Causes of Noisy Plumbing

Do you ever hear noises inside your walls? If your walls “talk” or maybe even gurgle, the problem may not as mysterious as you think. Plumbing issues within walls often cause sounds which can be frightening in that it can be costly.

But, with a little knowledge, you can at least get a good idea of what the issue is so you can do what you can and if need be, call a pro to tend to the rest. Even diagnosing the issue can save time which is money when it’s the plumber’s time. So, read on to find out exactly what might be behind your talking walls.

Most Common Plumbing Issues

Suspicious noises coming from your pipes constitutes cause for concern but…not alarm. The solution might be an easy one. Diagnosing the issue is half the battle. Here are the top five sources of noisy pipes and how to fix the problem:

  1. Ill-fitting Pipes
  2. Water Hammer
  3. Main Shut-Off Valve
  4. Worn Out Washer
  5. Toilet Problems

Ill-Fitting Pipes

Loose pipes are a very common source of noise in walls and anywhere else they may run. When water is flushed, it moves quickly in large amounts and can cause pipes to sway back and forth, thus making a rattling sound.
To correct the issue, look under the floor joists under the house if possible because that is generally where pipes are suspended. If yours are elsewhere, look there. To find the source, have someone flush the toilet while you are under the house so you can identify the culprit. Typically, stabilization is all they need. Tie or tape the pipes to a stable source and your pipe problem should be solved.

Water Hammer

A water hammer is water rushing through a pipe and out of the faucet with too much force and speed. Then, when you turn off the water faucet, the flow comes to a screeching halt that sends the force of energy it was running…somewhere. Generally it goes up a vertical pipe where it encounters a padding of air that prevents the force to cause a rattle. Over the years, however, the vertical riser tends to lose its cushioning effect which causes the hammering effect.

To get rid of the hammering, simply shut off the main water line and open all the faucets in the house, starting with the one that is on the lowest level and working up. The air from doing so will open the cushion back up and there should be no more knocking.

Main Shut-Off Valve

Does the noise in the wall sound like squealing throughout the entire house? If so, chances are good it’s the main shut-off or the water pressure regulator.

To get rid of the problem, shut the water out at the street. Repair or replace the valve to the main house. If that doesn’t fix the issue, the problem may be the manifold’s cold water reducer. You can try your hand in replacing it if you are handy. If not, at least you know what to tell your plumber and you’ve taken some time off the clock.

Worn Out Washer

If you have a worn out washer, your pipes will tell you about it by whistling at you (and not in a flattering way!). The squealing and squeaking, high-pitched whistle can drive you crazy. Often times, the loose washer is in a valve or a faucet that connects to your washing machine. When it doesn’t fit right, the water is forced through an opening that is too small for the volume, causing the ear-piercing noise behind the wall.

To remedy the problem, shut off the valve. Check the hose’s washers and if any are worn or cracked, replace them. The obnoxious whistling should vanish.

Toilet Problems

If the noise you’re hearing comes right after the toilet is flushed and it sounds like a rattle or bang, it is probably the ballcock assembly that regulates and controls the filling process.

You may can repair the ballcock assembly but it will greatly depend on what style it is. Some are easier to fix on your own than others. At the worst, call and plumber and tell him what the problem is. He can come prepared with the part and will be able to give you a good idea of what the charge for labor will be before he comes since he won’t need to spend time diagnosing.

Don’t Let Plumbing Problems Drain Your Budget

Equipped with the above information, you should at least be able to find out what the source of your noisy pipes is. With a little luck, you’ll be able to make the repair yourself. If you don’t have to call a professional plumber, be sure the company is an upstanding one and that the rates are competitive.

The best way to do that is to call around and find out for yourself and also to ask friends, neighbors, and relatives who they recommend. By doing your homework, you’ll be able to find an excellent plumber that won’t drain your bank account

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