Plumbing Sounds and Smells That Shouldn't Be Ignored – Sobieski Services | DE, NJ, PA, MD

Plumbing Sounds and Smells That Shouldn’t Be Ignored

Water Pipe

Learning which plumbing sounds and smells are normal will avert the consequences of plumbing problems in your home. Many homeowners take it for granted and pay attention to it only when something goes seriously wrong. Not only is it inconvenient to deal with a plumbing problem, it can also add up to a major expense.

Normal Sounds and Smells

The sound of water flowing through pipes or liquids gurgling down drains is normal. A water hammer, or the sound of banging coming from a faucet or fixture, usually means the water was turned off. Unless your garbage disposal sinks are dirty, plumbing should have no smell.

Signs of Plumbing Problems

Dripping sounds or water flowing when no one is using the plumbing are noises that need your immediate attention. Drips start small but can escalate into a major plumbing emergency if left unattended. Hearing water running through pipes might signal a broken pipe somewhere, or an escalating drip. The smell of mold or mildew often indicates a hidden leak.

Any bubbling or gurgling plumbing sounds from a toilet or sink require immediate investigation, especially if they’re accompanied by the smell of sewer gas. Sewer gas has the repulsive odor of methane, similar to natural gas. This smell can occur if you haven’t used a fixture for a while and its trap has dried out. If using it doesn’t stop the smell, you could have a sewer main problem, or a clogged plumbing vent.


Most drips are easy to fix by changing the washer for the fixture. Broken pipes or frequent pipe banging normally require a plumber. A clogged vent or blocked sewer line almost always require a plumber, especially if wastewater is backing up into the basement, the toilet, or sink.

Learning the difference between normal and abnormal plumbing sounds helps you avoid the hassles associated with plumbing disruptions.

The pros at Sobieski Services, Inc., want to help customers in Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland and New Jersey learn more about energy and home comfort issues associated with HVAC systems and plumbing to live in healthier and more energy efficient homes.

Photo Credit: oOoOoxmodsoOoOo/morgueFile

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