Guides and Tips

Why is there a dripping sound behind my wall?

October 30, 2022
Why is there a dripping sound behind my wall

People mostly hear dripping sounds behind their walls because of leaky and damaged pipes and moisture from the shifting seasonal temperatures.

It can stem from the HVAC, plumbing, and roofing of your house. Unless it is fixed promptly, the damage can worsen, which will translate to complex repairs and higher repair costs.

Know more about the reasons behind the leaking sound within your walls, the signs to look out for, and what to do about them.

What causes the dripping sound behind my wall?

What causes the dripping sound behind my wall

Here are the reasons why your wall is strangely and noisily leaking from within:

1) Running or Leaking Faucets

Usually, running or leaking faucets are the reason why you’re hearing a dripping sound from the wall.

Generally, after you use the faucet and close it, the water will drain down along the pipes behind the wall, and you will hear a dripping sound as they move but only for a short while.

That’s nothing to worry about. However, if the dripping persists long after you’ve closed the faucet, the pipes may be cracked

But before jumping to this conclusion, make sure you have fully turned off the running water in the shower or sink.

It may also be that your faucet could have a broken seal as a result of a loose O-ring, mineral scale buildup, or corroded inlet ports, all of which can cause leaking and annoying noise.

How to fix it 🔧

Although you can perform the faucet repair yourself, calling a plumber is more convenient, as it may only take them minutes to complete it.

As for mineral scale buildup, yes, you can thoroughly clean and replace the seal yourself, but most of the time, it can be more practical to just replace the whole faucet.

2) Damaged Pipes

Can’t seem to locate the source of the leaking noise? It must be hidden behind the walls where some sort of damage or crack has resulted in your pipes.

This could be the problem if you get mysteriously higher water bills at month’s end, rotting wood, and a musty odor or other structural problems at home.

Here’s how this happens: internal pipes can vibrate, hiss, or make a dripping sound as water flows through them. If it’s too hot, the pipes may expand (thermal expansion), and this can produce dripping noise. 

Abnormal flow of air or water inside the pipes can also cause leaking noise.

How to fix it 🔧

This would be demanding work because the plumber might have to take down the wall and install temporary support in the meantime as they work on the cracked pipes.

The plumber’s job is to detect the source of the leak and patch it up before it becomes worse. 

Also, they may need to install an air arrestor or water pressure regulating valve to maintain the pipe’s pressure at all times and reduce motion-related dripping noises.

3) Slow Drains

Another minor, sneaky culprit of leaking noises behind the wall is a slow-moving drain.

Take, for instance, a partially blocked kitchen sink or bathtub on the upper floor of the house.

In this event, the water won’t move smoothly down the drain, being slightly halted by the blockage, and thus, it can also make leaking sounds along the pipes.

How to fix it 🔧

Slow drains are the result of an obstruction in the pipework. This can easily be fixed by DIY methods, such as by pouring boiling water, baking soda, and vinegar

You can also use a plumbing snake to fish up the item blocking the drain’s path with its auger

4) Toilet Tank Issues

If you find that none of the above has been causing the dripping sound behind walls, you can begin to suspect that your toilet tank is the problem.

The problem can be attributed to the tank’s overflow tube below the fill line. It may have been cracked due to natural wear and tear, making the excess water seep out onto the toilet bowl.

Also, if the flapper is incorrectly set in the toilet tank, the water can drip out outside of it, hence the recurring trickling sounds.

How to fix it 🔧

The broken overflow tube will have to be replaced with a new one. If the leaking sound is caused by the mispositioned flapper, it will have to be put back in the right place.

You can get a plumber to fix this issue.

5) Roof Leaks

Roof leaks can be caused by strong rains and storms or wear and tear. If ignored, water can saturate the walls, floors, and other structures underneath the roof and ceiling.

The problem doesn’t stop there. Each time it rains, leaking will most likely occur, causing further damage. The longer the issue goes unfixed, fixing it will also be harder and more expensive.

How to fix it 🔧

You need to get your roof inspected by a roofing specialist not just when a leak happens. Do an annual check so any damage can be repaired as soon as possible, helping to keep your house safe and sound.

How do I know whether I have a leaking pipe behind the wall?

How do I know whether I have a leaking pipe behind the wall

Below are the signs or effects of having a leaking pipe within the wall:

  • Wall or Floor Discoloration

Leaks behind the wall will tend to discolor the surface it makes contact with, like the wall, floor, or ceiling.

  • Mold and Mildew Spots

Moisture or a pool of water that’s not dried thoroughly will lead to the development of mold and mildew. These can be gray, green, or black and can release allergic spores around the wall or area.

  • Water Collection

Left alone, a leaking pipe can pool water inside the wall, damaging and marring its appearance. It often happens opposite appliances that use water like washing machines and dishwashers

  • Paint or Wallpaper Damage

The room’s paint job and wallpaper can be torn or damaged because of accumulated moisture from cold or hot air.

You will know this if you see the paint or wallpaper bubbling and heaving. Soon, they’ll be unable to lift the excess weight and will fall off to the floor.

  • Higher Water Expenses

If you have a water bill that’s higher than what you usually pay, hidden leaks such as those coming from a pipe behind the wall might be the issue.

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