Loo Academy

Why Are My Bathroom Pipes Making a Humming Noise?

The humming of bathroom pipes is a tune most of us would rather not hear. However, this song is a warning sign that your pipes are experiencing some type of problem.

Many different things can bring on humming pipes. Figuring out the root of the problem is half the battle. Ignoring your pipes siren song can have devastating effects and end up costing you a lot of money.

plumbing fittings bathroom

This article will help you determine the cause of your humming water pipes and includes all the information you need to silence these pipe issues.

What Causes a Humming Sound in My Bathroom Pipes

Water Pressure

Water pressure is a common cause for humming pipes. If your water pressure is too high, you are putting extra strain on the pipes, which creates a humming noise. Besides humming, high water pressure also creates a high pitch squealing noise from your pipes.

High water pressure could affect your toilet, faucet, or shower. Most local building codes require that your water pressure should be between 40 and 80 PSI.

There are a few things that can cause your water pressure to become too high. Your water pressure regulator might be having issues or need some readjustment. The location of your home, such as living on a hill, can also affect your water pressure.

Gate Valve Issues

Gate valves have the vital job of controlling the flow of water through your pipes. If your gate valve is acting up, you will notice the humming noise as you turn your water on and off.

Gate valves are easy to recognize because they usually have a handle similar to the spigot of your outdoor water hose.

Gate valves are an important part of your water supply system, and if they are severely malfunctioning, you may want to consult a professional plumber.

Toilet Issues

The toilets ballcock valve is a common contributor for humming pipes. So if your toilet is the source of your humming, the ballcock valve is likely the culprit.

The ballcock valve aids with your toilet’s flushing and refilling process. When this valve starts acting up, you may hear humming along with other noises. The ballcock valve is also known to cause an echoing or shuddering noise that can last for hours.

In most cases, you can remove the top lid of your toilet and move the ballcock valve to get rid of the issue. But if your ballcock valve is too far gone, you will need to replace it.

Faulty Washers or Seals

Washers, seals, and other fittings that get loose or go bad can cause your pipes to make all types of odd noises, from clunky banging noises to humming.

Washers in your faucet are the usual suspect when it comes to your pipes making noise. But washers and seals in your plumbing can also bring about the same effect.

Other times the incorrect seal or washer is used to connect pipes, or the fitting has simply worn out. In any case, you should not ignore the importance these small pieces have in your water system.

How to Stop Water Pipes From Humming

Stabilize Your Water Pressure

High water pressure is usually considered a good thing as it’s much better than low water pressure. But excessive water pressure will increase your water bill and put extra strain on your pipes.

To fix this problem, you can check your water pressure regulator and reduce its value. You can also install a water pressure-reducing valve to further help with this issue.

Unfortunately, there are some situations in which there is not much you can do about your water pressure, such as living on a hill. In this case, you should keep a close eye on your pipes and your water usage to mitigate any possible damage brought on by high water pressure.

Inspect Your Gate Valves

Gate valves control how much water flows through your pipes, so you should handle them with care.

It’s best to inspect your gate valve for any loose fittings, leaks, or apparent damage, but when it comes to replacing or adjusting gate valves, your best off leaving this work to a professional.

Gate valves are difficult to replace as they usually require all the water in your system to be frozen or drained. In addition, sometimes gate valves are locked and tagged as a precaution making them difficult to access in the first place.

Resolve Any Toilet Issues

If your humming noise starts after the toilet is flushed, the ballcock valve is your likely suspect, but your toilet’s filler and flapper valves can also be possibilities.

The ballcock valve is easy to identify by the big rubber ball connected to a slender piece of metal tubing. Often by gently jiggling or squeezing the rubber ball, the noise will go away. But this usually is just a temporary solution as the noise usually returns.

The only sure way to get rid of the noise is to replace the offending valve, whether it be filler, flapper, or ballcock. Unfortunately, replacing toilet valves usually requires the assistance of a professional plumber.

Replace or Tighten Washers and Seals

As your bathroom ages, so do the washers and seals that keep it running effectively. Sometimes these fittings erode and need to be replaced. Other times they just need to be tightened.

The fittings on your faucet and pipes are the two main noise offenders, so you should begin your inspection there. In most cases, an adjustable wrench is all you will need to tighten these fittings.

If any of your fittings show signs of erosion, you should replace them. Replacement washers and seals are quite inexpensive, will keep your water system running at its best, and help remove humming and other noises.

James B. Parker

I was taught carpentry at a young age by my father. After highschool I worked with my father as a Union Carpenter for six years.

Though I no longer practice carpentry professionally I still do projects at my home and for family and friends.