Odd Plumbing Behaviors And What They Might Mean

Posted on: 26 May 2020

Some plumbing problems have obvious symptoms. For example, if water stops flowing down your drain, you obviously have a clogged drain. If the water won't get hot, you have an issue with your hot water heater. Sometimes, though, your plumbing may start displaying some strange behavior that does not immediately point to any one issue. Here is a look at some of those strange behaviors and what they might indicate.

Gurgling Sounds

Do you hear what sounds like bubbling or gurgling noises after you flush the toilet or after you put a large amount of water down the drain at once? This is often a sign that your plumbing vents are partially blocked. The vents are designed to let air escape from the pipes. If the vents get clogged, however, the air has nowhere else to go other than back out the drain, and it makes a gurgling noise in the process. Luckily, most cases of blocked vents are easy to deal with. Your plumber can send a long instrument with a hook on the end down the vent to grab whatever is stuck in there.

Banging Pipes

This symptom can seem pretty creepy, especially if it happens in the middle of the night. It may sound like someone is hitting your pipes with a hammer — hence the nickname "water hammer" that is often applied to the issue. Thankfully, though, banging pipes are not caused by ghosts. Rather, this can happen when you have poorly insulated pipes and hot water goes through them. The change in temperature causes the metal to contract and expand. Water hammer can also happen when your water pressure is too high. A plumber can address both issues, either by down-regulating the pressure or by insulating the pipes.

Discolored Pipes

If you look at the exteriors of your pipes and they are green, rust-colored, or red, this is a bad sign. Even if you do not see any water leaking from the pipes, the change in color indicates a tiny leak. Over time, the water exposure has led to rust or corrosion. Keep in mind that the leaking water may be coming from further down the pipe and trickling to this area, where it's causing discoloration. A plumber can locate and fix the leak before it gets any larger.

If something seems strange or off about your plumbing, don't hesitate to reach out to your plumber. They can take a look at let you know what's going on; it might not be what you think.

To learn more, contact a resource like Complete Plumbing.