Do your pipes sing in the shower more than your do? Do you hear knocks and grumbles every time you turn on a faucet? As professionals, the team at Narrow Path Plumbing knows all about noisy pipes!
Often more annoying than anything, noisy pipes are not always a problem. For people with noisy pipes, even knowing the cause will give some sort of relief, so here is the scoop on why your pipes keep sounding off!
Copper Pipes and Hot Water Make Not-So-Beautiful Music Together!
The copper pipes that bring you hot water expand when hot. When you turn on the hot water, the flow through the pipes makes them get bigger, and this can cause them to start rubbing. The pipes could be rubbing on or knocking against support brackets, joists, or studs as the water flows.
The good news about this is that it is just annoying for most; this may lead to a leak or other issues if the vibration is aggressive and causes a fitting to leak. The bad news is that you probably won’t want to do anything about it, unless you are already planning on remodeling your bathroom. A plumbing professional would need to go into the wall everywhere that the noise is detected and install some sort of insulation or foam between the pipe and anything it could rub against. Otherwise, once in the wall, you could switch out all the metal clamps and supports to plastic ones to make things much quieter.
Some people have noises coming up from their pipes when they turn the water on or off, or when they do both. This problem is called water hammer, and pipes that are not secured properly or high water pressure that is usually the culprit. These noises can be an easier fix.
If you hear this noise more often when you turn the faucet on, it indicates too much water pressure, and lowering your water pressure with a pressure-reducing valve will probably do the trick. Plumbers can also install something called air chambers that provide cushioning.
The noise is more common when the water is turned off; the pipes are most likely not secured correctly. This may be a quicker fix if the issue is with exposed under-sink piping, but the problem could be with pipes in the wall, making this something else you may just want to live with until the next remodel.
There are plenty of other causes for noisy pipes, and we at Narrow Path Plumbing have seen them all. Thankfully, the remedy for many of these can be simple; replacing valves and washers can do the trick. A plumbing professional just needs to give your noisy pipes a listen, and usually he or she will be able to diagnose the problem and let you know if there is a quick fix available to get your pipes to quiet down.