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How to Listen to Your Plumbing

Like all components of a house, plumbing in need of attention can start making some pretty strange sounds. It’s always a good idea to keep abreast with what’s happening inside the walls of your Chicagoland home, and plumbing is one of the most essential aspects of that home. Listening to your plumbing is important because it helps you identify whether or not the problem is fixable with a DIY solution, or if you need to call a professional plumber. Learning what plumbing sounds signify will help you communicate to professionals what kind of work you need done, too.

Banging in the Pipes

One of the most unsettling noises your pipes can make is a banging sound. It’s also a relatively common complaint homeowners run into. Typically it occurs when you shut off the faucet, and it has two usual culprits. The first is that your pipes are loose. The pressure of water going through your pipes can make them move if they’re not secured, and they bang against whatever’s nearby.

Water hammer, the second culprit, is similar, though it doesn’t happen because of loose pipes, just because they’re flexing to accommodate the water. A professional should address both these issues, either by tightening the pipes (after ensuring they aren’t damaged) or by installing a water hammer arrester which will stop the water hammer noise.

Whooshing through the Pipes

You probably know if you have hard water. Your shower curtain becomes discolored, your shower head gets all clogged, and the tile in the bathroom ends up stained after a few months without a cleaning. Hard water can also cause your pipes to make a “whooshing” noise when you turn on the shower. This just means that you’ve got some sediment from the hard water built up in the pipes. A professional will be able to flush the pipes out for you.

Unidentified Dripping Sounds

When you hear dripping sounds, it’s usually because the sink isn’t totally turned off. But if you’ve ruled out all your spigots and you still hear a dripping noise, that means it might be coming from your internal pipes, and it likely signifies some kind of leak.

This is the kind of problem you don’t want to handle on your own, because it involves determining the source and cause of the leak, and accessing the pipes to repair or replace them. Dripping inside your plumbing needs to be addressed immediately because it can further damage your pipes, damage the structure of your walls, and cause mold growth from the wet environment.

Whistling from the Toilet

Toilets can cause a number of annoying or strange plumbing sounds. Sometimes they make a soft whistling noise, especially right after they’ve been flushed. If you hear a whistling coming from your toilet, you can usually identify it as the valve by removing the top of the tank when you hear it. The good news is you can adjust the valve on your own. The valve is the part that floats on top of the water, and they usually have easily accessible screws which you can tighten or loosen to make adjustments.

Noises in the Water Heater

Another common culprit of pipe sounds is the water heater. Water heaters can make all kinds of odd noises, from “growls” to loud bangs. Take a listen to your water heater when the water is running, and pay attention to whether you hear the odd noises all the time or just when you’re using hot water. Once you’ve determined that the water heater is the issue, call a professional to address it. Water heaters aren’t something homeowners should deal with on their own.

Don’t let plumbing issues get out of hand. As soon as you hear an odd noise, determine its source and figure out whether it’s something safe to do yourself. Then, call in a professional before any serious problems can develop. Whether you’re having a plumbing issue now that needs to be resolved, or you simply want your plumbing to be checked for wear and tear, the professionals at Black Diamond have you covered. Call them today.

Image provided by Shutterstock

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