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4 Causes of Annoying Sounds Coming From Your Water Pipes

4 Causes of Annoying Sounds Coming From Your Water Pipes

Last month, my husband and I stayed in an upscale hotel in downtown Denver. This hotel was rated a 4.5 in stars and had all the bells and whistles to prove it. It wasn’t until we had settled into the room that we realized there was an issue. Within the walls, you could hear a knocking howl every so often. At times the sounds were closer and other times further away. It would take using the bathroom plumbing to recognize what was causing these dreadful noises throughout the hotel.

Whether it is in an older home or a newer building, noises associated with plumbing problems can be an annoyance. Unfamiliar sounds coming from your pipes, faucets or other plumbing fixtures when the water is turned on could be an indication that there are problems or damages to your pipes or plumbing system. Some of the sounds coming from inside your pipes could be reactions from heat, elements, and atmosphere. The key to troubleshooting for potential plumbing problems with noisy pipes, is identifying the type of sound the fixtures are making and exactly what area/pipe the sound is coming from. The four most commonly heard sounds that plumbing pipes and fixtures make are “squeaking” sounds, pipe “banging,” “water hammering,” and tickling in the pipes.

  1. Squeaking Pipes - A squeaking sound, high pitched noise, coming from your pipes is usually cause for concern. Squeaking pipes will not cause major plumbing issues, rather they can pose issue if the sound is disturbing the building occupants. Hot water pipes are the only plumbing pipes that will make a squeaking sound. The squeaking sound is due to the heat of the water causing the pipe to expand as the water passes through it. When the pipe expands, the expansion of the pipe causes it to rub against the anchoring straps, creating the squeaking sound.
  2. Pipe Banging - If a banging sound becomes present in your pipes, this is likely due to lose or faulty anchoring. In typical practice, water piping is anchored every 8 to 10 feet vertically and 6 to 8 feet horizontally. If the pipes are not anchored properly, the water pressure when water is turned on will cause them to rattle and shake, creating a banging sound as they bang against the pipe anchors and other pipes.
  3. Water Hammering- When the water is quickly turned off, a loud hammering sound may sometimes be heard. This may occur for more than one reason, the main reason being that the flow of water coming to a sudden halt causes the pipes to shift abruptly and make a loud noise. If the pipes are not anchored correctly or are loose it may escalate the hammering sound. Another reason though less common for hammering pipes is when the water pressure of the building or home is greater than 80 pounds of pressure per square inch. When greater it is recommended for a PRV (pressure reducing valve).
  4. Water Tickling - Another nuisance is water trickling. Water trickling occurs when a water source continually runs.

In summary, there are 4 main annoying sounds that can come from your plumbing water system. These can be tricky to diagnose and pinpont from a home owner’s perspective which is why we recommend getting a trained and certified technician out to your home. Call the Omaha Sweet Plumbers today.

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