Noisy water pipes? Here are the causes and solutions - Plumbing Sniper (2023)

What can make a hookah vibrate and make noise?

Loud banging and vibrating noises from water pipes are disturbing. You shouldn't even be there. So what causes them anyway?

Noisy water pipes are caused by water suddenly shutting off a faucet or valve, forcing water to bounce against the valve. High water pressure, worn valve discs and loose water lines can also cause pipes to hiss, rattle and vibrate.

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Noise in hot water pipes is caused only by the expansion of copper pipes.

Some whistle sounds are so loud you feel like someone in the house is banging against the wall. The good thing is that noisy pipe repairs are usually not very expensive, and in most cases you can fix the problem without having to call a plumber.

The challenge is usually in diagnosing the problem. If you can find the source of the problem, then you can probably fix it yourself. And that will be the basis of this post.

To stop noisy water pipes, you need to install water hammer lightning arresters. If your lines are under high pressure, you will need to install or adjust the pressure regulator. Loose tubes should be tightened and noise washers replaced.

In the case of copper pipes (hot water pipes), you must lower the water temperature or insulate them. Also, gurgling drains clog.

Tall pipes do not immediately mean danger. However, they can lead to very expensive repairs if not corrected. The constant banging/popping causes the shut-off valves to fail and also loosens the pipe connections causing leaks. Also noisy pipes are very annoying.

Now that we know the reason behind your waterlines, let's dig deep and see what we can do to fix/stop them.

1. Water hammer

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To understand what awater hammerI want you to imagine that you are in a fast moving car that suddenly slows down. What happens to you and all the other occupants of the car? Won't you be pushed forward?

If someone sitting in the back of the car is not wearing a seat belt, there is a chance that their head will hit the front seat. This is what causes water hammer in pipes.

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When you turn on the dishwasher or washing machine, or simply turn on a faucet, the water stored in the plumbing starts to come out under high pressure. What happens to the water if you suddenly turn off the faucet or dishwasher?

Since the water in the pipes is still moving (and therefore has energy), it has nowhere to go and cannot sit still for a second. Water hits the valve hard and back up the pipe, commonly known as water hammer.

Whenever you hear loud popping noises in your water pipes, the problem is usually caused by water hammer. This happens when an open faucet or other household appliance suddenly turns off.

To fix water hammer issues in your pipes, turn off the water throughout the house and drain any trapped water to make room in the airlock, then turn the water back on. If that doesn't fix the problem, you'll need to install a water hammer suppressor.

Release the air chamber

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An air sleeve is basically a standpipe on your faucet or other fixture that connects it to your main plumbing. In theory, as the name suggests, the air chamber should only hold air.

Since air expands and water does not, there is room for water in pipes to expand when a faucet is suddenly turned off to prevent water hammer. Over time, however, the air chamber fills with water and is therefore impaired in its function.

If you can drain the excess water in the air chamber, you can eliminate water hammer in your pipes. That's how it's done:

  • Turn off your home's main water supply. This valve is usually located on the side of the water meter.
  • Open all faucets and let the water flow.
  • With the faucets still open, turn on the water at the main shut-off valve. The water drives the air out of the tubes, but not out of the inner tube.
  • Close the taps.

This fix works in some cases but not in others. You then have the second option below:

Install water hammer lightning arrester

A water hammer is a device that attaches to pipes to stop water hammer. It works like an inner tube, but they are different. First, a water hammer is spring-loaded (some have a piston) and therefore never fills with water.

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When water flowing under high pressure in your pipes suddenly has nowhere to go, it is diverted into the trap where it pushes hard against the spring and compresses it, allowing room for expansion while avoiding water hammer.

In most cases, a ram fender should be installed by a professional plumber. However, if you are an experienced DIYer, you can install one yourself. there are many videos about itYouTubeto this end.

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2. High water pressure

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If you experience a fluttering/hissing noise from the water pipes, especially when turning on a faucet or other appliance, the water pressure is too high. The water particles hit the tube with force and at a very high speed and hence the vibration.

The solution to vibrating pipe noise in your home is to install a water pressure regulator. If you already have one, you'll need to readjust or replace it if you suspect it's defective.

But first you must determine the water pressure in your home. Purchase a threaded pressure gauge and attach it to an external connection. Your home's water pressure should not exceed 80 pounds per square inch (psi).

What if you already have a pressure regulator? How can you tell if you are to blame for the vibrating/buzzing noise in your home?

Open one of the faucets in the house and go to the pressure regulator. you can hear it vibrate Put your hand on it and ask someone in the house to vary the pressure (output) of the faucet and then turn it off completely.

