Why are my pipes rattling and banging? Plumbing issues that can mean bigger problems #5

October 13, 2021
Noisy Pipes Can Mean Bigger Plumbing Issues

The security and integrity of your pipes is incredibly important when it comes to protecting your home from water damage. Even the smallest leak or plumbing issue can lead to some major mold growth. There are a number of signs that occur when something is wrong with your pipes of plumbing. One of those issues is odd noises. If you’re hearing knocking, rattling or banging sounds throughout the course of the day, there is something going on that requires attention. However, the problem could be caused by one of a few different scenarios.

Rattling and Banging When Hot Water is Running

If you turn on your shower or sink to the cold position and don’t hear any noises, but hear noises when the hot water is turned on, then this is something to take note of. You may hear the sounds the entire time the hot water is running, and the sounds may occur even after the hot water tap has been turned off.

The cause of these sounds during the use of hot water may be because of issues with CPVC water lines. Take a look to see if you have pipes attached to your hot water tank that are cream or tan in color. These pipes are CPVC. If these pipes were not constructed properly or have damage to them, then you’ll hear a rattling or banging sound. The most common issue that a professional sees in this situation is hot water being passed through an area that isn’t wide enough. The pipe is expanding as the hot water goes through it, and ample space is needed around the pipe to prevent noises. If any kind of friction occurs, you’ll hear rattling or banging.

A professional will figure out the best way to provide more space around the pipes so there isn’t any friction occurring. This could involve rerouting the existing piping to spaces that are more open.

Rattling and Banging Sounds When Cold or Hot Water Has Been Turned Off
Assess the situation to see if you are experiencing rattling or banging after you flush a toilet, after your washing machine is done filling or your turn off a faucet. If any of these situations occur, you could have a water hammer problem.

When your valve is shut off suddenly, the water that is running through your pipes will then crash into the valve. This causes a shaking in your pipes that can lead to a whole host of noises. If the problem is bad enough, it can lead to leaks in the joints of your pipes.

The problem can be fixed in a number of ways. Older homes would need to have their air chambers emptied and then refilled. The problem is likely being caused by air in the chamber being displaced. A professional will shut the main water supply off to your home, open a faucet in the highest and lowest spots of the house and then let all the water drain. All of the chambers will then be filled with air. After turning off the lowest faucet and turning the water back on, the system will be reset after a minute or two.

If you have a home that was built after the 1960s, there are special arrestors that can be installed on your pipes to prevent water hammer.

Noises When Cold Water is Running

Rattling and banging sounds can occur when you have turned on your cold water tap. If you have a water flow rate that is promoting too high of water pressure, this can cause abnormal noises. The water is essentially banging and bouncing along the inner sides of the popes and into itself. This causes the pipes to shake and rattle.

A water pressure gauge can determine the rate of flow of water coming into your home. A normal reading should be between 40 and 80 psi. If you don’t already, you’ll need a pressure reducing valve installed in your home to correct the issue.

Loud Sounds When Water Isn’t Running

No, there’s no ghost in your home if you’re hearing rattling sounds coming from your pipes when the water isn’t even running. You may be experiencing these sounds most commonly in the early morning hours or late at night. This is because sediment may be building up in your water heater. When no water is passing through the system, the sounds coming from your water heater can actually reverberate through your pipes.

A professional can help you with cleaning out the sediment from your hot water tank. The heating element in your water tank may also need to be cleaned or repaired.

When you call a professional, make sure that you have as much information to provide them as possible. You should be able to tell them when you are hearing the abnormal sounds, and what else is going on in the home when the sounds are taking place. American Service Company can determine what the issue is, fix the issue, and also make sure there isn’t any damage that has taken place because of the movement. Call us at 804-739-4094 or Send Us a Message.