If you’ve ever turned on your faucet and heard that lovely sound of clanking pipes, then this article is for you. What causes that sound? It can be one of several things. In this article we will go over the causes and solutions for this plumbing problem.
If you have a basement, check all the pipes running under the floor joists. If any of these are loose you may need to add straps or pipe hangers. Check to see if any of the existing hangers are loose. If so, add a new pipe hanger or strap. Tighten the straps so that the pipe is able to slide freely in the hanger. Make sure you have a strap or pipe hanger about every 3 to 4 feet.
If the noise is more of a dinging or clicking sound then you may have the pipe hangers or straps to tight. They should be loose enough to slide freely in the pipe hanger or strap. You can also add a piece of foam into the clamp to help reduce vibrations in the pipe hanger or strap. If the copper pipes run through the joists themselves, you can squirt in expansion foam to help alleviate the sound.
If you have no basement or the above steps just didn’t work, then you will have to add a water-hammer arrester. It should be installed next to the nearest source of the noise. If you turn off the kitchen sink and the pipes bang, then install it closest to the sink as possible.
First turn off the water and drain the pipes by turning on the sink and flushing the toilets. Cut the pipe nearest the source of the noise with a pipe cutter. Deburr the cut off ends with sandpaper or a pipe deburr kit for a drill. Assemble a t-fittting, short nipple and a female adapter. Clean the ends well of the sandpaper and apply a thin coat of paste flux. Insert the ends into the t-fitting and twist so to spread the paste flux inside the fitting. Using a propane torch, heat the fitting until it is warm enough to melt the solder. Add the solder so that is covers the joint in a thin and continuous bead around the pipe. Solder all the joints in this fashion. Add Teflon tape on the threads of the water arrestor and attach to the female coupling you just installed.
Let the solder cool and harden for a few hours and turn the water supply back on. Check for any leaks. Turn on your faucet and listen to the quiet sound!