Have you ever had a water leak and heard shaking, rattling, or roaring? Your house can sound like a plane on a tarmac. Or one of those AAMCO commercials with the car shaking and all that noise from the engine!

In actuality, if you turn on the faucet and there’s a leak, it can cause your pipes to make noise – and the roaring noise can get loud enough to vibrate so that you may hear whining, squeaking, hissing, banging, or rapid machine gun fire sounds. But here’s the thing: each noise is specific to a problem within your pipes. Let’s explore the sounds to help you diagnose the problem.

Trapped Air

Vibrations in your pipes aren’t good for your pipes or your fittings. Air that gets trapped in pipes is a common issue. This issue typically occurs in older homes, and it can be not so pleasant. A plumber must drain your system and reconnect the water supply to fix it.

​Sounds: vibrating and jackhammer sounds.

Water Hammer

You turn the faucet off and hear a loud bang or a series of smaller bangs. These usually occur because of the water pressure. If you turn the faucet off, the momentum of the water can cause a small vacuum to happen, and the stream of water will crash against the valve. If you close the faucet valve slowly, it can minimize it. A plumber can check for a water hammer if it doesn’t alleviate it.

Sounds: a single loud bang followed by a few smaller bangs.

Air Hammer

If you turn the faucet on and hear a bang, this is an air hammer, meaning there was air trapped in the pipes. This can occur if you’ve worked on the pipes and turned the water off and now there’s air escaping. Try opening the faucet a bit more slowly. If it continues to occur, let your plumber know as there may be more trapped air.

Sounds: an air gun, machine gun or bang.

Rattling Pipes

No, a boy band didn’t move in downstairs. In older homes, air hammers and water hammers can occur. Pipes can also make noise if they are not adequately secured to a wall or the ceiling. To avoid further damage, let your plumber know you may have a loose pipe that needs to be secured.

Sounds: vibrations, scraping, rubbing, and rattling noise.


Diagnose the noise and try turning the faucets on/off a bit more slowly. It could indicate a leak if you still hear the noise or find water spots under the sink or in the basement. No one wants their pipes going bump in the night! Let your plumber know so they can assess the situation further.

Contact the experts at Smoak’s Comfort Control today for all your plumbing needs!