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Why are my pipes so loud?

Posted on: August 10, 2016

Your pipes should operate fairly quietly. While the occasional sound of running water is normal, loud, banging noises are not. If you’re hearing banging from your walls when you flush a toilet or run an appliance, you are experiencing a phenomenon known as “water hammer.” While this isn’t necessarily a plumbing emergency, it can be a nuisance, and you need to know how to stop it.

Of course, if this is disrupting the peace and quiet of your Montgomery County area home, it’s time to get in touch with professionals. Call James A. Wheat & Sons at 240-399-5051 today!

Why water hammer happens

Water hammer happens when water is flowing through the pipes at a fast pace, then suddenly stops when a valve closes. This happens when you flush the toilet and the valve closes as the tank finishes filling. The water crashes against the valve, creating vibration and noise that travels through the pipe. Sometimes, this causes it to bang against the wall and make a loud noise.

What to do about water hammer

If you’re experiencing water hammer, the fix depends on the age of your home. For homes built before 1960, plumbing systems have air chambers that help reduce this problem. To resolve it, turn off the water and drain all of the pipes by turning on the faucets, running appliances, and flushing all of the toilets. After you turn back on the water, the air chamber should have refilled, stopping the problem.

For homes built between 1970 and 1990, the system will most likely not have water hammer protection. In these cases, you will need to call a plumbing professional for help.

Homes built after 1990 have water hammer arrestors. These devices work like shock absorbers, stopping the force of the water that causes water hammer. This means newer homes experiencing water hammer either need to have an arrestor installed, or need to have it replaced.

If your noisy pipes are not caused by water hammer, take a look at the straps that hold the pipes in place. If they are loose, then you may hear vibration. High water pressure can also cause noisy pipes, and a pressure reducer can help.

Plumbing services in DC, MD & VA

Sometimes getting to the bottom of noisy pipes is not easy. For help diagnosing the cause of the noisy pipes in your Maryland home, contact James A. Wheat & Sons for help. We have a team of experienced and fully licensed and insured plumbers, so you can rest assured your pipes will get the best care out there when you call us.

Give our family-owned and operated company a call today at 240-399-5051!