Squeaking, whining, rattling, hissing, tapping, banging. What are those sounds coming from your pipes – and should you be worried? It’s hard to say without a definitive diagnosis, but all that noise isn’t signaling that your pipes and fittings are in good working order.
Let’s look at a few of the more common problems.
Take a good look at your visible plumbing pipes throughout your home to ensure that they are all tightly fastened. Loose mounting straps can allow a pipe to vibrate or bang against the wall or stud. Secure straps can reduce noise caused by high water pressure or water hammer.
High Water Pressure
Rattling pipes, vibrations, or even loud banging noises within your pipes are good indicators that there are fluctuations in water pressure coming into your home. There are water pressure test gauges you can purchase to test the pressure yourself, or you can hire a qualified plumber. If your water pressure is too high (above 80psi), by adding a pressure-reducing valve (water pressure regulator) to your incoming water main line you can maintain a consistent flow of water into your home. Unregulated high water pressure puts unnecessary wear and tear on your plumbing, fixtures, and appliances and can cause leaks or the need for early replacement of fixtures.
This is a fairly distinctive loud and repetitive banging sound (like a hammer) that results when valves close quickly, as with toilet fill valves, faucets, clothes washers, and dishwashing machines. To prevent water hammer, it’s common to have air chambers installed near faucets to cushion the fast-moving water. Thermal expansion tanks can also help prevent water hammering on the plumbing system by giving built-up pressure a place to go, like a shock absorber on a bumpy road.