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Are Noisy Pipes in a House Normal?

Chrome pipe lines installation

When you hear strange sounds coming from your plumbing, it is easy to understand you have concerns about whether noisy pipes are normal. For starters, noisy pipes in a house can be a common occurrence as the home ages. However, certain sounds often indicate a plumbing problem that needs to be addressed before it creates an even bigger plumbing problem.

Are Noisy Water Pipes Dangerous?

One common sound you could hear is a knocking or banging sound. This sound is usually caused by water hammer, which is when the water is moving through the plumbing lines and the valve shuts off quickly.

When the flow of the water is stopped abruptly, it “bangs” against the inside of the plumbing lines. Most modern houses are outfitted with air chambers that help absorb the shock when water stops suddenly. Yet, these air chambers can fill with water. When they do, you will notice water hammer.

If you do not resolve water hammer problems, they can gradually damage pipe fittings and connections. Should they get knocked loose, you will have to deal with plumbing leaks, potential flooding, and problems with mildew and mold.

So, while water hammer is not initially dangerous, it can lead to a host of other plumbing problems you can easily avoid.

Can High Water Pressure Cause Noisy Pipes?

High water pressure can cause humming or vibrating noises whenever you run water. In addition, high water pressure is not good for your plumbing lines, appliances, and water heater and can cause damages that will further add to your plumbing repairs.

An easy fix for high water pressure is checking and seeing if you have a water pressure regulator installed. Usually, this will be located where the water main comes into your home. If you do, simply turn the water pressure down. However, if you are unsure what to set it to or do not have one, you want to call a plumber for assistance.

Are Rattling Noisy Pipes in a Wall Normal?

While rattling noisy pipes in a wall are sometimes attributed to water hammer, in most cases they occur because they are no longer secured. For example, if you had a water hammer problem that was resolved, it could have caused the fasteners holding your pipes in place to become loose or break.

As a result, the pipes will rattle anytime water is running as they bang against the interior studs or wall. To fix rattling sounds, you would need to pinpoint the location of the pipes first. Then you will need to remove drywall to access the pipes and re-secure them. Since this type of repair can be rather complex, calling a plumber to help is often better.

What Do Squeaking or Whistling Noisy Pipes Mean?

On the palm of the hand is a twisted water aerator

Squeaking or whistling noisy pipes indicate something is wrong with the flow of water through the pipes.

  • There could be an obstruction in the plumbing line.
  • There could be a defective washer or aerator if the sound is coming from a faucet.
  • Your shut-off valve may be partly closed.

There could also be mismatched pipe connections. For example, the connection to your wash machine is smaller than the supply line. Since water is forced into a smaller connection, it can create a squeaking or whistling sound.

However, whistling sounds can be normal if you recently purchased new appliances. So, check the FAQs or contact the manufacturer to find out if whistling sounds are normal.

When to Call a Plumber for Help with Noisy Pipes

When you notice noisy pipes in your house, the first thing you need to do is determine what sound they are making to know what type of problem you have. Next, you will need to decide if resolving the problem is quick and easy, such as:

  • Replacing an Aerator
  • Turning Down the Water Pressure

If not, or if it is something you are not comfortable with, then you will want to call a plumber for help.

To help determine the cause of noisy pipes in your New Braunfels, Temple, San Antonio, or Austin Metro Area house and have them resolved, please feel free to call Christianson Air Conditioning & Plumbing at 512-246-5400 today!

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