Normal or Not: Plumbing Sounds and Smells and What They Mean

In a perfect world, plumbing problems wouldn’t exist. Toilets would never back up, sinks would never clog, and bathrooms would smell more like roses and less like…well, you know.

But that’s not reality. Although we to have to deal with plumbing problems from time to time, learning which plumbing sounds and smells are normal can avert the potential consequences of plumbing-related issues that occur in your home.

Read on to learn what’s normal and what’s not with your plumbing below.

Normal or Not: Plumbing Sounds


We’ve all been there before. You’re trying to relax in your home but all you can hear is the drip…drip…drip coming from your plumbing. Whether a slow drip is coming from a faucet or toilet, it should be addressed.

Drips start small and may seem harmless, but over time, the dripping can worsen, causing water damage and more expensive repairs. If you’re comfortable enough with your own plumbing skills, this tutorial can help fix a small leak.

For more on dripping faucets and other plumbing mishaps, check out these resources:
How Much Money Is Your Leaking Faucet Costing You?
Help! Dirty Water Is Coming Up From My Shower Drain!


Hearing a rush of water within the pipes of your home can seem alarming, but fear not. The sound of water flowing is completely normal. Similarly, a hammer-like noise can occur if the water main was switched off and then on.


If you hear bubbling or gurgling coming from a faucet or toilet, do some investigating right away — especially if the sound is accompanied by a foul smell.

Normal or Not: Plumbing Smells

Sewer Gas

Sewer gas smells similar to methane and can occur if you haven’t used a fixture for a while and the trap has dried out. Try fixing this first, but if this doesn’t stop the smell, there could be a bigger problem within the sewer main.


If your toilet always smells like urine even after flushing, the tank might be retaining a urine smell. Try lifting the lid on the tank to see if the smell worsens. If it does smell strongly of urine, grab some white vinegar and pour it in the tank. Using a brush, scrub the walls of the tank with white vinegar and flush.

This quick video tutorial can help you clean your toilet tank:


This smelly problem occurs more often than you may think. If this issue plagues you, check the vent pipe. When anyone uses the toilet in your home, waste is removed and sent to the sewer, but it’s not unusual for a less-than-pleasant odor to linger. But if the smell persists or is stronger than usual, the vent pipe could be clogged.

This quick video tutorial can help you clean your plumbing vent:

Plumbing Repair In Clearwater

Sometimes plumbing problems are better left to the professionals. At Climate Design, whether you’re in need of an emergency plumber or routine preventative maintenance for your home, our team is ready to lend a helping hand. Call us today if you have a plumbing question or schedule your appointment online.

Contact Us Today!