Water Pressure Regulator Is Making A Humming Noise? (Fix It Now!)

water pressure regulator humming noise

It is an undeniable disturbance, and it happens every time you turn on the water. Sometimes, and often actually, it can be felt through an entire house. And it can feel as if that noise is reverberating through every pipe in the system. Is your water pressure regulator making a humming noise? Then you know that this is what that humming noise in the water pressure regulator can look and feel like. But why is your water pressure regulator making those noises?

Your water pressure regulator is making a humming noise because of a blockage, water pressure (psi) related issue, or improper installation. More skilled DIY-ers can attempt these fixes, although seeking professional help is the advised course of action. A professional plumber can also test the water pressure levels, adjust the water pressure regulator, or safely and correctly install a regulator if needed.

So what is the water pressure regulator? Where is it, and how can you check it? These are all good questions to ask and good things to know before reaching out for professional help.

The Where What and Why of Your Water Pressure Regulator

Home plumbing systems are designed to handle anywhere between 40 to 50psi on the low end and up to 80psi on the high-end. That is the job of the water pressure regulator. It is reported that city water facility feeds can be delivered to homes at up to as high as 150psi. Regulating and maintaining set water pressure levels are the function of water pressure regulators.

Before troubleshooting the water pressure regulator, it will probably help to know where it is. Most water pressure regulators are located near the water main. This is where the water feed, typically from a municipal source, enters your home.

Now, that you know the where, it is time to locate the water pressure regulator. So what are you looking for? Yes, some of us have never had to deal with these types of home repair issues. The water pressure regulator will be attached directly to the pipe. It resembles a bell. Think the Liberty Bell without the crack.

So now that we have checked the where and what, it is time to ask why. As in why is this odd look shaped device making that humming noise?

The Water Pressure Regulator is Making a Humming Noise Because of Improper Installation

Okay, we don’t exactly know how this happens either, but it does. From time to time, homeowners will discover that the water regulator was installed wrong.

That discovery is usually because of the humming noise homeowners might hear as a result of a bad installation And by bad we mean backward. Yes, as in the wrong direction. Closer inspection will help to determine if this is what has happened, and only add more mystery to the problem.

A closer look at the water pressure regulator will reveal (for most models) an arrow on the regulator itself. This marker found in the typical brass casting is there to indicate flow direction. So, how does that get confused? That is the mystery, but if you find that the arrow on the water pressure regulator is pointing out and not in, then it needs to be fixed.

The process of replacing a water pressure regulator requires several skills. Those include pipe cutting, soldering, and basic plumbing knowledge. As it was mentioned before, it is advised that professional plumbing help is contracted for regulator replacement.

The Water Pressure Regulator is Making a Humming Noise Because of Blockage

In what is arguably the least common cause for that humming sound your water pressure regulator is making, blockage from particles and debris can happen. In the event of torrential rains or flooding, for example, water treatment systems can fail to filter the influx of water.

Regardless of how it happens though, blockage in the water pressure regulator can act as a lack of water pressure entering the system. This not only causes a strain on the regulator, but low water pressure is also a known cause for water pressure regulators humming.

There are ways to determine if the blockage is a potential culprit before cutting into those pipes and inspecting your water pressure regulator. One way to help determine if a blockage is impeding the water flow is to measure the water pressure in your home. A water pressure gauge can be bought for less than $50 and are fairly easy to use.

Most water pressure test gauges are as simple as hooking up to an outdoor spout to use and get a reading. If the psi reading is between 50 and 70 psi there isn’t a problem with your water pressure. If the reading is in the 40s or lower, however, there may be a cause for concern. Or if the water pressure reading proves to be fine, then the next step is to make a call to your local plumbing professionals.

The Water Pressure Regulator is Making a Humming Noise Because of Water Pressure Issues

Many people know that low water pressure can result in a water pressure regulator making a humming sound. What may be just as common a cause for that humming noise though is high water pressure.

Using a water pressure test gauge can help to determine if low or high water pressure is behind that humming noise. If the water pressure is a potential concern then contacting a professional plumbing service is the recommended solution. For the DIY homeowner, a wrench and regular screwdriver will be needed.

Adjusting Water Pressure

To adjust the water pressure, locate the adjustment screw on top of the water pressure regulator. Use the wrench to loosen the locknut around the screw, be sure to completely loosen the nut. Using the screwdriver, turn the adjustment screw to adjust the water pressure.

Tightening the screw increases the water pressure, and loosening the screw reduces the pressure. Tighten the locknut firmly, then test the water pressure using the water pressure test gauge. It doesn’t require much of an adjustment to make a change in the pressure levels, so work in slow increments if doing this on your own.

Consider Hiring a Professional Plumber

A professional plumber will ensure an accurate reading, safely adjust the water pressure to an appropriate level. Experienced plumbers will also have the ability to troubleshoot any other causes or potential problems. The good news is when a water pressure issue is a cause for a regulator humming, adjusting the water pressure usually fixes the problem.

When a water pressure regulator makes a humming noise, depending on the cause and severity of the situation, it can sound like the entire house is humming. In cases of having too much water pressure, this humming noise can even be continuous unless the water is turned off. Thankfully, most issues with water pressure regulators have simple solutions.

Related Questions

Water pressure regulators are only one part of the plumbing system. And problems with water pressure regulators are also only one of the many questions that people have about plumbing and water pressure.

Here are a couple of frequently asked questions related to water pressure regulators and home plumbing systems.

Why Are the Pipes in My House Knocking?

If you think the annoyance of having a water pressure regulator make humming sounds is something, then you have never experienced pipes knocking. Not only can this be an equally or even more aggravating sound, it can also be frightening. There is nothing like being woken in the middle of the night by a mysterious knocking sound, right?

There is a reason for that mysterious and probably intermittent knocking you have been hearing, and it has to do with interruptions to your main water supply. These interruptions can cause either variable flows or even the absence of water flow. This results in pipes sometimes being empty (or not completely filled) and banging.

This knocking as a result of these water service and water flow issues generally resolve themselves. If these problems persist or become frequent, however, it may require an inspection of your plumbing system and water pressure regulator.

How Much Does a Plumbing Inspection Cost?

The first thing most homeowners think of doing when they hear strange sounds in their plumbing is to call a plumber. That also leads to another one of the most commonly asked questions, how much will it cost to contact a plumber.

How much it will cost for a plumber to do a job will depend on each job and on what each plumbing situation entails. On average, the median cost for having a plumbing inspection done is between $150 and $200. That is also another good reason to have an understanding of the common causes for the noises your pipes or water pressure regulator is making.

Our plumbing systems typically do a great job delivering the water, pressure, and safety we expect. When those systems start making noises or failing though, we realize just how much we appreciate and rely on them. So investing a little time and effort to fix the problem yourself or investing in a professional plumber are both smart investments.

Upgraded Home Team

We are a team of passionate homeowners and home improvement enthusiasts who enjoy sharing home improvement, housekeeping, decorating, and gardening tips with other homeowners! Whether you're looking for a step-by-step guide on fixing an appliance, cleaning your carpet, or even putting up a fence, we've got you covered.

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