Have you ever been woken up in the middle of the night by the sound of banging pipes? Or have you noticed your pipes making loud noises when you turn on the faucet? Noisy pipes can be a real nuisance, but they can also indicate a more serious problem.
Each of us has experienced hearing weird noises (bumps, creaks, clinks, and clanks) originating from pipes in our home. Fortunately, most of these noises may be disregarded. But, pay attention if you hear banging or hammering sounds coming from your water pipes. These can be a sign that you have a significant plumbing problem.
In this blog, we’ll explore the most common causes of noisy water pipes and what you can do to fix them. We’ll also list down some of the noises that we hear from the pipes and link them to the reasons that cause them.
First lets go through some of the most common causes of the noisy water pipes
7 Common Reasons Behind Noisy Water Pipes
1. Water Hammer
Water hammer is a typical cause of pipes that bang. It happens when a valve is suddenly closed, sending a pressure wave through the pipes. This pressure wave can cause pipes to slam against framing or other pipes, resulting in a loud pounding noise.
Installing water hammer arresters is the solution to water hammer. These devices absorb the pressure wave and keep it from causing pipes to bang. They are considered cheap and simple to install, making them an excellent choice for the majority of households.
2. Loose Pipes
Loose pipes can make rattling or shaking noises if they are not properly attached to the framework or adjacent pipes. A number of causes can contribute to this, including variations in water pressure, vibration from surrounding machinery, and even thermal expansion and contraction.
To repair loose pipes, you must secure them back into place. Maintenance may require tightening any loose connections, installing additional supports, or even replacing broken parts of pipes.
3. High Water Pressure
High water pressure can lead to a number of issues, including noisy pipes. If your pipes are whistling, buzzing, or banging, it could be due to excessive water pressure. This can cause pipes to vibrate, producing a whistling sound, or cause pipes to knock against each other, producing a hammering sound.
Every household may experience high water pressure, but those with well water are more likely to do so. Check that your water tank is set to no more pressure than 55 PSI (pound-force per square inch).
To fix high water pressure, you will need to have a plumber install a pressure reducing valve. This device will reduce the water pressure to a safe level, preventing further damage to your pipes and reducing noise.
4. Air in Pipes
Hissing, whistling, and hammering are all examples of noises caused by air in pipes. This can happen when air becomes stuck in the pipes, causing a pressure imbalance.
The solution to air in pipes is to vent the pipes, which will allow the trapped air to escape.
5. Corrosion and Scale Buildup/Clogged Water Pipes
Corrosion and scale buildup can make the pipes clogged and restrict the flow of water. This can cause increased pressure and vibration in the pipes, which can result in gurgling, glugging, and other noises.
To resolve this issue, hire a plumber to clean the pipes and remove any buildup that may be causing the issue and unclog your water pipes.
6. Worn Out Pipes
Pipes that are worn out can cause a number of problems, including leaks, reduced water flow, and even pounding noises. Pipes can become worn and damaged over time owing to a variety of factors such as corrosion, scale building, and simply normal wear and tear.
To repair worn-out pipes, have a plumber replace the damaged sections of the pipes. This could need digging up sections of the pipes to get to the damaged regions, or it could require cutting into the walls to get to the pipes from inside your home.
7. Improperly Installed Pipes
Improperly installed pipes can also lead to a number of issues, such as leakage, decreased water flow, and even banging noises. If your pipes were not properly installed, they may be vulnerable to movement and vibration, resulting in a range of noise issues.
To repair badly installed pipes, hire a plumber to inspect the installation and perform any necessary repairs. This may include fastening loose pipes, providing extra supports, or even restoring sections of pipes that were incorrectly installed in the first place.
5 Common Causes of Noisy Water Pipes
Now that you are familiar with some common causes of noisy water pipes, it’s time to connect these causes with certain noises that you experience. It will give a better idea, what kind of noise you are experiencing and the reason behind it. It will help you to fix the problem, of water pipes making noise, properly.
1- Banging Noises
The first and possibly most frequent issue that homeowners deals with their pipes is loud banging sound or banging noises. Banging noises originating from your pipes usually indicate a problem with water flow or water pressure.
Water hammers, high water pressure and trapped air in pipes are three of the most common causes of banging noises in water pipes. If the pipes are worn out or improperly installed, they can also cause the banging noise.
2- Humming Noises
Humming noise in your water pipes is usually caused by high water pressure. While your water is running in pipes at high pressure, the vibration might cause a humming sound to develop behind your walls.
3- Gurgling or Glugging Noises
Your plumbing system may make a gurgling or glugging sound as it works to remove extra water. This gurgling noise is comparable to the sound of a beverage being emptied from a bottle.
The main reason behind gurgling sounds in water pipes is corrosion and scale buildup that forces the pipes to get clogged. A physical barrier like a piece of plastic or something like the accumulation of soap and dirt could also causes gurgling or glugging noise.
4- Shaking and Rattling Noises
A rattling or shaking sound is produced by the pipes when they bang against the fasteners or walls, roof and floor, when there are loose pipes. It happens when the pipes are improperly secured to the framing or not connected to other pipes properly or pipe fastener becomes loose or completely detached.
The shaking and rattling noises are heard mostly when you use copper pipes. When warm water passes over the metal surface of copper pipes, it frequently causes them to expand, especially when the hot water heater’s temperature is too high. When copper pipes carrying hot water shrink back to their original size, they can generate loud noises as they scrape against the joists, studs, or wall support brackets of a house.
5- Whistling/Whining or Squealing Noises
Smaller hardware components like washers, nuts, and bolts can occasionally wear out over time and make a whining sound with a high pitch. Around your kitchen dishwasher or washing machine, worn-out washers are the most frequent source of whistling or squealing noises in your plumbing.
In conclusion, water pipes making banging, humming, gurgling, shaking, rattling and whistling/whining or squealing noises can be caused by a variety of factors, including water hammer, loose pipes, high water pressure, air in pipes, corrosion and scale buildup, worn out pipes, and improperly installed pipes. To fix these problems, it is important to work with a professional plumber who can diagnose the issue and make any necessary repairs.
What is water hammer and how does it cause noisy pipes?
A: Water hammer is a common cause of banging pipes that occurs when a valve is suddenly closed, causing a pressure wave to travel through the pipes. This pressure wave can cause pipes to bang against the framing or other pipes, making a loud, banging noise.
Can I fix loose pipes on my own?
A: It is possible to fix loose pipes on your own, but it is recommended to work with a professional plumber who can assess the situation and make any necessary repairs. This may involve tightening loose connections, adding additional supports, or replacing damaged sections of pipes.
What is the solution to high water pressure in pipes?
A: The solution to high water pressure in pipes is to have a plumber install a pressure reducing valve. This device will reduce the water pressure to a safe level, preventing further damage to your pipes and reducing noise.
What is the solution to air in pipes?
A: The solution to air in pipes is to vent the pipes, which will allow the trapped air to escape.
Can corrosion and scale buildup cause noisy pipes?
A: Yes, corrosion and scale buildup can cause clogged pipes and restrict the flow of water, leading to increased pressure and vibration in the pipes and causing banging and other noises. To fix this problem, a professional plumber will need to clean the pipes and remove any buildup.