Get to the Bottom of the Strange Water Pipe Noises in Your Home

Posted on: 19 November 2019


No one likes noises and disturbances at their place, but as a homeowner, there are some that you cannot stay away from. While most of these can safely be ignored, pipe noises are not to be taken lightly and could mean that you have a problem with your plumbing system. So, what are your pipes trying to tell you? Here is a run-down of four possible reasons your pipes could be making noise.

A High Water Pressure

High water pressure could be responsible for the thrumming and vibrating pipe noises you've been hearing. Water moving at a high pressure through the pipes causes them to vibrate and hitting any adjacent structural boundary. 

For this reason, you should measure the water pressure in your home by using a threaded pressure gauge. Normal water pressure lies between 40 and 45 psi. It could be slightly higher, but for anything above 80 Psi, have your local plumber install a pressure regulator. High water pressure can damage your water appliances that are connected to a faucet or valve. 

'Water Hammer'

Water hammers are the commonest of water noises and occur when a rush of water is stopped abruptly by a closed valve. The hydraulic shock from the moving water travels through the pipe until an obstacle such as an adjacent wall is hit. This normally results in a hammering or banging noise frequently referred to as 'water hammer'.

You can simply avoid this problem by turning the water on and off slower than you normally would. Another possible way of addressing the issue is by using air chambers, which act as shock absorbers when the jolt comes to the end of a pipe.

Use of Copper Pipes

Copper is a malleable metal. Copper pipes, therefore, tend to expand and cool as water passes through them. The expansion of the pipes usually results in a faint squeak or rubbing sound as the pipe rub against structural features. Conversely, contracting pipes produce a creaking and cracking sound.

If you happen to use copper pipes in your plumbing system and are encountering such sounds, the simplest solution would be to lower your water heater temperature.

Excessive Mineral Build-Up

If you experience whistling and popping sounds from virtually everywhere in your house, chances are your water pipes have too much mineral build-up. Mineral build-up creates a rough layer on the inside of the pipes that forms air bubbles, which burst when water is heated, releasing that pop sound. You can alleviate the mineral build-up by flushing your water heater periodically.

The good news is that most of the pipe noise problems are easy to fix and do not necessarily indicate a future water leak. Nevertheless, it does pay to pay attention to the sounds and fix the problems promptly to avoid large and inconvenient expenses later.