By: Karli Willden
It’s common for pipes to make noises periodically, but obnoxious and loud noises aren’t normal and should be resolved. The majority of plumbing noises are of less significance; however, they can eventually become more serious. While it is difficult to diagnose plumbing issues without a proper inspection, these suggestions may or may not apply to your current suggestion. If you lack the confidence or experience to address your own plumbing issues, call Mathew’s Plumbing at 208-357-3439 or a local plumber near you.
Find the Source
There are many possible sources of plumbing noises. Check the bathroom, the shower, the water heater, the kitchen sink, etc. The faster you discover where the noise is coming from, the faster the problem can be resolved.
Distinguish the Sound
Each sound gives a clue of what the problem may be. Listen carefully to determine what distinguishes the sound from other sounds. The following list describes a variety of problems and their sounds with their possible solutions.
Loose Pipes & Pipe Expansion: (Banging, Rattling, Squeaking)
Loose pipes are a common cause for increased noise from the pipes. If you hear either a banging or a rattling sound, check the pipe anchors to see if this is the source. The noise is caused when there is too much space between the pipe and the anchor, causing it to rattle.
Solution: Tighten the pipe anchors or place a buffer between the pipe and the anchor. New clamps, or pipe fasteners, and cushioning may be needed between the pipe and the anchor to prevent additional noises.
*Note: When placing a buffer around the pipe, leave enough room around the cushioning for the pipe to expand in changing temperature conditions.
Water Hammer: (Loud Banging, Thumping)
If you hear a loud banging noise when you turn off the water faucet, it is likely a water hammer. A water hammer occurs when water or gas gets trapped inside the pipes and has no place to go. A wave within the pipe is set off as the fluid or gas is impacted by a change in velocity, which means a change in speed or direction. This disrupts the water flow and causes the fluid or gas to bounce around irregularly in the pipe, like a wave. The change in speeds also may cause it to slam against the end of the pipe. While a water hammer is a common plumbing issue, it is not one to quickly dismiss. If the water hammer is not resolved pipes can burst, or it can eventually wear on the pipe fasteners, loosen it and cause for uncontrolled water movement. Basically, a pipe fiasco.
Solution: Turn off the main water supply and drain all the pipes. This is the best do-it-yourself solution. Other solutions may need the assistance of a licensed plumber.
Higher Water Pressure: (High-Pitched Whining, Squealing)
High water pressure can be damaging to your home appliances if not resolved quickly. High water pressure is often caused by damaged or leaking pipes.
Solution: Purchase a home water pressure gauge and have it installed by a plumber. Once installed it will be easy to determine if there is a problem with high water pressure. A water pressure gauge is used by turning off all the house water sources, except the faucet which has the gauge. Turn on the water and check the gauge. The gauge should generally read between 50-70 PSI. For specific PSI measurements dependent on different locations, contact your local plumber.
With a constant flow of water and natural pipe expansions, pipe noises should be expected. While a completely silent plumbing system is a bit of stretch, there other are ways to lessen the noise. Contact Mathews Plumbing today for more tips on noisy pipes or a more thorough and in depth inspection of your pipes. Call today at 208-357-3439 and our experienced and licensed plumbers will gladly assist you with your questions or concerns.