Strange Plumbing Sounds

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Have you noticed unusual sounds coming from the plumbing system? It’s probably happened when you are sitting at the table or walking past the bathroom. You hear a strange whistle, hissing or gurgling sound coming from the kitchen or bathroom. However scary they may sound, there is no need to panic, but it may be something that needs to be dealt with by a plumber.

We’ve compiled a list of common sounds that you may hear coming from your plumbing system and what they may mean.

Whistling Toilet 

You might find a whistling noise coming from your toilet. A sound like this will indicate a problem with the fill valve in your toilet. After flushing, the fill valve will refill the cistern. The way that it is designed, it will automatically fill the cistern as required without letting the water overflow. As with all things, over time, this valve will naturally wear out. When this inevitably happens, it will leak water, causing a whistling sound.

Rattling Toilet Cistern 

If you hear a rattling sound in your bathroom, it is most likely an issue with the fill valve in your cistern again. As mentioned above, this valve will wear out. To test if this is in fact the issue, try lifting the arm of your toilet valve. If you find this stops the rattling sound, then you have found the source of the noise. You’ll find that more often than not, this part will need to be replaced to fix the issue.


leaking toilet cistern

Hissing Taps 

A hissing sound coming from your tap will indicate unnecessarily high water pressure. There are a few things which may cause this issue. It would be worth phoning your local council to find out if there are any issues with the local water supply. Otherwise, it may be the aerator on your tap. The aerator is found at the tip of the tap. An aerator functions as a regulator to prevent splashing. If you find that this isn’t the issue either, it’s possible that you need to have a pressure limiting valve installed. This will restrict and regulate the water pressure to something more suitable and is usually installed at your water meter. 

Banging Water Pipes 

Hearing a banging or shuddering noise can be indicative of loose water pipes. If a water pipe is not securely attached to the wall, you’ll hear this noise constantly. It can also be made worse with the addition of water hammer. Water hammer is caused by the sudden closing of pipes. With a constant flow of water, the force of a rapid stop, or closing of pipes, will create a pressure surge in the pipes which creates the noise you may be experiencing.

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Rumbling Hot Water Service 

As your hot water unit heats water, the minerals that are naturally present in the water will, over time, collect and form a layer of sediment. The sediment traps water underneath it at the bottom of the tank, where you’ll find the gas burner. When the gas burner heats the water in the tank, the water trapped under the sediment will boil and bubble and it escapes the sediment layer, causing the rumbling sound. While this won’t cause your water heater to explode, it will cause the tank to overheat, leading to much faster deterioration. 

If you have experienced any of the above noises and are unable to rectify the issues yourself, give Fawcett Plumbing a call and we can help.

Fawcett Group Team Photo