Noisy pipes?

Noisy pipesAt GPS London, we get quite a few calls from people saying, “I can hear a banging noise coming from my pipework. What could be causing it?”

Having noisy pipework can be very worrying. There are a few possible causes for this, for example:

  • Faulty ball valves can make noises
  • If air is trapped at the stop tap, this can cause the pipes to vibrate and cause a loud hammering or banging sound
  • If pipes are not secured or clipped correctly, they may move while in use and hit against walls or flooring, creating noise
  • Loose fitting washers in stop taps can rattle and make noise

Under normal conditions your water pipes should not make a noise. Domestic pipework and plumbing systems should run almost silently, so any minor issues that affect the pipework can lead to you having a noisy plumbing system.

Sometimes what is actually causing the noise may be quite easy and straightforward for you to fix, so there would be no need to call out a plumber. Just remember that although noisy pipes can be very annoying, it doesn’t necessarily mean that there is anything seriously wrong with your plumbing.

But I can hear all sorts of different noises?

Some strange noises can be easily explained, such as water hammers for example. These are known as hydraulic shocks and can happen when water in the pipe is suddenly forced to change direction. You could hear all sorts of strange noises as a result, such as screeching, rattling and vibrating noises. This can be triggered by large water-consuming household appliances such as washing machines, dishwashers and toilets.

The absolute worst-case scenario of suffering water hammers could be a pipe collapse. To help prevent this from happening and to help reduce these noises, your plumber can install air chambers at different locations around your plumbing system. This will ensure that water is not forced to suddenly change direction when reaching the wall of a pipe.

Over time these air chambers may fill with water, but you can do something about this. Firstly, turn off your mains water supply at the stop tap. Go around your home and turn on all of your water taps starting upstairs and working your way down to the ground floor. Once you have drained your system of water, turn off all your taps starting from downstairs and finishing upstairs. Turn your main water supply back on once again and let your system refill.

Secure your pipes

Wobbly pipes are probably the easiest thing to fix. You can trace your pipework around your home to check that they are securely fixed in place. When you find any pipework that is unsecured or has worked itself loose from any clips, you can secure them into place once again. This will prevent them from moving around and banging on the surrounding walls or flooring when water flows through them.

If you have copper pipes you can wrap a piece of pipe insulation around it and secure it back into place with some plumbers tape or plastic clips. Try to avoid using galvanised tape directly against copper pipes. The metals can react to each other and this could cause wear and tear to the pipe resulting in a leak.

When you are due your next boiler inspection from GPS London, your engineer will be able to test your water pressure. Having water pressure that is too high can not only put your pipes at risk, it can also lead to your water-consuming appliances breaking down or springing a leak.[/fusion_text]