Causes of Noisy Water Pipes

Unfortunately, certain water pipes make noises due to clogs, weather, and a myriad of other factors. Any suspicious noise coming from your pipes can be cause for concern.

Here are a few situations that may cause noisy pipes:

-Toilets

-Water Hammer

-Worn Out Washer

-Loose Pipes

-Main Shut Off Valve

Toilets

5 white toilets in a row

A noise problem can come from the toilet. If, after flushing, you hear a banging or rattling at the end of the filling cycle, then it is likely that the ballcock assembly, which controls the filling process, is worn. Depending on the style and how new the ballcock assembly is, you might be able to repair it. Otherwise, replace it with a better one.

Water Hammer

Hand punching out of a silver pipe

Noisy pipes can be caused by several factors. Let's start with what is commonly known as a water hammer. Water rushing through the pipe and out the faucet moves with speed and force. When you shut off the faucet, the water flow is brought to an abrupt halt. But that energy has to go somewhere. Normally in the wall behind each hot and cold faucet is an air chamber in the pipe. It used to be about 10 inches of pipe soldered vertically. Then, when the rushing water was stopped, it would push up that vertical pipe where it would hit a cushion of air in the pipe. That would prevent the water force from causing the pipes to rattle, or hammer. Now, there are commercial air cushions that are attached to the pipe in the same place that does the same job. Hammering can develop because over years, the air in that little vertical riser is lost, and thus the cushioning effect is lost.

To prevent this from happening, you must shut off the main water, open all faucets, and then drain the whole house from the lowest faucet. When you restore water, air will again be pushed into the risers designed to prevent water hammer.

Worn Out Washer

Close up of gold washer screw beside a silver pipe

A worn-out washer in a faucet or valve often causes whistling in water pipes or squeaky pipes. The direct source of this squealing is in the valves that connect to the washing machine. If you notice the squealing sound comes when the washer is on, you have an easy solution. First, shut off the valve and check the washers in the hose. Replace if they look worn or cracked. If that isn't it, shut off the house water and repair the faucet. One of the faucet's washers is likely worn or the valve seat is worn, causing water to be forced through a smaller opening and setting up the noisy pipes.

Loose Pipes

Looping white PVC pipe with dripping water

Another cause of noisy water pipes is a loose pipe under the house. The flushed water moves rapidly and in large volume and can cause a pipe to sway, setting up a rattling effect. Drain pipes are usually suspended from the floor joists under the house and a little stabilization may be all that is needed. By crawling under the house with a flashlight while someone flushes the toilet, you should be able to find the source by listening and looking.

Main Shut Off Valve

Main shut off valve with red handle

Another source of squealing water pipes, particularly when it seems to resonate through the whole house, can be either the main shut-off valve for the house or the water pressure regulator. For the main shutoff, turn off the water at the street valve first and then replace or repair the main house valve. If that isn't it and you have a pressure reducer on your incoming cold water line, it may be in the reducer's manifold.

Loud pipes are not only annoying, but plumbing problems can also occur with noisy water pipes. If this is the case, and you are experiencing any of these issues, you should contact your nearest plumbing expert. JCN Plumbing is a licensed and insured family-owned business, with over 20 years of experience. Call us today to schedule an appointment with one of our experts.

Call us: (305) 770-6860

Office: 14250 SW 136th St STE 3

Miami, FL 33186