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Drilling Sound In Wall – What’s Causing It? [Quick Guide]

If you are doing renovation work in your house, then hearing a drilling sound is normal.

However, if you aren’t having any work done, then hearing a drilling sound in your home can be alarming. Especially if it is coming from within your wall. 

Drilling Sound In Wall

In this guide, we’re taking a look at why you might hear a drilling sound in your wall, and when to be alarmed by this noise. Read on to find out more. 

There are a couple of different reasons why you might hear a drilling sound in your wall. But the most common reason for this is your plumbing.

Within your walls, there are lots of pipes, and these pipes can make a large amount of noise at times. 

Why Is There A Drilling Sound In My Wall?

First things first, let’s take a look at why you might hear a drilling sound in your wall.

Within the walls of your home, behind the plaster and paint, there are pipes and wires that connect the water and power throughout your home.

So, if you hear a drilling sound in your walls, it is likely either the pipes or the cables

Out of the two systems that run through your walls, it will almost always be your pipes that are making noise.

The sound that we associate with drilling is typically a banging noise. That banging noise is almost replicated by the pipes in your walls at certain times. 

While your pipes do not bang in the same way that a drill does, they will vibrate. Banging and vibrating produce very similar noises, so if you hear a banging noise, it is likely your pipes are vibrating.

Pipes generally aren’t supposed to vibrate, so you shouldn’t be hearing this noise all the time. But, from time to time, your pipes may vibrate when there is a surge in the system. 

A surge in the system generally occurs when a tap or valve is opened after the system has backed up.

This causes a water hammer to form behind the valve, so when the tap is turned on, the air behind it will surge.

There will generally be a large bang, and then a vibrating sound will occur as the water travels through. 

Most of the time, this will occur when you have switched off your water system to do work in the plumbing.

So, if you have recently had plumbing work done in your home, it is fairly normal for your pipes to make a drilling noise. 

Drilling-Sound-In-Wall (1)

Why Do My Pipes Sound Like A Drill?

The most common reason why your pipes might sound like a drill is if there is a “water hammer” in your system.

Water hammers are essentially hydraulic shocks within the system, and they cause a lot of noise in the plumbing.

The hydraulic shock will cause your pipes to bang, crash, and vibrate and this produces a large amount of noise in your home. 

If you hear pounding in your walls, it is perfectly normal to feel alarmed. A lot of the time, this sound is due to hydraulic shock.

But, the drilling noise could be a sign of something more serious.

Banging in the pipes could be caused by a blockage in the system, and if this blockage isn’t resolved then it could be disastrous for your plumbing.

Blockages can cause massive damage to your home’s plumbing system. They are generally caused by clogging in the system, and they can cause your pipes to back up.

One of the easiest ways to identify the issue with your pipes is to find out when the noise occurs. If the noise is permanent then that could point to one issue.

If the noise only occurs when the water is running, the issue could be different. If you are uncertain, it is best to speak to a professional.

When To Seek Professional Help

So, when should you seek professional help for the noise coming from your pipes? Generally, as soon as you feel concerned about your plumbing system, you should call a plumber.

Plumbing systems aren’t cheap to fix, so catching problems early is essential

Calling a plumber as soon as you notice the drilling sound, could make a huge difference in repair costs. Removing a blockage is a relatively cheap fix.

Especially in comparison to replacing huge sections of the plumbing system. If a blockage causes your system to stop working, you may need to replace large amounts of your plumbing.

The price tag for this is not cheap

If you have plumbing experience yourself, then you may be willing to take a look at your pipes yourself. But, we would generally recommend leaving this task to the professionals. 

How To Identify Drilling Sound In Wall

Finally, if you want to identify the drilling sound in your walls, we would recommend using the process of elimination.

Consider the different systems within your walls, and work through them until you find the potential problem. 

Is the noise constant? Then it could be caused by a small animal living in your walls. Does it only occur intermittently?

Then it could be an amplified buzzing noise caused by electricity. Does it only happen when the water is running? Then the issue is likely your plumbing. 

Work through the potential explanations and you will be able to get a better idea of what the culprit is. With this information, you can then contact the correct professionals to help you solve it. 


In short, there are lots of reasons why you might hear a drilling sound in your wall. However, the most common reason for this is an issue with your plumbing.

There are lots of pipes in your walls and they can make a lot of noise when they are working. 

There are some other reasons why you may hear a drilling sound in your walls. But, most of the time, the pipes that connect through your home will be responsible

Thanks for reading! 

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