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Is the House Haunted, or Was That the Plumbing?

Scary Sounds Say a Lot About the State of a Plumbing System

Plumbing problems are often the invisible ghost haunting a homeowner's dreams. Often, plumbing troubles are heard before they are seen. Dripping, gurgling, and knocking noises create a haunted ambiance in the home, and are the audible signs of plumbing troubles.

Homeowners shouldn't ignore their home's cry for help - read on to discover what these scary sounds mean before reaching out to a professional plumber to get them taken care of!

The Ominous Dripping Sound

Every home has experienced a dripping faucet at some point or another. But dripping, while common, isn't normal. The dripping sink and leaky showerhead are important warnings of plumbing leaks. Typically, these leaks are the result of loose fittings or worn down gaskets. Dripping that may look like a leak is even occasionally the result of condensation in a faucet.

Most dripping leaks can be resolved by tightening loose fittings or replacing damaged gaskets. But, if the dripping sound has newly begun after a freezing spell or frigid weather, or when the water has not been run through the pipes in some time, there is a high chance that there are bigger plumbing issues. These leaks usually indicate pipes needing bracing or replacing.

The Startling Knocking of Pipes

Knocking pipes are a noise to be reserved for the Halloween party's music. Homes experiencing knocking pipes are crying out for help from a plumbing professional. Knocking is a sign that pipes require padding, regulation, or maintenance.

Hand Knocking on a Door

In homes with copper piping, knocking is a common occurrence. Copper pipes expand with the running of hot water. Pipes in crowded areas may clang together as this expansion occurs. Replacing these pipes with another material isn't the most economical solution unless remodeling is on the horizon. Instead, padding can be added to the pipes to prevent the knocking.

If the pipes' proximity isn't the source of the noise, water pressure is likely playing a role. A drastic increase in water pressure can cause the pipes to knock. Most modern homes have a pressure regulator installed that prevents such excessive pressure. Preventing abrupt pressure increases protects the plumbing and appliances from damaging pressure levels. Installing a regulator is a great investment for any home, increasing the longevity of water-using appliances and preventing terrible knocking noises.

Finally, if knocking occurs after an abrupt shut off of water, knocking may ensue. When such abrupt shut-offs happen, the water will slam against the shut-off valve and create a "water-hammer." The force of water-hammers can damage the connections and joints of piping, which can lead to leaks in the system.

The Ghoulish Gurgling of Drains

Water Going Down a Sink Drain

The gurgling of drains is one of the many unsavory and sometimes unearthly sounds to plague a home's plumbing. Usually, the air is the main culprit of the eerie noises. Flushing and draining water through drains requires the use of air to force the water down the drain. However, if the water supply does not return to replace the air after draining, a vacuum results. Pipes are built with ventilation systems to prevent gurgling, but if there is a block or damage to the ventilation system, the gurgling trouble will begin.

If the gurgling is specific to the toilet, shower, or bath, the likeliest culprit is the p-trap. The p-trap prevents methane gas from entering the home through the plumbing of the shower. It also serves to block air from entering the shower drain, which stops the gurgling sound. If the p-trap is the cause of the noise, running the faucet will usually fix the problem. If that doesn't fix the issue, a plumbing expert can judge whether a p-trap needs to be installed, repaired, or replaced.

Plumbing noises can be fixed easily, and the sooner they are addressed, the less likely they are to get worse. When the home's plumbing has started to sound like a Halloween soundtrack, it's time to call in the professionals.

A Professional Plumber Can Help!

HomePro Plumbing is proud to serve the Minneapolis, MN and the Twin Cities area. Their devotion to customer satisfaction and top-notch work has made them a family name in the Twin Cities area for years. Their up-front rates, VIP program, and dedicated staff make them the premier choice to handle all your plumbing services in Minneapolis.