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Why Do Plumbing Pipes Make Noises?

Why Do Plumbing Pipes Make Noises?

Info provided by Hydro Plumbers Hastings:

Have you ever experienced waking up in the middle of the night because of a loud shriek coming from your pipes? If it is any consolation, no, it is not a ghost. On a serious note, if you hear high-pitched or loud noises coming from your pipes, it means that there is a problem in your boiler or heating system that requires your attention sooner than later.

Here are some of the common reasons why plumbing pipes make noises:

Copper Pipes 

Pipes made from copper have the tendency to expand when hot water passes through and some heat is transferred to them. Just so you know, copper is ductile and malleable and at the same time. Copper hot-water lines in tight quarters can expand and noisily rub against the hidden structural features of your home, like support brackets, joists, and studs, as it contracts.

A possible solution for this issue is to lower your hot water heater’s temperature setting a bit. There are some instances when contracting and expanding copper pipes won’t spring a leak. There is no need remove sheetrock and add foam padding around the copper pipes except when remodelling.

Water Hammer

If water is running and it is turned off all of a sudden, the flowing liquid won’t have anywhere to go so it will end up slamming against the shut-off valve. That thudding and loud sound that follows after this is called water hammer. Aside from the fact that it is alarming enough, there is also the possibility for water hammer to end up damaging the connections and joints in the pipe itself. You can address this issue by any of the two methods below:

1. Install water hammer arrestors.

Water hammer arrestors are tiny devices that connect to the water pipes containing the spring-loaded shock absorber. These devices work by changing the water’s force once a faucet has been turned off. Water hammer arrestors don’t get waterlogged. A skilled DIYer can install these components by themselves but many homeowners should ask for help from an expert plumbing contractor.

2. Check the air chamber.

Air chambers are the vertical pipes found close to your faucet, usually in the wall cavity holding the plumbing that is connected to the tub or sink. Air fills up this chamber that can compress and absorb the fast moving water’s shock once it stops all of a sudden. Sadly, after some time, water tends to fill these air chambers, making them lose their effectiveness. You can take the following steps to replenish your home’s air chambers:

  • Turn off your home’s water supply either at the street level or main supply.
  • Open the faucets to drain all the water from the plumbing system..
  • Turn on the water again. This incoming water will flush out the air from the pipes but not out the vertical air chamber where the supply of air is already restored.

Extremely High Water Pressure

Water pipes can also produce noises if the water pressure is extremely high. The worse thing here is that this high water pressure might end up damaging water-supplied appliances like your dishwasher and washing machine.

A pressure regulator is used in most modern homes and this is mounted at the area where the supply of water enters the house. If there is no regulator in your home, you might want to hire a professional to install one.