Spooky Plumbing and HVAC Sounds

Halloween is just around the corner, but there are some spooky sounds you might hear in your home that have nothing to do with ghosts or goblins. Have no fear; the PROs are here to help you determine what is going on when you hear that banging, clanging, rattling, or screeching!

Banging in the Basement

This banging is one of the most startling spooky sounds on our list! When your furnace turns on, if you hear a loud bang, you could be experiencing one of two issues. The most common is an issue with your ducts. There may be a weak spot that flexes when there is a pressure change between the return and supply ducts.

The second issue is far more serious, but it is also rarer. Ignition roll-out occurs when the flame is bigger than it needs to be, and it causes a mini-explosion when the furnace kicks on. If you have a newer furnace, you are less likely ever to experience this. Newer furnaces equipped with a roll-out sensor will shut the unit down if this occurs. However, if you have an older furnace, we recommend having a professional HVAC technician inspect your unit to rule out this problem.

Ghostly Flushes

Don’t worry; you don’t need to call the Ghostbusters for this one. If your toilet is constantly running, or occasionally flushing on its own, you might have a leaking toilet! Ghost flushing happens when the flapper is leaking and needs replacement, or if the toilet’s fill tube was improperly installed. Both are fairly simple to fix problems, but if you have any questions or concerns about tackling this on your own, it’s best to call in a PRO.

Spooky Rattling and Banging

Are your pipes banging or rattling when you turn your water on or off? You probably have a water pressure issue. If your water pressure is too high, it can cause these disconcerting noises, also known as water hammering. Water hammering occurs when you shut off the water, and the water crashes against the closed valve. Too much water pressure can cause damage to your pipes and every fixture it runs to, such as your water heater, toilets, and faucets. The good news is, this problem is easy to solve with the installation of a pressure regulating valve on your water supply!

There is another issue that might cause your pipes to rattle or vibrate when you turn the water on. Your pipes might not be secured correctly, and they might be loose, or even rubbing against a joist or another pipe. A quick check of your water lines might reveal any spots where the pipes may be rubbing or loose. The fix for this problem is simple. A few well-placed pipe brackets should alleviate the motion and the noise that comes with it.

Popping, Clanging, Banging Water Heaters

We promise you don’t have gremlins in your water heater. The sound you are hearing is most likely coming from a water heater that has sediment building up in the bottom. You see, the sediment is covering the gas burner or electric heating element. When your water heater starts to heat up, it heats the water trapped beneath the sediment first. This causes a popping or rumbling sound because the water trapped under the sediment starts to boil and burst through the layer of sediment.

Over time, this can begin to cause issues. It may cause a water heater to overheat, which can damage the inner lining and lead to leaks from the steel tank. It can also damage the electric heating element if you have an electric water heater.

We recommend having your water heater flushed and serviced yearly to prevent the build-up of sediment in the bottom. Once drained, those spooky noises should be greatly reduced.

Drain Line Horrors

Drain lines can be a real horror story. You never know just what might be causing them to back up or slow down. But you can venture a guess that if you hear a gurgling sound, you have a blockage somewhere. It could be hair, grease, or something else, but the gurgling sound comes from air in the line coming back up the drain because it can’t escape into the venting.

We recommend clearing your drains with a natural enzymatic drain cleaner, rather than the harsh chemicals sold in the grocery store, but if you have a stubborn clog, you may need to call in a PRO to snake your lines.

If you don’t have any problems with slow or stopped drains, the issue may lie in a blocked vent. A vent is a line that draws the air from the plumbing system and allows it to escape, usually through the roof. Leaves, nests, and other debris may be preventing that air from escaping. If you hear the gurgling from multiple drains in your home, this is more likely to be the problem. If you run into this problem, we suggest calling in a PRO to take care of the issue, due to the hazard involved in solving this type of issue.

Are There Banshees in the Basement?

No, it’s just your furnace! If you are hearing a loud squealing or screeching sound, it’s time to call in a professional, and we’re not talking about an exorcist. When the bearings of the blower motor or inducer motor are wearing out, or if the pieces of the blower motor are out of alignment, it can cause these loud screeching sounds. A professional HVAC technician can diagnose the problem and provide a solution.

Clicking, on the other hand, is a common sound, and one you shouldn’t be afraid of. The control board in the furnace has several switches that turn on and off during the cycle of a furnace. These powerful switches may make a clicking sound as they turn on and off.

It’s Not All in Your Head

As we enter the colder seasons, these spooky, unfamiliar noises may become more prominent as you use your furnace more often. If you start to hear noises that you haven’t before, or they become louder or more disruptive, don’t hesitate to call a professional to come to check them out. As the Ghostbusters say, “We’re ready to believe you!” Give the PROs at PRO Plumbing Service a call anytime at 303-660-9831, and we’ll come…to the rescue!

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