber to check that that water pressure is at the correct level.How do I stop my water pipes from humming? ›
Sometimes, shutting off the pump that distributes water to the affected area will eliminate the humming noise. If that's the case, the pump may have to be changed out for a different model or reset. In some instances, adding isolators and better stabilizing the pump works too (see rattling noises, below).Why do my pipes make a humming sound in my house? ›
Why Does My Plumbing Make a Humming Noise? If the water pressure in your home gets too high for your house's plumbing system capacity, your pipes can literally start to vibrate, much like a car traveling very fast down an open highway. If the water is running, you might start to hear a hum coming from your pipes.How do you know if you have air in your water pipes? ›
Air in water pipes will sound like a hiss or pop. Alternatively, the trapped air can cause loud gurgling and prolonged vibrating noises. Other sounds are loud noises and bangs emanating from the pipes; this clearly indicates air traveling in the pipes.How do I fix moaning water pipes? ›
Tighten or Add Pipe Straps: As time goes by, your pipe straps will inevitably loosen, allowing pipes to creak and moan as your water temperature fluctuates. Combat the creaks by either adding additional straps or tightening the existing ones to keep pipes secure.Can low water pressure cause pipes to hum? ›
If the humming sound seems like it's coming from your home's walls or all plumbing fixtures when the water is running, a water pressure issue is likely the culprit. The water pressure in your home should be between 40 and 50 psi.Should I be worried about humming pipes? ›
If your home's water pressure is too high, it can result in a humming sound within your pipes. The water pressure coming into your home shouldn't be more than 80 psi. If you think this may be the reason for the humming, contact a qualified plumber to check that that water pressure is at the correct level.What does air in water pipes sound like? ›
What Does Air in Water Pipes Sound Like? Air in water lines will likely sound like a hiss or pop(s) emanating from the pipes. The causes can range from the simple to the complex, with the source of the air varying depending on the situation.What causes water pipes to whine? ›
Whistling or squealing water pipes results from water being forced through a smaller opening than the plumbing components were designed for. This is often due to: water pressure too high, wear & tear on plumbing components, water mineral build-up from the water, or other types of degradations.Can air in water pipes cause damage? ›
Air in your water pipes has the potential to do damage to your plumbing system. To diagnose the problem, call a professional plumber. He can help you resolve the banging and vibrating of your pipes, address air in your hot water tank, and restore consistent water flow to your fixtures.
- Turn off the mains water supply. ...
- Turn on all taps to drain the water supply. ...
- Flush toilets until there is no water left. ...
- Turn off taps completely, then turn them on slightly to allow a small amount of water flow. ...
- Turn the water supply back on. ...
- Turn taps until they're half open.
How do you know if plumbing isn't vented properly? Signs of poorly-vented plumbing include gurgling sounds, slow drainage, bubbling water in the toilet bowl or empty toilets after flushing, or sewer smells.How do I clean the water pipes in my house? ›
Begin the flushing procedure by opening the hot water taps in your bathroom(s). Open ALL hot water sink fixtures, hot water bathtub or shower fixtures. Next, open all other hot water fixtures, such as in kitchens, wet bars, etc. Run all of these hot water fixtures for 15 minutes, then shut the water off.What does it mean when water pipes groan? ›
Water pipes that make a groaning or hissing noise are often indicating a constriction somewhere in the waterline. As the water flows through the narrower section, it will create this noise. This problem commonly develops in faucets and toilets as washers and internal fixtures wear out.Why do my pipes sound like a foghorn? ›
A foghorn sound in your plumbing could be a number of things. It may be a faulty ballcock in the toilet, a loose faucet washer, or a valve in the washing machine. It may also be permeating your entire house, in which case it could be from loose or old pipes or a malfunctioning regulator.
A 'humming' sound coming from a water pipe is often a good indication of water loss occurring somewhere along the piping system. This can occur in two ways: Loss through a fixture or outlet (i.e. faucet or leaky toilet) or loss through an actual leakage point along the line.What does a clogged pipe sound like? ›
Gurgling: A drain gurgling can indicate a blockage or clog. Gurgling from a shower or sink drain after flushing the toilet can mean you have a clogged pipe, the air in your pipes, or a much bigger problem – an issue in the sewer line. Gurgling noises also can be as simple as an incorrectly positioned heating pump.Why does my water pressure regulator hum? ›
When vapor and other compressible fluid pass through the pressure-reducing portion of the pressure relief valve, the fluid's mechanical energy is converted into sound energy, and the water regulator produces an audible nuisance.How do you clear an air lock in a cold water pipe? ›
Let the cold tap run for 2 minutes, turn off both taps and remove the hose. Then let the hot tap run for 2 minutes to confirm that the air lock is cleared. If the air lock is not cleared, repeat the procedure one or two times more. If this is not successful, contact a registered plumber to correct the problem.What causes air lock in pipes? ›
Why Do Airlocks Occur? Airlocks occur when bubbles in the pipeline gather at a high point in the system. If the water velocity is not greater than the rising velocity of the air bubbles, the air will remain in the pipe and cause a restriction.
