Plumber Salt Lake City: Quieting Rattling Pipes

June 27th, 2012

How to Control Noisy Pipes?

Is there a strange noise coming from your pipes (pinging, banging, hammering, knocking, shaking, vibrating)? There is a good chance it is what plumbers call “water hammer” and is usually not expensive to fix, which will save you the headache.

Rattling pipes is usually caused by the water lines not being properly secured. This can be fixed easily but only if your water lines are easily accessible. It means that there are one or more places your water lines come in contact with the wood of your floor joists. You will need to get plastic pipe hangers that go between your water lines and your joists. A defective pressure reducing valve can also cause some very strange noises.

Rattling pipes are a common occurrence for many home owners, and even some business owners. The number one reason this occurs is because the washer, in the faucet that was turned on, or a valve associated with that particular tap, is loose. If it’s a hot water line that’s making all the noise, it’s very possible that one of the energy-saving nipples located on the top of your water heater has wiggled its way loose. If you’ve ruled out that your pipes could be touching each other or banging up against the wall, you may need a professional to take a look at your plumbing. Homeowners should never just assume that there is nothing seriously wrong. It’s quite possible those rattling pipes are an indication of something much bigger states Plumber Salt Lake City.


Typically, one way these noises that come about are the result of expanding water pipes. When hot water flows to each plumbing fixture or faucet it heats up the pipe through convection, this causes the pipe to expand. Some instances contributing to the excessive noise is when a hole or penetration is slightly smaller than it should be. You see holes and penetrations to which the pipe travels through should be larger than the pipe to allow for expansion and contraction, by following this method you may avoid the aggravating noises that some plumbing systems can make.

Try to isolate the suspected noisy pipe. Inspect and ensure that the pipe is not in contact with any part of a wooden structure, if so you may have to cut that section of pipe out enough allowing yourself enough space to enlarge or re-drill the hole aprox. 3/8″ to 1/2″larger that the pipe. Before doing any drilling check with your local building code as this info is not meant to be instructional or take the place of a licensed technician or carpenter.

Vibrating Noises in Pipes

  • improperly hung pipes
  • poorly clipped pipes
  • a faulty valve or faucet
  • water pipes that come into contact with a boiler or water heater

How to STOP Vibrating pipes?

Loose pipes are notorious for causing vibrating pipes explains Plumber Salt Lake City. When a faucet or valve is opened pressurized water is directed towards the pressure drop or opened faucet. When pipes are loosely clipped they cause the pipe to vibrate as the pressurized water passes through that section of pipe. This can be sometimes easily fixed by installing additional hangers or supports needed. You may also want to use pipe insulation whether it be armiflex which is a rubberized or foam pipe insulation. Install this around the pipe keeping it from being in contact with any wood or metal objects such as the house framing or other heating pipes and ducts as these tend to vibrate from the operation of a heating boiler or furnace.

Screaming pipes?

Do your pipes whistle when you open a faucet? This can be the cause of a loose or broken faucet washer or faucet screw. Try to isolate the problem by shutting off valves to your sink faucets and toilets. You can open up one fixture at a time allowing you to locate the problem, by this you can do a process of elimination and locate the plumbing culprit whether it be a loose washer or sometimes a faulty shut off that may have sediment that is blocking the free flow of water.

Banging Pipes?

Do you have the dreadful banging pipes in your home? This is a common problem in older plumbing systems because years ago many water systems were not equipped with air chambers or otherwise known as “water hammers.” These are installed typically at the highest point of the plumbing system and fast closing valves such as a bathtub or shower faucet. These water hammers are made of the same material as the water pipes and are sized one pipe size larger and approx. 18″ long. When the plumbing system is initially charged with water these dead end pipes catch air that is already in the filling pipes allowing the rushing water to be cushioned when the water abruptly stops when the valve is shut.

Water Hammer

In case you overhear earsplitting hammering after closing water-availability, this is a water hammer problem that happens once water slams into a shut off control device subsequent to charging down a pipe at high velocity. Left untreated, the recurring collisions ruin piping and fittings. Water hammer arresters are inserted into specific sections to absorb the force of water, and thwart water from crushing into the shut off regulator. Hammering sounds point out that air has escaped say Plumber Salt Lake City. Emptying water from the pipes ought to renew the water hammer arresters. Turn off water supply to the home. Turn on lowermost taps in or around the premises to flush the network.

So, what causes Water Hammer?

Water comes from the water main (which usually travels under the road) which is connected to your water inlet. From the water inlet the water travels through the pipes to the house and delivers it to all the utilities and fixtures. The home water system is usually under a high amount of water pressure, when you open a water valve for example turning on your tap you allow this water pressure to be released and water flows depending on how much pressure you release. However when you turn the water valve off the water pressure is halted immediately and has nowhere to go other than back the way it came, the energy from the water pressure will travel backward causing the energy to bounce and in turn make the pipes vibrate and rattle.

Most pipes are fixed or braced against an immovable object to stop the pipes from vibrating. If your pipes are rattling it means they are not secured properly, this puts pressure on pipe joins and will weaken and burst over time. Older homes do not usually have the same quality or quantity of fixings to keep the pipes steady. Newer homes also have a “water hammer arrester” to assist in stopping noisy pipes. A water hammer arrester is directly fixed onto the pipes. When the water is turned off the pressure will build up and flow into the water hammer arrester which will then dissipate through a rubber diaphragm and not through the pipe. It is best to get rattling pipes fixed as soon as possible to avoid further damage and problems (weakened, burst or broken pipes) expresses Plumber Salt Lake City.