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South Jersey Plumbers: Article About Noisy Plumbing

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The influx of fresh, pressurized water into your home is bound to make noise, but some of the sounds your plumbing makes are unreasonably invasive. Unusual sounds in your pipes typically indicate issues that may be harmful to the system. If banging or hammering sounds or knocking and gurgling from your water or waste pipes are causing you to lose sleep, call on your South Jersey plumbers to pinpoint and work to eliminate the source of the noises.

Rattling or banging in your pipes when water is flowing through them is not normal. One reason for these noises could be insufficient stabilization. In other words, the straps or brackets that hold your pipes in place may be loose or missing, causing them to knock against a wall or stud when water flows through. To find the loose pipe, turn the water on and inspect your system for any pipe movement. When you locate the rattle, you may be able to fix it yourself. If the pipe is bracketed too loosely, slip a piece of cut garden hose or rubber between the pipe and bracket, or the pipe and the wall, to hold it securely in place. If an unsecured pipe next to a masonry wall is rattling, place a block of wood behind the pipe, taking care not to bow or bend it. Secure the block with masonry screws. Then, bind the pipe to the wood with a rubber-lined bracket.

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A knocking noise in your hot water pipes might indicate that the hot water heater setting is too high. It is producing steam that makes the pipes rumble. Reducing the temperature on the water heater should take care of the problem. For the best energy efficiency and to prevent scalding, set the water heater no higher than 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Air pockets from steam in the system may also be a source of knocking, requiring a visit from your plumber to purge trapped air.

"Water hammer" refers to the loud bang your pipes make when you abruptly shut off a faucet. The rapidly moving water stops, creating a miniature shock wave. Normally, air chambers within your system cushion this blow and prevent the hammer sound. When these air chambers fail, water hammer results. If you notice water hammer where it has not occurred before, water has probably entered the air chambers. Sometimes, you can solve the problem by simply shutting off the pipe valve and draining the faucet that triggered the noise to restore air pressure. In other cases, your plumber will have to drain the main water supply lines. He or she may also need to clean out the mineral scale that has accumulated inside the air pipe. If left unchecked, a water hammer problem eventually damages your plumbing.

In many cases, bothersome plumbing noise is solvable, and you do not have to learn to tolerate it. Do some sleuthing on your own to locate the source of the noises. If the solution is simple, take care of it yourself. If not, call in your plumber to confirm your findings and fix them.

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