There are many potential causes for noisy pipes and, luckily, not all of them are indicative of serious plumbing problems. However, because noisy pipes may be a sign of a more serious plumbing problem, it is important to effectively troubleshoot the cause so that you can correct any issues before they worsen. Unattended plumbing problems have a way of worsening quickly, becoming far more expensive and time consuming to repair before too long.
Even if it turns out to be nothing serious, finding out the cause of your noisy plumbing is a necessary first step in finding a solution to those irritating clanking or whistling noises.
The most common cause of noisy pipes is thermal expansion caused by hot water running through cold pipes. The change in temperature causes the material of the pipes to expand, making noises when you use plumbing fixtures. Thermal expansion is easy to test for. Simply fill the bathroom sink with hot water and flush the toilet to run cold water through the pipes, ensuring that they are chilled. Next, allow the hot water to drain from the sink. If you hear the usual noise, thermal expansion of the pipes is the most likely culprit.
If you do not hear the noise during this test, continue troubleshooting by moving on to the next section:
High Water Pressure
Check with your local water supply provider to determine the recommended pressure range in your area. Next, purchase an inexpensive pressure gauge at your local home improvement or hardware store and attach it to an exterior faucet. Turn on the water to check the pressure. If it is higher than recommended, it may be causing a vibration in the pipes which could be the cause of the noise you are hearing. Installing a pressure regulator at the water meter should help to stabilize the pressure, preventing noises from your pipes.
If you water pressure is fine, continue investigating:
Air in the Pipes
This problem will most likely only cause noises while the faucet or valves are open. If this occurs, turn off the main water supply and drain all water pipes in the house in order to replenish air chambers. When you turn the water back on, the noise should be gone.
Finally, if none of these troubleshooting tips have found the source of the noise, be sure to check your water bills to see if you are consuming significantly more water than before the noises started. This may be a sign that the noise is caused by an undiscovered leak! If you think this might be the cause, be sure to contact Green City Plumber straight away.