Noisy pipes are a relatively common occurrence, especially in older homes. No matter how common this issue may be, there's no denying how annoying it is. For homeowners experiencing pesky-sounding pipes, it's important to understand the source of all those creaks and moans so that you can assess what needs to be done. Some of the most common culprits include too-high water pressure, a faulty toilet fill valve, or air getting trapped in your pipes.
If your pipes are making a moaning noise, this is likely because your water pressure is too high, too much air is being rushed through your pipes, or your toilet fill valve isn't working properly.
Your Water Pressure Is Too High
If the water pressure in your home gets too high for your plumbing system capacity, your pipes may make a moaning, hissing, or humming noise. To find out if this is the case, test your system with a water pressure gauge. (You can find one at your local hardware store.) Make sure the water is turned off inside and outside your home; then, attach the gauge to a hose faucet and turn on the water. Note that an ideal reading is between 30 and 80 psi.
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If your water pressure is indeed too high, you'll need a pressure reduction valve (or pressure regulator) to help control it. Depending on how old your home is, you may or may not have one installed already. If you don't already have one installed, you may want to contact a plumbing professional.
Air Is Caught in Your Pipes
Moaning in your home's plumbing can sometimes be attributed to air in your pipes. If you hear loud moaning, whining, or whistling when you turn on a faucet, this could be because too much air is being pushed through your pipes with running water.
There are several reasons this could be the case, but to remedy the problem, try the following. First, shut off your main water valve (and if it doesn't shut off easily, call a plumber). Next, turn on all your faucets to allow water to flow. Turn on your dishwasher, washer, and shower as well and flush all your toilets until there is no more water available. Once all your water sources have run dry, turn the water back on and let it run for 10 to 15 minutes.
Your Toilet Fill Valve Is Malfunctioning
If you hear moaning and groaning sounds coming from your pipes after you flush the toilet, you may be dealing with a malfunctioning toilet fill valve. The fill valve is the part of your toilet that refills the tank, and over time, it can naturally begin to deteriorate. A faulty fill valve will allow too much water to enter your toilet's tank, which then increases the amount of water that goes down the drain when you flush.
Aside from a moaning or vibrating noise, the sound of water constantly running through the tank is likely an indicator of valve problems. You may be able to correct the problem by adjusting the valve, or you may need to replace the valve altogether.
Enlist the help of a trained plumber if your pipes are making strange moaning sounds to ensure that the problem gets resolved as effectively and efficiently as possible.