Decoding Your Plumbing Sounds: Dealing With Banging And Rattling

Although your home's plumbing system is usually an out-of-sight and out-of-mind feature of the house, when you can hear it all the time, it changes things. The pipes that direct water throughout your house can start shifting and moving when the water pressure inside changes. If you're hearing your water pipes, including noises like squealing and banging, that doesn't always mean that there's a serious problem. Sometimes, it just means that your pipes need a bit more support and stabilization. Here are some suggestions to help you address those noisy pipes.

Adjust the Setting on the Pressure Regulator

If there's some pressure built up in the pipes, you might need to adjust the setting on the pressure regulator. Test the pressure on the line by attaching a pressure gauge to the outside hose fixture. Turn the water to the full, normal flow and watch the pressure gauge. It should read less than 60 psi for most homes. If it's reading over 60 psi, you may want to reduce the pressure setting.

Follow your pipes to the point outside the house where the water line comes into the home. On the pipe, right before it comes into the house, should be a pressure regulator. To lower the water pressure in your house, turn the adjustment screw counterclockwise to loosen it. This reduces the water pressure, which should ease the banging response in your water pipes.

Add Pipe Support Straps

If the noises are happening when you use most or all of the water fixtures in the house, it's probably due to loose pipes or insufficient pipe supports. Check the main water lines in the ceiling or the basement while someone turns on the water. If you see the pipes shifting, they need to be supported.

Choose a solid support beam or wood spaces where you can put the mounting screws for the straps. You need to be sure that the straps are secure over time. Then, use an electric screwdriver to drive the screws through the mounting brackets of the strap and secure them to the wood. The goal is for the curved part of the strap to be secure against the pipe, because it will keep the pipes from shifting.

Install a Water Hammer Arrestor

When the banging noise is limited to just one or two faucets, there's a good chance that it's caused by a water hammer, or banging from sudden water flow changes. It occurs frequently on fixtures that feed appliances such as washing machines and dishwashers. Since the valves for these fixtures tend to close quickly, it can cause the pipes to shift and bang. Install a water hammer arrestor on the main pipe feeding the faucets in question to eliminate this problem.

The water hammer arrestor for a washing machine line screws onto the back of the pipe. They're easy to install, because you don't have to do any cutting or other plumbing work. Other fixtures require that you cut the pipe and install a pipe tee before you can put the water hammer arrestor on the line. If you have a dishwasher or other fixture that's causing the problem, this may be necessary for you. In those cases, it's in your best interest to have a professional plumber do the work. To learn more about plumbing, speak with someone like Day's Plumbing Supply Inc.

About Me

Troubleshooting Your Plumbing

When you need to get ready in a hurry or clean the bathroom before friends come over, nothing is more frustrating than a clogged toilet or shower. In addition to gumming up the works, plumbing messes can also be smelly and damage surrounding structures. After all, how will your crown molding hold up against three inches of standing water? I have dealt with hundreds of plumbing issues over the years, and I want to help you to resolve problems before they turn into nightmares. My blog can help you to troubleshoot plumbing problems quickly and efficiently so that you can avoid issues.