Is Your Sydney Plumbing System Making Noises? Here’s What They Mean

If your Sydney plumbing system is producing endless noises, then it might be having a problem. Rattling, gurgling, chattering, and clattering noises can make you feel nervous and worried.

If you feel something is not sounding right whenever you turn on a faucet, then it’s possible that your plumbing has a problem.

The good news is that in most cases, the cause of plumbing noise is easy to diagnose and address. Here is a list of the most common plumbing noises compiled by our Sydney plumber experts, what they mean, and how to fix them.

Plumbing Noises in Your Sydney Plumbing System

Rattling Pipes

Water flows through pipes at a pressure. Sometimes, the water pressure can be quite powerful. In case the pipes are not firmly secured in place, they can rattle as water flows through them at high pressure.

Check whether you can find the section of the supply line that is rattling. Check the basement ceiling, especially where the basement is still unfinished. In case some pipes are not attached to stationary anchors, they may move around when water flows through them.

In case the pipes are laid on an anchor or wall and they’re rattling, you can eliminate the noise by fastening them securely against the anchor. In case there’s no anchor nearby, install pipe-holding fittings.

You’ll simply install the pipe holders over the pipe and screw them into the wall using the provided screws. Doing so will hold the pipes firmly in place. These pipe holders can be bought from a local hardware store.

Tapping, Creaking, and Snapping

Pipes expand naturally when filled with hot water. Once they cool, they contract. The tapping, creaking, and snapping noises that you hear from pipes is when they expand and contract, thereby smacking onto the fasteners or nearby objects such as the house framing, wall, or ceiling.

These noises are not something to worry much about. However, if they’re a nuisance, there’re certain fixes you can apply to eliminate them. For instance, you can isolate the noisy pipe section and wrap it with foam insulation.

Insulated pipes won’t contract or expand as much as bare pipes do. The insulation works by absorbing the vibrations that create noise as the pipe touches physical surfaces when expanding.

You can also replace or reinforce the pipe hangers to ensure the pipe is tightly secured onto natural anchors such as the ceiling or wall.

Gurgling Drain

In case your bathtub or sink drain is gurgling for some time after using it, then there might be a problem with the venting or there’s a clog. If foreign items such as grease, sediment buildup, and hair have created a partial clog within the drain, then water will struggle to flow through. That struggle is what you hear as a gurgling noise.

If this noise is coming from multiple drain lines, or another drain is producing then sound when using a water appliance that’s not connected directly to that drain, then the problem might be a venting issue.

When the drain lines are poorly vented, air vacuum is created in the drain pipes. It suctions the water as it flows through the draining, thereby creating a gurgling sound. Ensure the vent is clear and if your drain line doesn’t have a vent, then install one.

Screeching or Chattering Valves

In case the faucets or valves on any water appliance chatter or screech when turning them on, then you might be having a defective or loose faucet component. You can fix this problem by replacing the faucet or valve.

To replace it, first turn off the main water supply. Then remove the faucet or valve and note down its measurements. If you don’t know its exact size, carry it along with you while shopping for a replacement to ensure you buy a matching size.

The replacement valve or faucet should come with instructions for installation. Once you replace it, the screeching or chattering noise will be eliminated. If you’re not sure about replacing the valve or faucet, then get further assistance from a reliable plumber in Sydney.

Noisy Showerhead

In case your showerhead has squeaking, hissing, or whistling noise when using it, then it might be having a clog. Deposits of minerals, grease, scale, and sediment in the water may build up within the showerhead and clog it over time.

All you need to do to get rid of the noise is to remove the showerhead and clean it. Rinse the interior, piping, and nozzles with a vinegar or ammonia solution. You can clean it deeply by soaking it overnight in a vinegar and ammonia solution.

Use a toothbrush to remove any stubborn buildup. In case this solution fails to fix the problem, you can replace the showerhead with a new unit. Cleaning it excessively might wear out the metal and create more problems.

Hissing Faucet

When a faucet hisses upon turning it on, then you might be having a problem of excessive water pressure. Water at high pressure will shoot through the pipe and faucet at high pressure, thereby producing a hissing sound.

The extreme pressure can damage your pipes and other plumbing appliances over time. Contact your local water company in case there’s a hissing noise and they’ll let you know the ideal water pressure.

You can also check whether the pressure regulator is working properly. If not, set it correctly. Simply set it to the default factory settings. If you had readjusted it earlier on, you’ll need to reset it back to factory settings.

The pressure regulator is typically found somewhere after the water meter. Some regulators don’t have PSI indicators.

Thus, you would want to have it installed in case your regulator doesn’t have one. Ensure you know your regulator’s default setting before readjusting it, else seek the assistance of a professional Sydney plumber.

Popping Water Heating System in Sydney

If you turn on your water heating system in Sydney and it kicks or pops, then it might be having sediment buildup. Luckily, you can catch this sound early enough. Mineral deposits, rust, and limescale may buildup in the hot water tank over time.

When the sediment builds up, it’ll settle at the bottom area of the hot water tank. As water forces its way through the sediment buildup, it produces a kicking or popping noise. If the popping or kicking noise is very loud, then it means the sediment buildup is major.

You should drain, flush, and clean the water heater tank regularly to avoid excessive sediment buildup. Whenever you hear a popping noise from the water heater, then you should flush it.

The hot water tank usually has a valve at the bottom for draining water. Always turn off your heater’s power and water supply before draining it.

Faucet Thud

A faucet thud usually occurs when turning off the shower or sink faucet. Once the water flow comes to a halt, the pipe connected to that specific faucet produces a loud, thud noise.

When the water flow comes to a halt, the pipe connected to the plumbing appliance or faucet shakes and shudders. This problem is usually known as water hammer.

What happens is that upon closing the valve, highly pressurized water comes to a halt and slams against the valve, thereby sending shockwaves through the pipe. That shockwave is the thudding noise you hear in the pipe.

It’s possible to fix this issue by adding air chambers within the problematic pipes. The air chambers or cushions usually compress once they’re hit hard by the shockwaves created by water.

As they compress, they reduce the water impact on the pipes, thereby eliminating the noise. However, the air chambers may get clogged such that they become ineffective in eliminating the faucet thud noise.

In this case, open up the pipe by removing the faucet and let it drain the water completely. Once the water is released, some air will flow back into the air chambers. Doing so will make the air cushioning fully functional again.

Now that you know the different kinds of plumbing noises and what they mean, you won’t be nervous the next time you hear them.

If you’re unable to deal with any of these noises, simply contact us for assistance. We’ll be able to diagnose the exact source of the noise and deal with it permanently.

Also read: Plumbing Repairs that Every Homeowner in Sydney Needs to Know