Those loud banging noises produced by the pipes in your wall may be annoying, but the good news is that they can also alert you to plumbing issues that require attention.
A strange knocking sound could be a warning that a pipe will leak or burst, so it is essential that your pipe’s sound is heard and that you take action to fix its underlying problem.
The longer noise issues are ignored, the more chance there is of loosening pipes causing damage.
What sound is that?
A common sound is a knocking or hammering noise from the pipes located within your home’s walls. This is caused by ‘shockwaves’ you can hear because air cushions, which generally form in your plumbing system and absorb the sound, haven’t formed. Known as ‘water hammer’ or ‘hydraulic shock’, water stopping or changing directions suddenly as the water source is turned on or off can create a shockwave that causes pipes to bang together or against the wall. A water hammer can damage your system.
The following sounds also call for further investigation:
- An accompanying rattling sound may indicate that the pipes have come loose and need to be secured.
- A gurgling noise might be caused by air pockets rather than water hammers. Air pockets or bubbles can be removed. They are created when heating water or when valves are loose.
- A clanking sound might arise from excess water pressure created when valves and knobs need tightening.
- There might be a loud thud when kitchen or bathroom taps are turned on or off or when the washing machine or dishwasher switch to the next cycle, indicating water hammer issues.
- A whistling noise can originate from a worn-out washer when the tap is running; or a blocked shower head. A whistling noise after the toilet flushes could be a worn-out ball-cock in the cistern.
- Screeching, squealing or whining noises may not be the kids, but the sign of a faulty aerator.
- Vibrating sounds may be caused by expansion or contraction as water passes through metal pipes that run through the joists or studs.
- A deep rumbling noise might arise from sediment such as limescale or sludge building up in the water heater or blocking pipes.
Solutions to noisy pipe issues
Call a member of our team who can:
- Re-clip pipes in your plumbing system so they don’t rattle
- Replace worn-out washers
- Add water hammer washers to tapware, ensuring it is sealed
- Replace faulty aerators
- Replace faulty duo valves
- Install a water hammer arrestor on the noisy water lines
- Remove limescale or other sediment buildup impacting the air chambers in pipes.
The plumber can also inspect the water heater or water-using appliances that produce a noise problem.
Preventive action you can take
- Soften your water – In some areas of Australia, ‘hard water’, which has higher levels of magnesium, calcium and iron, leads to limescale buildup that stops air chambers from draining and creates the water hammer effect.
- Support your pipes – If you’ve just moved into the premises, check any visible pipes, especially in older dwellings. If the pipes don’t have adequate support, book a plumber. If you are renting, let the agent know. Inadequately secured pipes can damage the water supply line and possibly the walls, so preventive action will save money.
- Take the pressure down – Excessive water pressure might be an underlying cause. Our team can do it, and if the water pressure is high, we can replace the pressure regulator and install a pressure limiting valve.
For more details on our solutions to noisy pipes, contact Curran Plumbing and Electrical today.