Why Are My Pipes Humming and How Do I Stop It?

Posted June 14, 2022 by in Home
white bathroom with a grey vanity sink

A home’s plumbing system is an intricate network full of water supply pipes, drain pipes, vent pipes, etc. Unfortunately, these systems aren’t perfect, and you may notice that some of your pipes start to make noises over time.

Does your plumbing sound like a foghorn? If your plumbing starts producing strange sounds resembling a foghorn’s, there’s reason to be concerned, as you probably have a problem somewhere within your plumbing system. These seemingly random plumbing sounds might scare you a little, and sometimes, even people in adjoining buildings can hear your pipes humming.

Are your pipes humming at night, ruining your sleep and productivity at work? It is time to call qualified plumbers in your area for professional plumbing services.

What Causes Water Pipes to Hum?

The sound from pipes humming usually means that water is flowing in your pipes, and if all your fixtures are off, it may mean your plumbing is leaking. You could be losing water and money, so a visit from your local water heater repair company is in order.

Pipes humming can originate from your toilet, shower, water pipes, water heater, and other plumbing system components. Here are the three main issues that could be creating the problem:

  1. Water pressure is too high for your plumbing system 

Why do my hot water pipes vibrate and make a loud noise? High water pressure is frequently the reason for a high-pitched humming when using your home’s plumbing.

When the water pressure in your house gets too high, your pipes can start to vibrate, much like when driving a car very fast down an open highway. If the humming sound seems like it’s coming from your home’s walls or all plumbing fixtures when the water is running, a water pressure issue is likely the culprit.

The water pressure in your home should be between 40 and 50 psi. A qualified plumber can check your water pressure and ensure that it is at the correct level for proper operation. Adjusting your pressure pump is a job for licensed plumbers, so you’ll need to contact your local plumbing services provider for expert help.

  1. Faulty toilet flapper

Are your home’s pipes humming after toilet flush? Like high water pressure, a worn-out flapper valve in the toilet is a common cause of high-pitched whining.

Like any other piece of hardware, your toilet’s ballcock valve can become loose or wear out over time, resulting in an annoying whining noise. Luckily, a damaged or degraded washer in your bathroom is easy to diagnose. To do this, flush your toilet for the humming to begin, then turn off each valve. If the whining stops, you have found the culprit.

Replacing a toilet flapper valve is a simple task, and many DIY enthusiasts can easily do it. However, if you feel like you aren’t up for the task, seek professional plumbing services and let the trained plumbers do it.

  1. Problem with a gate valve

Have you ever heard a whining sound when you partially open your shower valve? It is due to the washers inside your shower valve vibrating as water flows past them, resulting in the strange high-pitched noise. The same problem could occur with gate valves.

If you hear a humming noise when you turn your water on or off, the culprit could be a partially opened gate valve. The gate valve (sluice valve) controls water flow through a pipe by lifting a barrier out of the fluid’s path. They are usually the ones you see along your water lines with a handwheel handle at the top (like your outdoor spigot). If there is a problem with a gate valve on your water line, you may hear a humming noise when you turn your water on or off. 

If the pipe humming noise doesn’t go away when you fully open the gate valve, you need to call for professional plumbing services. Replacing a gate valve is a simple process, and if you need a plumber, your local plumbers should get the problem fixed in a few minutes.

How Do I Stop My Water Pipes from Humming?

Now that I know what is causing my water pipes to hum, how do I stop the pipes humming? Here’s how to stop the annoying pipes humming sound:

If the water pressure coming into your home is responsible for the pipes humming, you need a plumber to adjust your water pressure so it won’t exceed a certain threshold—about 55psi. That will stop the humming. Don’t ignore high water pressure, as it will eventually cause damage to your plumbing system.

If your toilet is whistling, ensure that the fill valve isn’t leaking, as this is a common occurrence on older toilets with ballcock-style valves. If you can’t replace the leaking fill valve, hire the plumbing services of one of your local plumbers for a relatively cheap repair job.

If your water pressure is at a safe level and your toilet isn’t humming, confirm that all your gate valves are fully open. Maybe the last plumbers working on your pipes forgot to fully re-open a gate valve, or your kids played with a gate valve and left it partially closed.

Are Humming Water Pipes Dangerous?

Are humming pipes dangerous? Humming in your pipes can be dangerous depending on what is causing the pipe humming sound. Too much water pressure, for instance, can shorten the lifespan of many of your plumbing components. In most cases, strange plumbing noises require diagnosis and treatment by professional plumbing services providers. 

There are plenty of reasons why your home’s plumbing system could be making strange noises. While a few noisy pipes isn’t necessarily a plumbing emergency, it’s an unnecessary nuisance that won’t go away, so you don’t want it to persist.

If you experience strange sounds in your home’s plumbing, the best way to fix the issue quickly is to contact a trusted plumbing services provider like Gallegos Plumbing at 805-750-1830 or fill out the online form. Like other plumbing issues, don’t ignore humming pipes as they only get worse.