What Causes Noisy Pipes? (8 Most Common Reasons)

If you’ve ever run a bath and then heard the sound of rushing water coming from your pipes, you know just how annoying noisy pipes can be.

But what makes them make all that noise in pipes when water is running?

There are a few different things that can cause noisy water pipes, and it’s not always easy to determine the cause.

The most common culprit is water pressure but this is not the only reason that can cause your pipes to make noise. In this post, we’ll take a look at some of the most common causes of pipe noise.

What Causes Noisy Pipes

8 Common Causes of Noisy Water Pipes

Living in a home with water pipes making noise can be frustrating. You may hear a loud noise every time you turn on the faucet, and it can be difficult to get any peace and quiet.

There are several reasons why your pipes might be making noise. So, what causes noisy pipes?

Banging

If you are hearing a banging noise in water pipes, it is possible that there is an issue with water flow or pressure. Water hammers and air bubbles are the most common roots of this problem.

Water Hammer

Water hammers can occur when a valve is turned off too quickly, resulting in a sudden stop of water flow. This sudden stop creates a pressure water wave that rushes inside the pipes with incredible speed, making a bang sound. It is not always one large bang that you hear but sometimes a series of smaller ones. 

Air Bubbles

Another potential cause for the banging noise could be air bubbles that become trapped in the water line. The immediate turning on of the faucet can cause a sudden release of these air bubbles, which results in a banging noise.

There can be many other causes for the noise from water pipes as well, so it is best to have a professional come and take a look to diagnose the problem.

Humming

The high speed and pressure of the water coursing through your pipes can cause them to vibrate and shake. And this vibration can create an annoying humming sound, which can be heard all throughout your home when you have running water.

The increase in water pressure can be due to a variety of reasons. In most cases, it is caused by an issue with the well water in the home and we recommend you don’t let the water pressure in your tank exceed 55 PSI (Pound-Force Per Square Inch).

Most homes these days are equipped with a pressure regulator which is a very useful invention. It is generally mounted where the water supply enters your house. If your home doesn’t have one, you should really consider installing one.

But if you have one and you’re unsure about the proper setting or if you don’t have access to a water pressure meter, it’s always best to seek the advice of an expert. They can help you determine the optimal setting for your home’s water pressure.

Gurgling

The gurgling sound happens when extra water is trying to drain out of your plumbing system. Have you ever heard the sound of a water bottle being emptied? If so, then you know what the gurgling noise coming from your pipes sounds like.

This gurgling sound is the indication of a clogged pipe that is not allowing the water to flow as it should. It might be the blockage of some physical things like pieces of plastic or the presence of too much dirt.

The best option would be to call a professional plumber who can take a look at your pipes and remove the blockage quickly. This will help prevent any further problems and save you from any costly repairs.

Rattling

You may not think about them often, but the pipes that run through your house are affixed to the walls, floors, and ceilings with split ring hanger support or any other form of fastener. This fastener ensures that your pipes don’t move around.

But if the fastener becomes loose, then you’ll start to hear a rattling sound as the pipes hit against the fastener or any other objects. You should call in a plumber when you notice any rattling noises approaching from the back side of your home’s ceilings, walls, and floors.

Squealing or Whistling

Squealing and Whistling happen when the pipes are loose and vibrating against each other. One common and easy way to fix this is by simply tightening the fittings.

If you are still hearing the noise after tightening everything, then you may need to replace a few washers or other hardware. Your plumbing system includes many small pieces of components like faucets, nuts, bolts and valves. Over time, these small pieces can wear and produce a high-pitched whining noise.

The chances of your plumbing system squealing or whistling are increased nearby the dishwasher or washing machine. It is because these appliances have connections to your plumbing that use washers.

These appliances tend to move around when they are in use, and this movement can loosen the washer or other components, causing it to produce a Squealing or Whistling noise.

So, if you notice a high-pitched noise coming from your appliances, it is best to have a plumber check that everything is working properly.

Copper Pipes

Copper tends to expand when it is heated and vice-versa. When the hot water passes through the pipes, it will transfer some of its warmth to the metal and make the copper expand slightly. The expanding of copper and the contraction back to its original size can make it scrape against the hidden structures in your home.

You can try to solve this problem by decreasing the temperature of your water heater by a few degrees. This will help lower the water temperature slightly so that it doesn’t cause the pipes to expand as much.

The expansion and contraction of copper pipes will not produce any leaks. Unless you are making major changes to your home, there is no point in removing the drywall to fix this problem.

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Final Thoughts

So, What causes noisy pipes? The answer is that there are a few different things that could be causing the noise.

The good news is that sometimes, water pipe noise is caused by something simple and easy to fix. If your water pressure is too high, it can cause your pipes to vibrate and make noise.

You can adjust your water pressure by turning it down from the water pressure regulator.

Another common cause of noisy pipes is loose fittings. When fittings aren’t tightened properly, they can start making a Squealing or Whistling noise as water flows through them. If the problem is something that you can’t fix, then it might be time to call in a professional and get to the bottom of the problem.