Noises coming from your plumbing pipes can be a sign of any number of small issues. However, if ignored, these problems can eventually end up costing a lot to fix. Here are a few reasons why your plumbing pipes hum, creak, or shake.
One simple solution to solving the humming pipes problem is to check for loose pipes. Your pipes may just need to be tightened. The brackets that hold the pipes in place may also need to be checked for loose screws, bends, or breaks.
These issues can be solved with a household screwdriver or regular size pipe wrench.
High Water Pressure
If your water pressure is set too high as it enters your home and flows through your pipes, it can cause the pipes to vibrate, hum, or make other noises. To check your home’s water pressure, pick up a water pressure test gauge from the nearest hardware store and secure it to an outside water tap. Turn the tap on and observe the water pressure pounds per square inch (psi).
Popular Mechanics recommends the typical water pressure be between 40 to 45 psi, not to exceed 60 psi. If you find that your water pressure is approaching or exceeding the recommended water pressure maximum, you may want to install a water pressure reducing valve. These valves can be installed near the incoming main line.
Besides causing the humming in your plumbing pipes, high water pressure can eventually cause long-term damage to your fixtures and appliances. High water pressure can also cause loose pipes. It’s a good idea to check for loose pipes after diagnosing and fixing your water pressure problems.
Aging Water Heater
Your water heater works by heating and reheating the water in its storage tank. Over time, the constant heating cycles can cause the metal in the water heater and its pipes to rust or break down. As the pipes break down, sediment collects in them and at the bottom of the tank. Eventually, there is enough sediment to cause the pipes to hum and make other noises or cause the water heater to rumble and creak.
If you discover the strange noises are coming from your water heater, you may want to consider replacing it soon.
Water Hammer Effect
Another cause of vibrating or humming plumbing pipes is the water hammer effect. This is commonly caused when toilet or faucet valves close too quickly or “hammer” shut. Because the water stops flowing suddenly, it can sound like a hammer hitting the pipes.
If you find the hammering has been getting worse over time, it may be because the air chambers in your pipes that help to cushion against the water hammer effect are filling with water and need to be drained. This can be done by shutting off the main water supply, opening up all of the faucets, and flushing all of the toilets.
A water hammer arrestor can also be added to the pipes if necessary, but it’s best to have this type of repair handled by a professional plumber, as it can involve cutting and soldering pipes.
The hum of your plumbing pipes can be a sign of expensive issues to come. For more information on the noises, your plumbing pipes make or to have your plumbing pipes professionally maintained, contact Capital Care Plumbing anytime, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.