Here's What's Causing The Strange Sounds Coming From Your Bathroom Pipes
There are many sounds your pipes generally shouldn't make, and noises like banging, rattling, or squealing usually point to problems in your plumbing system that need to be addressed immediately. Narrowing down the issue and getting it fixed with the help of a professional can protect you from potential water damage and costly repairs.
Water Pressure is Too High
Your home's water pressure will vary depending on factors like where you live and where you get your water from, such as city water or well water. Wherever you get your water from, your home's water pressure should be set within a safe range, which is almost always under 75 psi. If your water pressure exceeds this, your pipes can start to hum, vibrate, or even make shrieking sounds whenever your water is running. You can sometimes test this by turning on another faucet when you hear these sounds. Doing this alleviates the pressure somewhat, so if the sound stops when you do this, call a plumber to inspect your home's water pressure and make adjustments as necessary.
Water Hammer Effect
The water hammer effect causes your pipes to make a banging sound whenever you turn off a faucet. This happens when the water flowing through your pipes comes to a sudden stop, causing the pipe to rattle. This in turn can happen for a few different reasons: the valve could be growing old, your water pressure could be too high, or the pipes might lack a proper method of absorbing the shock of the sudden stop.
If the valve is old, it usually only needs to be replaced with a new one which will properly shut in a way that doesn't cause this banging sound. Your plumber might also recommend a water hammer arrestor which can help absorb the shock as well.
Deposit Buildup in Pipes
Older pipes, especially those made of cast iron or in areas with hard water, are susceptible to buildups of sediment on the inside. Over time, this ends up having the same effect as having your home's water pressure set too high. Since the sediment buildup effectively reduces the area in your pipes in which water can flow, it travels under greater pressure as your pipes try to move the same amount of water with less space.
Sometimes these buildups can be cleared through a process called descaling, but if the problem is not isolated or if your pipes are getting very old, they may need to be completely replaced.
Sewer Line Clog
A sewer line clog can cause your pipes to start making strange noises such as rumbling or gurgling, and this can happen even if you don't notice any water backing up into your drains like it might with a normal clog. A deeper clog like this can slow the flow of water and waste, but because it's so deep, there's still plenty of air in your drains. As the pipes fill with water, this air is pushed back toward your drains, causing your pipes to gurgle and sometimes your toilet to bubble.
Even if this isn't causing any backups, it should still be addressed quickly, as a sewer line clog affects every single drain in your house. A plumber has the tools to locate and take care of deep clogs like this, so contact one immediately if you suspect this might be your issue.
Contact a plumber if you have additional questions.