Water hammer describes an uneven and unsteady flow of water through pipes that results in a loud noise due to a “shockwave” effect. It's usually caused when the direction or velocity of water suddenly changes when a faucet is turned on or off, causing a change in water pressure.Why do my pipes howl when I flush the toilet? ›
This shockwave effect occurs after a sudden change in water pressure, causing the pressurized water to bang against the valve opening. If not fixed promptly, a water hammer can create major plumbing problems.Can water softener cause air in pipes? ›
Inspect for leaks: Check your water softener and its connections for any leaks, as these can introduce air into your water lines.How do I know if my pipes are damaged? ›
Water Sounds—When pipe damage lets air in, your water may make gurgling or bubbling noises. Unusual Colors—Brownish water coloring is often a sign that your pipe is corroded and damaged. Foul Smells—Sewage-like smells coming from your faucet, showers, or sinks often indicate an issue with your water mainline.How do you diagnose water pressure problems? ›
- Check the Air Fill Valve. ...
- Have Your Pipes Inspected. ...
- Inspect the Water Itself. ...
- Inspect the Pump and Pressure Tank. ...
- Turn off the Water Supply. ...
- Drain the Tank. ...
- Remove and Replace the Tank.
- Banging or Clanging Noises in Pipes. When you run your faucet or flush your toilet, ideally shutting the water off or the flush cycle ending shouldn't make any strange sounds. ...
- Noisy Appliances. Is your dishwasher unexpectedly loud? ...
- Short Hot Water Supply. ...
- High Water Bills.
Water systems which operate at 1.0 bar pressure (10 m of drop) or greater are considered high pressure systems. Those with a pressure less than 1.0 bar are considered low pressure. When you're ready to choose a tap or shower, you'll find the water pressure it's suitable for will be clearly labelled.What unblocks pipes? ›
Try pouring hot water down the drain, then follow it with one cup of bicarbonate of soda and a cup of vinegar. Leave it for ten minutes, then chase it with more hot water. A combination of the hot water and the natural cleaner mixture can break blockages up.What are the symptoms of air in a hot water heating system? ›
If a hot water heating system develops too much air in the piping you may hear bubbling or gurgling in the heating pipes when the heating system is operating, or worse, so much air may be in the heating piping, radiators, or baseboards that heat may simply not circulate at all.Where is plumbing vent located? ›
Plumbing vent pipes are typically located on roofs, away from windows, to ensure the fumes exit the home completely. The other function of the plumbing vent is to move fresh air into your plumbing system. This helps move water through every plumbing fixture in your house, like toilets and sink drains.
Every plumbing fixture needs to have a vent to work properly. Bath tubs, toilets, washing machines and kitchen sinks need the biggest plumbing vents.Can I pour water down my vent pipe? ›
Every few years, assuming you can get up on your roof safely, you should put a garden hose down the roof vent pipe and run water down the pipe for a few minutes to wash out any accumulated dust, tree debris, or even bird poop. If you do this, be sure you put sentries within the house to spot any leaks.How often should house pipes be cleaned? ›
You should have your plumbing pipes cleaned every 18 to 22 months or so. If you are already on this kind of cleaning schedule and you're experiencing problems with your plumbing, then you may need to call a plumber and schedule a pipe inspection.Does vinegar help clean pipes? ›
Vinegar. Vinegar is both safe and beneficial to pour down your drain. It acts as a natural cleaning solution and can remove blockages and harmful bacteria that cause foul odors.How do I clean my plumbing system naturally? ›
- Pour 1/4 cup salt, followed 1/4 cup Borax down drain.
- Pour 1/2 cup vinegar down.
- Finish with a pot of boiling water.
- Let sit for one hour or until it clears.
- Run hot tap water to rinse any remaining solution down.
The four most common causes of pipes making noise when water is turned on, toilets are flushed, and water is drained include pressure issues, the air in pipes, clogs or obstructions, and loose components.What does it mean when your water pipes make noise? ›
Typically, banging noises coming from your pipes infer an issue with water flow or water pressure. Two of the most common causes are water hammers and trapped air bubbles. A water hammer, also known as hydraulic shock, occurs when fluid in motion is suddenly stopped when a faucet or valve is shut off.Why are the pipes humming after I flush the toilet? ›
If your bathroom pipes hum when you flush the toilet, the problem may be within one of the valves. Turn off each valve while the humming sound is present, and if the sound stops, you have found the source. It may be necessary to replace the valve for the fill tank.How do I adjust the water pressure in my house? ›
The screw acts as a water pressure regulator. If you tighten the screw the water pressure will be more and if you loosen the screw the water pressure will be less. Turn the screw clockwise to tighten it and increase the pressure, or turn it counterclockwise to decrease the pressure. Do not be too hasty.