Why Do You Have Noisy Pipes in Your Home?

Are noisy pipes normal, or is something is wrong with your plumbing? What’s the cause of the rattling, banging and clanging, and what can you do to fix it?

Noisy pipes have three common causes.

Noisy Pipes

The “Water Hammer” Effect

The “water hammer” noise is caused when water is rushing along at high speed, then all of a sudden, the valve closes and blocks the current. The hydraulic shock wave reverberates through the pipe, and causes a loud banging sound.

It’s not just a bother in terms of noise. The sudden pressure can damage the pipe’s joints and connections over time. It may loosen the hardware that holds the pipe in place, and this will only make the banging louder, since the pipe will slam against metal or wood.

Heat Causing Expansion and Contraction

Maybe the sound isn’t so much of a bang as it is a ticking. These noisy pipes are likely made of copper, and you probably hear the ticking when you start using your hot water.

As the hot water hits the cold metal, it starts to expand — that’s where the ticking sound comes from. Once the heat is gone, the pipes start contracting, which produces more of a creaking sound.

Mineral Buildup Could Be the Cause

If you have significant mineral buildup, you’re likely to have noisy pipes. The minerals create a coating on the inside of the pipes, allowing air pockets to form. Once the water gets hot, the air bubbles burst and produce the popping or rattling sounds you hear.

Possible Solutions

For noisy pipes that make a loud banging noise, plumbers can install air chambers that absorb the shock and eliminate the water hammer effect. It’s also possible to install water hammer arrestors — small, spring-loaded devices that absorb the water’s momentum and significantly reduce noise. Or you could try lowering your home’s water pressure.

For pipes that tick or creak, consider lowering the temperature of your water heater so that the hot water doesn’t prove as much of a shock to the cold metal. You can also wrap insulation around the pipes to muffle the sound.

Sounds from mineral buildup can be cured by flushing your water heater on a regular basis or installing a water softener to decrease the hardness of the water supply.

Talk to Your Plumber

Connectionz Plumbing, Heating & Air is here for you — call us today. We have fast, affordable solutions for homeowners with noisy pipes.