How to Fix Noisy Water Pipes


Does your home sound like something from an old horror movie every time you turn the tap on? Do you hear hammering, rattles and shrieks?? Well the good news is it’s not a poltergeist that has invaded your home. The not so good news is that you probably have a plumbing issue that needs to be addressed. There are several reasons why your home's pipes are noisy. Let’s take a look at some of these reasons.

Water Hammer

A water hammer occurs when the flow of water in your pipes is forced to stop suddenly with nowhere to go and results in a loud thud. This problem can actually cause damage to your plumbing, causing damage to connections and joints in the pipe. You should tend to this problem as soon as possible to avoid this type of damage as it can be costly.

Air Chambers

Your pipes have air chambers usually located in the wall cavity at a point close to a faucet or valve where the water supply pipe will exit the wall. These air chambers act as cushions, preventing the water from slamming against the pipe and causing that horrible hammering noise. The air compresses and absorbs the shock of the fast moving water.

Most household plumbing systems will have these air chambers built in at important locations such as washing machines and dishwashers as well as at the toilet and various water faucets.

How to Fix Water Hammer

The simple method to solve the horrible noise of the water hammer is to find the uppermost and lowermost faucets in your home. Shut off the main water supply valve (usually located in the basement). Then open the uppermost faucet. Go to the lowermost faucet and turn it on, thereby draining all the water from the pipes. Air will replace the water in the pipes. Once all the water is drained, close the lowermost faucet and re-open the main water supply valve. Air will push out of the vertical and horizontal pipes as the water pushes through but the air will remain in the air chambers and this will eliminate the hammering noises.

Loose Pipe Mounting Straps

Another problem which can cause pipe noise is loose pipe mounting straps. Sometimes you cannot see these because they are behind a wall. If you hear a rattle and it seems to be coming from behind a wall the cause is probably a mounting strap that has come loose. In this case it is best to consult a qualified plumber to check the problem for you and repair it.

Water pressure

Water pressure that is too high can cause excessive banging in your pipes. It can also cause damage to your appliances such as dishwashers, icemakers and washing machines. To avoid additional costly damage this problem should be checked as soon as possible. You should have a water pressure regulator that is installed at the main water supply. If you don’t have a regulator you should have one professionally installed. If you do have a regulator check that it is set at a pressure that doesn’t exceed 50psi

If you are still experiencing problems, contact your licensed plumber at Taylor’s Plumbing.