If the water pressure regulator vibrates, it is essential to replace it. This is because the pressure regulator isn't doing what it should and you practically don't have one.

While adjusting the pressure on the regulator might help, it's highly unlikely that someone has reduced the pressure. In most cases, the pressure regulator is simply faulty and just replace it.

3. Loose tubes

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If you hear a rattling noise or even a slamming noise coming from your water pipes, chances are the water pipes are loose. This usually happens when a faucet or other appliance is working.

Due to the force of the water, the pipes vibrate and hit the wall or nearby objects. If this goes on for too long, the tube connections will come loose, which can lead to leaks and very expensive repairs.

Loose water pipes are caused by vibration when water flows through them. It is this vibration that loosens the straps/brackets that normally secure the pipes to the wall studs. The higher the water pressure, the more likely the problem will occur.

Fixing a noisy water pipe is either easy or a little difficult, depending on where the pipe is located. The first thing to do here is to locate the pipe responsible for the noise. Turn on a faucet and let the sound guide you.

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If the tube is in an accessible space like the basement or crawl space, all you have to do is tighten or reattach the loose strap or bracket. You can even add more brackets or strips if the existing ones aren't enough.

Before attaching the pipe, you can also add a cushioning material such as rubber or form pipe collars which are used for insulation. Roll up the tube collars and tighten the tube.

However, if the tube is in an inaccessible location, e.g. B. on a wall, you must open and secure the wall. This may require the help of a professional plumber.

However, there are 2 things you can do before calling the plumber. First find the suspect pipe and try to work out where it enters the wall and where it exits.

This involves wrapping or securing cushioning materials, such as rubber/foam tube sheaths, at the tube entry and exit points. The idea here is to try to center the pipe as much as possible and avoid colliding with the wall.

If the above procedure doesn't work and you're willing to take a risk, use a drill to drill a ½-inch hole in one side of the pipe wall stud. Take a spray can of foam sealant and spray a good amount into the opening.

The foam expands, hardens and sets, keeping the hookah firmly in place in about 1 hour. If you are satisfied with the result, fix the hole.

If these 2 don't work or you are not comfortable doing it yourself, contact a plumber. But it will be expensive.

4. Worn washers

A hissing/squealing noise in your pipes is usually caused by a worn washer on one of your plumbing shutoff valves or even the main house shutoff valve. This noise occurs when the device is running.

Most faucets in your home have a shut-off valve that allows you to turn off the tap water if you need to fix it. Look on the wall behind the toilet or washing machine and you'll see them. Sink shut-off valves are usually located under the sink in the cabinet.

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Fixing this problem is usually easy. Let your ears guide you to where the whistling sound is coming from. It will be one of the equipment I mentioned.

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Check the model number of the shut-off valve (and likely the water supply line) and order the exact same one. You can replace the shut-off valve yourself, or hire a plumber or handyman.

However, there is a whistle/hiss that is usually very specific. It comes from inside the toilet tank. This noise is usually caused by a faulty toilet filler valve. The noise is only heard when the toilet is refilled. Replace the toilet filler valve to resolve this issue.

5. Accumulation of minerals

If you live in a hard water area, you may experience noise in the pipes when mineral deposits (sludge) collide with the pipes. The sludge can come from the pipes themselves or from the water heater, which is where a lot of sediment resides.

Mineral deposits produce a very distinct noise, as if chips are striking the surface of the pipe. With this problem, you also have low water pressure in your home, and your shower and faucet aerators tend to clog up a lot.

Unfortunately, this is not a problem you can solve yourself. You will need the services of a licensed plumber. If you have the old galvanized pipes, consider replacing them with copper or PEX.

6. Copper tubes.

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If you have noisy pipes in your house, but only if you hook up the hot water pipes, you probably have copper pipes as well. Copper rapidly expands and contracts with changes in temperature, and sound is created when expanding copper pipe rubs against joints, brackets, wall studs, and other objects.

The simplest solution to this problem is to lower the water temperature slightly. This means less expansion of the copper tubes.

If lowering the water temperature is not an option, insulate the copper pipes with foam rubber sleeves to prevent metal-to-metal interactions with other objects.


Above are the main causes and solutions for noisy pipes at home. Sometimes, in fact, you don't have a noisy pipe, but a noisy drain. There is a difference.

Noisy/bubbling drains are caused by clogged drain pipes or vents. A vacuum is created in the lines, which sucks water out of the fittings as they drain. For example, you may notice the bathtub/shower drain bubbling up when flushing.

If so, you have a clog in your drain line or vent chimney that needs to be removed. If you don't do this as soon as possible, you could end up with a full backup.

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