There are many reasons for noisy plumbing pipes, including high water pressure, water hammers, sediment buildup, and more. Pipe noises can range from loud shaking and banging to high-pitched squealing and squeaking.
While it’s important to properly troubleshoot your noisy pipe problems, sometimes the noise is simply due to normal operation. If there is nothing wrong with your plumbing, but your pipes are still rattling, vibrating, and shaking, continue reading to learn how to stabilize your pipes and reduce that god-awful noise.
How to Quiet Noisy Pipes
Shaking, Rattling, and Banging
One of the most common pipe noises is a water hammer. This occurs when your turn off the water and you hear the pies slam to a stop, causing an abrupt hammering noise. If you are experiencing a water hammer, contact a professional plumber to install or restore air chambers and/or water hammer arrestors.
If, however, it’s not a water hammer problem, you may want to inspect all of your pipes and how they are anchored. Often shaking and rattling pipe noises are the result of loose or missing pipe clamps and anchors.
- Turn the water on and check the pipes.
- Follow the sound of the vibrating section.
- Hopefully, you will see the section of pipe that is loose in its clamps or supports.
- Tighten any loose clamps you see.
- There should be a clamp every 6-8 feet on horizontal pipes and one every 8-10 feet for vertical pipes.
- Don’t use galvanized anchors for copper pipes.
If your pipes are still rattling, shaking, squeaking, add a cushion:
- To eliminate shaking and banging, add a piece of cushioning foam by inserting a silicon type product or rubber isolator to the inside of anchors near the vibrating pipe.
- Don’t tighten too much. Leave some room for expansion, especially around plastic and hot water pipes.
- For pipes running along masonry walls, nail a block of wood using masonry nails. Then, anchor the pipe to the wood with a pipe strap.
Usually, pipes that squeak come from hot water pipes. When the hot water pipes expand, they can rub up against the anchor or support and cause a squeaking sound.
Just as you would for banging pipes, add a piece of rubber between the pipe and its support.
Sometimes, the cause of your loud pipes is excessive water pressure. Anything above 80 psi is considered high pressure.
You can test your water pressure with a water pressure gauge. If your pressure is out of whack, contact a professional to add or adjust a pressure-reducing valve.
Bonus Tip: Add pipe insulation sleeves. This not only helps to reduce pipe noise, it improves energy efficiency by insulating water temperatures. Simply go to your home improvement store, purchase pipe insulation foam, and follow the instructions. (Make sure the pies are completely dry before applying insulation.)
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