Rattling pipes can get pretty annoying; they’re noisy, distracting and not something you want to live with. Not only are they irritating, but they can also cause damage to your plumbing and household appliances. If your pipes are rattling, you want to make sure that you get the problem resolved as soon as possible.
While there are DIY solutions to fixing some of the causes for rattling pipes, sometimes it’s best to get a plumbing expert to complete the work as they will be able to diagnose the problem quickly and get it sorted first time round. We take a look at some of the things that commonly cause rattling pipes, as well as how to resolve these problems.
Common Causes for Rattling Pipes
When pipes begin to rattle, not many non-professionals will know the cause. The noises your pipes make determine different problems. Just by listening to the sounds and hearing where they’re coming from, an expert will have a good idea of what’s causing your pipes to rattle and tap.
Here we aim to answer a common question: why are my pipes rattling?
A water hammer is when water is traveling through a pipe, then comes to an abrupt stop due a closed valve and has nowhere else to go. The water hits against this and creates a very loud bang, loud enough to be heard through the whole of the house. It is known as a water hammer since the water is beating against the closed valve and can potentially cause damage to connections and joints on the pipe.
How to resolve it: Most household plumbing systems will have air chambers; an air chamber is a vertical pipe within the cavity of the wall. They can be located in any area where water is turned on and off, but are often in areas where appliances such as the dishwasher are. This is because appliances like this have electric shut-off valves that close quickly. Air chambers stop the water from hammering against the closed valve as they act as a cushion. Without an air chamber, the water would bang against the valve that had just closed.
To stop a water hammer, you need to make sure that your air chambers are in good working condition, so it could mean they need restoring. Again, getting a professional in is the best bet, so everything is done correctly, but it is possible to replenish your air chambers yourself.
High Water Pressure
High water pressure is another reason pipes may bang and rattle. It not only makes you have annoyingly loud pipes, but it’s also wasteful and can cause damage to some kitchen appliances such as dishwashers and washing machines. Water pressure should run between 30 and 55 psi, but it’s best for it not to exceed 50 psi.
How to resolve it: Water pressure is easily adjusted when you have a pressure-reducing valve or water pressure regulator. They are usually located where the main water supply comes into the home. If this isn’t something you have, definitely consider having one installed. While they can be expensive to have installed, they are worth it.
Getting a San Antonio plumber to install one means you can be confident in knowing that it has been installed safely and correctly. In this case, doing it yourself isn’t recommended unless you’re a trained plumber or think you have the plumbing skills for the job. Just remember, if you mess it up, it will result in you spending a lot more money. If you do have a water-pressure regulator, you can use a wrench or screwdriver to adjust it to the correct psi.
Loose Mounting Strap
The mounting straps are usually metal plumber’s tape, or they can be vinyl-coated nail-in or screw-in hooks that attach to the pipe’s framing. When there is a loose mounting strap, it means there is space for the pipes to vibrate against the framing when the water is turned on and off. A loose pipe-mounting strap can also sometimes cause a water hammer.
How to resolve it: If you want to fix a rattling pipe from a loose mounting strap yourself, you first need to locate which part is loose. Once you’ve found the loose strap, you will need to tighten the connection properly, so there is no space for the pipe to rattle. It’s a good idea to check any accessible pipes and make sure they are all tightly connected.
Getting an expert in to sort a loose mounting strap will be a lot faster as they will have all the correct tools, parts, and experience. They will be able to pinpoint where the loose strap is quickly and get the job done promptly and with no complications.
A tip for you DIY folk; don’t use galvanized straps or galvanized plumber’s tape on copper pipes as it can cause a plumbing leak due to the different metals causing electrolysis.
Your pipes can clang and rattle due to a few various reasons, but don’t worry, all of them have the potential to be fixed. Just remember, doing it yourself could result in you causing more damage or problems, which can be costly to rectify. Using a local company is quicker and is also supporting local San Antonio businesses.