Loud Pipes: Why Are My Pipes Making Noise?

Your home is meant to be a secure place where everything works and you have nothing to worry about. It’s a warm place in a heartless world, where you can get a drink of water and relax on the couch if you want to. Yet, sometimes things break, and when it comes to your home’s water, it must be fixed quickly.

Loud pipes are usually the first sign that something may be wrong with your home’s water systems. If you hear your walls wail whenever you open a valve, you may have an issue. Ignoring it can cause significant damage to some of the most important parts of your home.

An unchecked leak can cause molding to spread throughout your home’s framing, which will need to be replaced. Leaks can also cause water to build up beneath your home, which can cause significant foundation damage. A water stain is the least of your worries if you suspect your house has a leak.

That’s why you should address loud pipes as soon as they appear. And to learn why your pipes may be making so much noise, keep reading below!

Older Homes Are Built With Loud Pipes

Before modern building codes and modern technology was developed, people worked with what they had. They were satisfied to see running water in their home and didn’t care if a pipe rattled whenever they turned a faucet. Not all older homes were built sturdier than modern ones, it turns out.

That doesn’t mean older homes are dangerous to live in, though. It just means that you have a house that’s more than a decade or two old, you need to pay attention to its unique sounds. You can’t ignore anything that sounds off, or else problems may develop.

And to learn more about why older homes may make more noise, just keep reading below!

Pre-1960s Homes Use an Air Chamber to Manage Water

If you notice noises from your pipes whenever you close a valve, you may actually be listening to something called water hammer. This is basically the sound your pipes make whenever you stop using them. Whenever you close a valve, the water in your pipes rushes against a wall, making a loud noise.

In homes built before or during the 1960s, builders tried to mitigate this issue by using an air chamber. They installed T-shaped pipes at certain points in the piping system that had an air chamber in them. The air chamber meant that instead of water slamming against a closed valve, it floods into an empty chamber and wouldn’t make noise.

Unfortunately, these air chambers can sometimes get flooded, which can lead to an even louder water hammer. Flooded air chambers basically send double the amount of water against a valve when it closes, instead of stopping it. It can sound like something is breaking every time you close a valve.

Luckily, it’s also easy to fix. Just call a good plumber for a quick appointment if you suspect this is the issue.

Between 1970 and 1990, Loud Pipes Were Common

The T-shaped air chamber fell out of fashion as the 1970s rolled in, and most builders abandoned the design. Instead, they decided that loud pipes were just something people would have to live with. Most homes built between the 1970s and 1990s don’t have any protection from water hammering.

Luckily, this isn’t a severe issue. Water hammer just makes a jarring noise without causing any severe damage. And since homes built after the 1960s don’t have air chambers that can get flooded, some people actually think they’re quieter!

That also means that if your pipes are making unusual noises, you may have a serious issue. Contact a plumber as soon as possible if you hear anything from your pipes that you shouldn’t since the issues can cause withstanding water damage.

Loud Pipes in Modern Homes Mean Problems

Modern builders realized how annoying water hammering can be, and reintroduced systems that cut down on it. Instead of using an air chamber though, builders after the 1990s began using a spring-loaded mechanism called an arrestor to prevent it. This mechanism essentially catches water as it rushes to a closed valve, slowing it.

Since the mechanism slows the water, it doesn’t hit the valve as hard and therefore makes less noise. This also means that if you hear noise from your modern home’s pipes, the issue may not be as severe as it sounds. It most likely means one of your spring-loaded arrestors are malfunctioning, and that’s all.

You don’t need to worry about a leak or anything worse from hearing water hammer in a modern home. It just means that a valve makes more noise than the rest.

Water Hammers Aren’t the Only Issue to Watch For

Loud pipes aren’t always caused by water hammering. Sometimes, you notice violent rattling from your pipes as water rushes through it, or they may hum as you wash your hands. Water hammering is a common issue, but it isn’t the only issue to watch out for.

If your pipes hum, the issue can be a simple matter of having high water pressure. This can mean that you need to adjust your intake valve to make sure less water flows into your home. If you’re on a well system, you may need to check the pressure of the well itself.

And if your pipes rattle whenever you use them, it’s likely that one of your pipes isn’t as secure as the rest. Sometimes, screws get loose and the fastening that keeps pipes in place can come off. While this increases the risk of a leak the more you use your home’s water, it’s a quick and easy fix for a plumber.

Pipes can make all kinds of noise, and some aren’t as bad as others. That doesn’t mean you need to live with them, though. If your pipes are making any kind of noise, be sure to get them fixed as soon as possible!

Water Can Damage Your Home Permanently

Loud pipes can indicate problems such as leaks, rotting, or even burst pipes. And if any of these issues are found in your home, you may face worse issues than loud pipes. Mold grows where water is present, and it can spread throughout your home if your pipes are leaking.

Water can also warp your home’s frame or damage its foundation, costing you thousands of dollars in repairs. Make sure to address issues before they get to that point by calling a plumber for repairs. And if you need a plumber right now, call us!

We’ll run over to home right away to prevent further damage and protect your house!

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