Why You Have Noisy Water Pipes

Published: 28th April 2010
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The businessman Barry Jolly is the owner of Jolly Plumbing, a full-service plumbing and drain company in Wilder, Kentucky. Jolly is a graduate of Northern Kentucky University, and has more than 31 years of experience in the plumbing industry. Here, he explains a few common reasons why pipes make noise.

The Toilet Is Shutting Off Improperly.

Noisy pipes in your home may have you worried that something is wrong with your plumbing system. In order to fix noisy water pipes, you first have to properly diagnose what is causing them. One of the most common things that causes pipes to make weird sounds - and people rarely realize this - is when you have a toilet that is shutting off improperly. If the shut-off mechanism of a toilet is malfunctioning for one reason or another, it can definitely cause the water pipes throughout the house to make chattering noises.

Sometimes, you simply need to replace a bad washer to fix your noisy pipe problem, since it may stop your toilet from shutting off all the way. When your toilet fails to shut itself off because of a bad washer, it will start vibrating and make noise in the washer, which will continue and make your pipes chatter throughout your house. So problems with toilets' shut-off valves are one of the most common reasons why people have noisy pipes in their houses.

The Pipe Hangers Were Set Too Tightly.

Another common problem has to do with the way your pipes were installed initially. When your pipes were first put in, if the pipe hangers - the pieces that the plumber installs to support the pipes - were put on too tightly, as the temperature of the pipes changes between cold and hot, that may cause a squeaking or squealing noise to occur.

This is because the change in temperature makes the pipes expand and contract, and if the hanger has been put on too tightly, that will result in an annoying noise when the temperatures are fluctuating. So the tightness of the hangers would be something to look at if you are hearing noise from your pipes. You need to find the spot on the piping where the hangers are too tight, and then just loosen the hangers to allow them to fit more comfortably.

The Piping Cannot Release The Water Pressure.

If you hear a more distinct banging noise, that could be the result of the water being shut off and your piping not having any place to expand with the pressure. If the water stops inside your home, and your piping doesn't have any way to release that pressure, you will get a banging noise.

To fix a banging noise-type problem, I recommend people get something called shock absorbers, which can be installed on your pipes. These shock absorbers are basically just air cushions. So in the future, when the water is shut off, it has a place to expand and bounce around in rather than just making the pipe jump up and down and bang.

There could be a number of reasons why the pipes in a home are making noise, and fixing the problem is usually simple. But unless you are a professional who has been doing the job for years, it can often be tricky to determine what is causing your noisy pipes to begin with. So for the best chances of getting your pipes fixed correctly the first time, I recommend calling a licensed plumber in to help.

Barry Jolly is a writer for Yodle, a business directory and online advertising company. Find a plumber or more plumbing articles at Yodle Local.

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