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3 Plumbing Noises and What They Mean

"Plumbing" spelled out with copper pipes

Does your home make a ton of noises?

(Especially when you’re home alone, which causes you to freak out because you’ve seen one too many horror movies?)

Chances are these noises are due to plumbing issues. However, these issues are totally solvable and we’re here to give you the inside scoop on what the causes are and how to fix them.

copper plumbing pipes

1) Ticks and Creaks

Do you have copper pipes? Metal, like copper, will expand when warmed and will contract when cooled. When hot water travels through cooled copper pipes, they will expand which will create a slow ticking noise. As these same pipes begin to cool down, they will begin to contract back to their previous size which will emit creaking noises.

No, there isn’t someone waiting for you in your attic… But to avoid hearing these noises and scaring yourself silly, you can insulate your pipes. This will keep them from expanding and contracting as much by keeping them warm and insulated (which will also help muffle the sound).

You may also want to check your water heater temperature setting and lower it to a reasonable temperature of 120 degrees Fahrenheit.

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2) Loud Banging Noises

Hearing a loud *BANG* can be alarming. You’re probably thinking, “Did someone just knock on the door or did someone fall upstairs?” Loud banging noises are common in some home’s plumbing due to something called a “water hammer.”

A water hammer is when running water crashes into a closed valve, which sends a shock wave that crashes into the other end of the pipe. These water hammers can be fixed by having your local plumber install special control valves that prevent the sudden stoppage of water. You should also slowly close your faucets so the stoppage of water is not as sudden.

3) Constant Rattling

Does it ever sound like there’s a rattling or vibrating noise, especially when someone is in the shower, washing dishes, or doing laundry? This is usually because your plumbing pipes aren’t secured and are banging against their respective wall while water is running through them.

To avoid hearing a constant rattling noise when water is being used, you should have your pipes secured with brackets. Before you secure them in place, consider insulating them at this time before securing the straps. Insulation is a good idea no matter what and it will also help absorb some of the vibrations.

Your plumbing can make a lot of different noises in your home, but all of these noises can be stopped if you know what to do!

If you need the assistance of a professional plumber to stop these noises from happening or to repair something, our plumbers here at Tri-City are always ready to help you out! Dial our number and let us know when to stop by!