Plumbing in the home can make groans, creaks and moans – especially if your home is a few years old. Not only can these noises be a bit of a nuisance, they can make you nervous that there is an issue in your plumbing system. Because these noises are common, there are a few common problems and solutions for groaning pipes.
Install a Hammer Arrestor
The most frequent sound is a banging sound from the pipes when the water turns off. This happens a lot when a toilet is flushed. This is called a water hammer. When the flow of water stops, the momentum of the water makes the pipe rattle at the end. To prevent this, a hammer arrestor is installed where shut-off valves are located. When the water turns off, the air in the arrestor compresses and absorbs that last push of water and eliminates the banging of pipes. In time, eventually the space fills with water. To refill them with air, simply shut off the water where it enters the house and open every faucet in the house to allow all water in the lines to drain. Turn the water back on and turn off all faucets. All the arrestors will be filled with air once again.
Loose Pipe Straps
Another simple problem that can develop over time is the loosening of pipe straps. Pipe straps can loosen over time, allowing pipes to creak and groan as water temperature changes. You can stop this annoying chatter from the plumbing with a few screws. You can either add more straps or tighten the existing straps.
Hot water can make your pipes expand. Those eerie noises you hear can just be coming from pipes that are secured too tightly expanding and pushing up against whatever they are attached to. If this is the problem, it’s very easy to solve. You replace your old pipe mounts with plastic pipe clamps that allow for expansion without pressing against anything. This simple replacement will stop the moaning of expanding pipes. You can also add insulation around the pipes to make the temperature change less abrupt.
Drain your Water Heater
You may think the water heater is to blame. Draining the water from the heater and getting rid of obstructions or lime build-up can stop many noises. This is a fairly simple task you can complete yourself. The process usually differs a little from model to model, but usually consists of turning off the water to the heater and opening the tap which drains the water. You may need a hose attachment so that water runs out into the street or driveway
When All Else Fails
If you have tried these steps and still seem to be hearing those noises, call your local trusted professionals to come in and do an inspection. They can usually tell you right away what needs to be done and can start to fix the problem.
When she isn’t showing off her DIY knowledge to help friends out, Amanda Peters is working on projects around her house and writing on topics ranging from home style and décor to do-it-yourself repairs and plumbing advice.