Noisy Pipes: What’s the Cause?

Whistling, chattering, and banging from noisy pipes can be more than irritating – these sounds indicate a plumbing problem that requires the expertise of a Sugar Land plumber. Plumbing problems make most people nervous because they can often become quite costly when a plumber needs to be called in to fix it. The good news is that noisy pipes can often be fixed easily through a few simple tweaks to your water systems such as replacing washers and valves. Pipe noise complaints are frequently related to water pressure and require making adjustments in the flow rates to correct. Sediment or mineral build up in the pipes is another common culprit.

Here’s a breakdown of the different noises you may hear and what problem they may indicate:


A squealing noise usually indicates a restricted valve or clogged pipe. A squealing made by the shower is the build-up of water pressure in the pipes. This plumbing problem is usually caused by sediment in the pipes or friction created when the water flows. If the squealing is coming from the shower then there is probably a mineral build up in the pipes. Cleaning blockages in the showerhead will correct the problem.

Whistle Noise

A whistling noise, rattling, or chattering can indicate a faulty toilet ballcock or faucet washer. High water pressure can also be the culprit, which can be very damaging to your pipes over time -especially to toilet valves. If there is a high water pressure problem, check with your neighbors to see if they are experiencing a similar problem because it could be caused by the city water source. If not, then your Sugar Land, TX, the plumber should be able to fix the source causing the high pressure and correct the plumbing problem.


Shrieking is usually caused by air in the pipes, sediment in the waterline, or kinks in the waterline. Shrieking from a water pressure tank usually indicates a partially collapsed bladder or obstruction at the tank entrance. Shrieking from the toilet as the tank refills indicate a faulty washer or washers in the ballcock assembly.

Banging, chattering or thudding

A bang, knock, clunk, or clang sound coming from the pipes after shutting off the water indicates a pressure shock wave through the pipes that creates the hammer noise. Over time, this effect can damage pipes and valves and weaken the pipe joints. Modern homes have water hammer arrestors and such a sound can mean that the arrestor may be waterlogged. If you have an older home with old plumbing, you probably do not have an arrestor. Replenishing all the air chambers with air can also sometimes correct the problem. Sometimes a water hammer can occur when a pipe-mounting strap is loose. A worn-out dishwasher or clothes washer solenoid valve can cause a hammering sound when the washer is filling with water too.

Knocking Sound

A knocking sound when you turn on the hot water means the water heater is set too high. Turn down the heater to correct the problem. Another cause can be a pipe that’s too small or has been clogged with salve or mineral deposits. When a knocking sound happens after the water supply shuts off in your bathroom or sprinkler system, a water hammer is usually the culprit.

The good news: all that rattling might not indicate a massive plumbing problem and maybe a simple fix. Noisy pipes caused by water pressure or a worn-out washer can be a relatively simple DIY fix. By attempting to diagnose and locate the cause of the problem before calling a Sugar Land, TX, plumber, you may be able to make a simple adjustment to fix the source of the noisy pipes.

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