Sometimes, when you’re trying to drift off to sleep, or you’re staying up late working on a project, the house feels a little too quiet. Suddenly, a loud, strange noise rings from the walls or under your floor, shattering the silence. Before you get too spooked, here’s the good news: it’s probably your pipes getting a bit too loud and not a supernatural creature haunting your hallways.
Loud pipes usually signal issues with your plumbing system, which means it’s vital to have a professional plumber come over and inspect the problem. While you can resolve some of these issues yourself, it’s best to have a seasoned expert do it instead. Here are potential causes for your loud, rattling pipes:
1. Expanding and Contracting Pipes
Strange pipe noises are usually due to pipe expansion, which happens when a pipe’s temperature fluctuates. When a pipe cools, it contracts, and when it heats, it expands. Whether your pipes are metal or CPVC, expansion and contraction are inevitable. However, you can use some expansion calculators to design your system as optimally as possible to mitigate this.
You won’t be able to eliminate the sound, though it shouldn’t be so loud or frequent to the point of disturbing you. It’s important to note that the moving of pipes as they contract and expand can lead to damage, so it’s essential to have your pipes maintained often.
2. Water Hammer
While you may be picturing a tool made of liquid, a water hammer happens when water flows into a pipe all at once and either stops or reverses. The most common cause of this issue is when a valve abruptly closes, and the water suddenly thuds to a stop. Naturally, there’s a sound accompanying this, but it’s also not good for the pipes and is typically a sign you must install a different check valve.
3. Loose Pipes
Rattling pipes are often a sign of loose pipes, and this is luckily one of the most straightforward issues to fix by yourself. Still, it’s best to have a professional inspect this, as the problem may be more complicated than it seems.
Pipes can qualify as loose if they loosen from their restraints or fasteners, giving them wiggle room when they should be tightly secured in place. Pipes are also considered loose if the connection loosens at the screw or joint connecting to another pipe or applicable device. While you can fix this by tightening it, this can be difficult if the pipe is inaccessible. In this case, an emergency plumber is your best bet.
4. Too Much Pressure
Overpressure in your pipes can manifest as a high-pitched, squealing sound that happens when the pipe suffers from more pressure than it is designed to handle. This occurrence is usually a sign of a severe problem, as pipes tend to burst when subjected to too much pressure.
The only solutions here are to replace the pipes with ones designed to handle higher pressure or lower the pressure faced by the pipes. Regardless, these are fixes that only an emergency plumber can carry out.
5. Obstructions in Your Pipes
Lastly, pipe obstructions usually make themselves known through a gurgling sound since the water in your pipes needs to find a way to flow around the gunk, which is generally soap scum. Though you can opt to handle the issue yourself with drain cleaners, these chemicals are often caustic and can damage yourself and your pipes. Instead, leave this to a plumber, who will know the safest and most sustainable way to clear your pipes.
Loud, clanging pipes can be spooky, especially when they happen in the dead of night. However, they’re usually due to plumbing issues instead of a mischievous spirit. If your pipes are especially noisy, these reasons may explain it. In that case, be sure to call a professional plumber right away to solve the problem and enjoy silent, calm nights again in your house.
Candu Plumbing & Rooter is a team of professional plumbers in Canoga Park and surrounding areas. We offer a wide range of services, like drain cleaning, water heater repair, sewer repair, trenchless pipe lining, and many more. Contact us today for your free estimate!