Noisy Pipes? Here are 6 Reasons for the Banging
You’re enjoying a peaceful evening at home when you turn on the faucet or flush the toilet. Suddenly, mysterious banging sounds start emanating from the walls. You listen carefully, but the sound gradually disappears. Sometimes, the noise is harmless. Other times, it could damage your pipes if left unaddressed. Either way, the banging sound is a nuisance.
The first step toward fixing the problem is to pinpoint the cause. Here are six possible reasons for the noisy pipes in your San Jose home.
- High water pressure: This is the most common reason for noisy pipes. Normal water pressure is 40 to 70 psi, but your home’s plumbing may exceed 80 psi. When this happens, the pipes may bang in protest. Hire an experienced plumber to install a pressure reducer valve on the water main. With this in place, the banging noises should mellow out.
- Water hammering: When water flow suddenly stops or changes direction, it can cause a loud hammering noise. This might happen when a toilet valve closes or the shower is turned off quickly. Plumbers can fix this problem in several ways, the most common of which is installing a water hammer arrestor.
- Loose pipes: If a pipe is dangling from its fixture when it should be securely attached to the ceiling or wall, it’s likely to move around when water flows through it. To fix this, you need to anchor the loose pipe to a joist or stud with insulated pipe clips. Your plumbing should be much quieter once this is securely fastened.
- Too little water in a forced hot water system: Sometimes, forced hot water pipes become “air-bound,” which is when too much air enters the system. This can cause a lot of banging and gurgling. A plumber can purge the system and adjust the water temperature to cut down on pipe expansion noises.
- Too much water in a steam boiler: Steam heat is notorious for causing noisy pipes. One possible cause is that too much water is flooding the pipes. Hire a plumber to drain the plumbing, set the radiators correctly, and show you the proper water level to prevent banging noises in the future.
- Loose washer: Did you recently turn on a faucet, hear a clunk, and notice that the water flow became more restricted than usual? This means a washer or other part may have broken off and is now trapped behind the faucet opening. The remedy usually requires you to shut off the water main, open up the faucet, clean it out, and rebuild it. Or, if it’s time for an upgrade anyway, you can replace the faucet.
Hopefully, with this information, you’re able to pinpoint the cause of your noisy pipes. For additional help diagnosing and fixing the problem, please contact Mike Counsil Plumbing in San Jose, CA by calling 408-916-1226.