Do It Yourself: How To Fix Noisy, Rattling, Or Pounding Water Pipes

Save money and skip the plumber; check these tips to see if you can fix your screaming, rattling pipes by yourself.

You can easily fix most rattling, noisy pipes easily and without the services of a plumber. If your pipes rattle loudly after the toilet is flushed, try replacing the fill valve/ballcock/fluidmaster unit.

If the problem remains, repair the shut-off valve and this should eliminate the problem. If you shut off your water tap and the pipes bang or the faucet seems to be screaming, you might have a bad washer in the handle of that faucet or in the shut-off valve. Disassemble that particular faucet handle or valve and replace the rubber washer. If this doesn't work, and it's your hot water tap that's making the noise, your hot water heater could be creating too much pressure. You might have to turn the water pressure down just slightly then see if that cures the problem, if it doesn't, there are other solutions you can try.

Every faucet has air chambers on the supply lines. These columns of pipe fill with air and cushion the sudden stop of water flow. The one on your noisy pipe could be solid. Drain that pipe and see if you can get air back in to stop the pipe hammering. Shut off the hot water at the water heater and open all the hot water taps to drain the water out of them. Next, close all the taps and reopen the water supply. This should process should do the trick.

If you have noisy bathroom sink pipes, it could be that the vent line wasn't installed close enough to the sink. If the vent line is installed a great distance from the sink, even if the pipes slope, you could hear a loud gurgling sound. In many instances you can re-locate the vent line yourself, or if it's too big of a job, you might have to call a plumber for assistance. If you've recently replaced or installed a pressure-reducing valve and you suddenly have squeals coming from your pipes, there is a small screw on top of the valve for making adjustments. If you've already adjusted it as far down as it will go, the problem could be cavitation, which happens when the water in a large pipe goes through a smaller orifice. This results in a large squeal or scream from the area of the valve. To fix this, turn water on and adjust the screw out until the squeal stops. If it doesn't stop, you probably have a faulty pressure-reducing valve and you'll need to replace that. Or, if you have a shut-off valve before or after the pressure-reducing valve, check this for a bad washer and make sure they are completely open. If you can pinpoint the problem to a water valve and changing the washer doesn't help, change to a ball valve instead.

Sometimes pipes can groan and vibrate when someone flushes the toilet or when the tap is turned on while someone else is running water. Fix this by lifting the lid off the back of the commode while the noise is occurring and open, then shut the fill valve completely. If the noise stops while the valve is completely open or completely shut, replace the tank's fill valve.

A lot of people have trouble with their kitchen pipes making an awful noise when used. This is sometimes easily fixed by tying the pipes down so they don't rattle when the water is on. Other things you can check are the washers in each faucet, adjust the water pressure, drain and refill the system to fix air problems and anchor loose pipes. If none of this works, you will probably have to replace your faucet. Faucets last about 15 to 20 years, then most need replaced.

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