Noisy water pipes can be annoying and it may be a serious plumbing problem. You might have observed some strange and loud noise only when the hot water flows through or, have observed it after you shut it off. The second case is possible with both hot and cold water. It sounds like hammering and that sound is called water hammer.
Causes of noisy water pipes
Several reasons cause noisy water pipes, some of which are as follows:
Water Hammering Problem
PROBLEM: Water hammering is the most common factor for noisy water pipes. It happens when running water with full speed and force is suddenly turned off. This sudden action brings the water flow to a rapid halt and that energy has no way to go. The water then goes up the vertical pipe and hits the air chamber within the pipe. This prevents water hammer but after some years, the air in that chamber loses its effect causing water hammer.
SOLUTION: To prevent water hammering, at first one needs to know the source of the problem. Check out the source of noise and air chamber. To cure water hammering or replenish the air chamber, turn off the main water valve. After that open the faucets and drain the entire house. Wait 15 minutes before turning on the main water valve. Leave one faucet on when you turn on the water main. The water will push the air out of the water pipes but leave air in the air chambers. This should fix the effects of water hammering.
Worn Out Washers
PROBLEM: Worn out washers very often cause noisy water pipes. Most probably, this problem can evolve due to the valves that connect to the washing machine.
SOLUTION: You can fix worn out washers that produce whistling sounds. Check out the washer in the shut-off valve for the washer or faucet producing the sound. If the washer looks worn out, then replace it. If you need help replacing a washer, go to youtube.com for a video describing this process. If the washer is not the problem, then replace the entire faucet or shut off valve. Before you replace it, turn off the water for the faucet located under the sink or the main water shut off valve if you are replacing a washing machine shut off valve.
Loose Piping in House
PROBLEM: When piping is not done perfectly, noisy water pipes can develop very soon. Since water flows in large volume and high speed through the pipes, loose piping can cause swaying of pipes causing loud sounds and leaking of pipes.
SOLUTION: If your problem is loose piping, you will need to reattach them to the wall. You can purchase a pipe clamp/strap. Attach it to the pipe and the wall so that it no longer moves.
High Water Pressure Or Main Shut Off Valve
PROBLEM: High water pressure or problem in the main shut off valve can damage appliances like a washing machine and it can also cause banging noise in water pipes.
SOLUTION: In the case of high water pressure, you will need to adjust the pressure regulator down to between 40psi and 45psi. If you don’t have a pressure regulator, purchase one and install it on the water line after the main shut off valve.
PROBLEM: If you are observing banging sounds after flushing, then the ballcock assembly that controls the fill process of the toilet can be the source of the problem.
SOLUTION: When a ballcock assembly is causing the problem, look if it is repairable or not. These are very inexpensive so it is usually best just to replace the ballcock or just replace the entire toilet flushing assembly.
We hope this information helps you fix your plumbing issues. If you are still having a problem, please call Joyce Plumbing at (619) 454-4266. We provide affordable solutions for all your plumbing issues. We are experts at diagnosing noisy water pipes.