It’s never reassuring to be sitting in your home and suddenly hear something strange coming from your walls. If you’ve ever asked “Did you hear that?”, you probably usually hoped that whoever you’re asking says no.
That’s not to say all sounds are dangerous. Houses naturally groan, creak, clank, or go bump in the night all the time. If those bumps and groans seem to be coming from your water pipes, however, that’s another story. That shouldn’t happen, and it could be a sign of trouble. To help you avoid that trouble, we’ve gathered a list of the most common causes of – and solutions for – noisy pipes.
Water hammer happen when a closed valve suddenly stops water running rapidly through a pipe. The water rushing through the pipe collides with the valve with all the momentum it built up on its way through the pipe, creating a loud smacking noise. That noise is your “water hammer”. This violent collision can loosen joints and damage pipes if its force isn’t properly mitigated by your plumbing system.
If you’re having water hammer problems, it’s probably because something has blocked the air chambers in your pipe. Air chambers prevent water hammers by absorbing the shock wave produced when water slams into a closed valve. When they get clogged with water, they can’t absorb the shock effectively any more. Luckily, a plumber can easily clear out air chambers.
Improperly secured pipes
When water runs through your pipes, they’re going to shake around a bit. Unfortunately, there’s no way to completely prevent it. You can control that shake enough so it can’t be heard, however. When pipes are installed in homes, the installers use mounting straps, hooks, and/or tape to secure. Over time these straps, hooks, or tape might wear down, and your pipes could come loose. The shaking, rattling sound you hear might just be your loose pipes banging around inside your walls.
Good news: The materials that attach pipes to their framing can easily be replaced or tightened when loose. Bad news: finding the materials in your walls can take a reasonable amount of time and effort. Consider calling professionals in for help before tackling it yourself.
High water pressure
High water pressure creates bigger problems than just annoying knocking and clanging sounds. It can damage appliances that use water and wear away at the insides of pipes, as well. In most modern homes, water pressure is regulated by a device appropriately named the regulator. Regulators work to make sure that the water pounds per square inch, or psi, stays between 40 and 80.
If you’re having noisy pipes due to increased water pressure it’s probably because there’s something wrong with your regulator. A local plumber could easily find and fix your regulator problem.
No matter where the noise is coming from, the team at Ben Franklin Plumbing in Houston is happy to to help you find and silence it.