Top 5 Ways to Silence Noisy Pipes

Do the pipes in your home make enough noise to qualify for a role in an off Broadway version of “Stomp?” If so, you have three options to choose from. First, you could opt to put up with the noise. Second, you could call a plumber. Third, you could attempt to correct your home’s noisy pipes yourself. Personally, I am partial to option three. I once owned a home that was over 100 years old and it was plagued with noisy pipe issues. I would always try and fix the problems myself. By trial and error, I discovered that there are five tasks that will usually silence noisy pipes. Here’s a quick look at each one:

Install Pipe Insulation

Believe it or not, sometimes relief from noisy pipes is just a piece of insulation away. My former home had water pipes that ran through an uninsulated basement. Differences in temperature between the air in the basement and the water inside the pipes would cause the pipes to expand and contract. Those expansions and contractions would cause a banging noise that I was able to silence by wrapping the pipes with insulation. The pipe insulation was inexpensive to obtain and easy to install. In my experience, a 6 foot length of pipe insulation will cost you less than $1 and take you less than 5 minutes to install.

Adjust Hanging Straps and Clamps

While insulating the pipes in my former home, I also took the time to replace and adjust the pipe’s hanging straps. I found that doing so also helped to silence the pipes. Prior to making those adjustments and replacements, the pipes would rattle and bang up against the home’s joists and rafters. The hanger straps were not difficult to replace or adjust either. Based on my experience, a 25 foot roll of galvanized steel hanger strap will lighten your wallet by about $6. You’ll also need to invest in a box of galvanized screws. Installation is just a matter of measuring, cutting and screwing the hanger straps into place.

Install a Pressure Reducing Valve

If your home’s pipes make funky bubbling noises and high pitched squeals, your home’s water pressure could be to blame. I would suggest that you check the water pressure in your home. You can check it using a store bought, water pressure gauge test. You can usually purchase a water pressure gauge test through home improvement stores for less than $15. If the water pressure turns out to be too high, you may want to consider installing a pressure reducing valve. It should help to reduce the noise. Pressure reducing valves may be purchased through home improvement and plumbing supply stores. In my experience, prices for pressure reducing valves start around $53.

Flush the Pipes and Replace Leaky Valves

Sometimes flushing the pipes will help to reduce noises caused by excess sediment or air. Replacing leaky valves also helps. Leaky valves and sediment clogged pipes are often identified by whistling noises. The whistling noise is typically caused by the water trying to force its way through a narrow opening. Air in the pipes will traditionally cause a banging noise and cause water to spurt out of your home’s faucets when you turn them on.

Install a Shock Absorber or Air Chamber

If none of the other tasks silenced your home’s noisy pipes, you may want to consider installing either a shock absorber or an air chamber. Either one will help to reduce incidents of water hammer. Shock absorbers are available for purchase through plumbing supply stores. Prices vary wildly based on the type of shock absorber needed. In general, you may expect to pay anywhere from $16 to $700 for a shock absorber. Air chambers, on the other hand, tend to be less expensive. They are traditionally created by installing an extra long and wide, capped stretch of pipe onto a home’s supply line.

Source: Personal Experience

Killeen Gonzalez has a history of completing DIY home improvement projects with her family.

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