Water pipes provide a valuable and irreplaceable service to your home, but can sometimes create large and disruptive noises when in use. The two most common types of noises are a rapid clicking noise, and a single or a series of several large, loud bangs. Each of these noises is caused by a certain problem with your pipes which can shorten their lifespan. Understanding what causes these noises can help you take steps to prevent them, improving the lifespan of your plumbing system while also silencing it.
Clicking pipes are caused by the pipe itself expanding due to a change in temperature. It is most common in the winter months, whenever hot water is used. The heat from the hot water will cause the metal to expand and rub against the bracing that it is attached to, emitting clicking or tapping sounds extremely rapidly.
In order to stop your pipes from clicking, you should insulate them with pipe insulation or foam, which helps prevent your pipes from becoming too cold and having a reaction when hot water flows through them. It should also be noted that doing so will help prevent water from freezing in your pipes, which can cause them to burst.
However, if your pipes are behind walls and cannot be worked on easily, it is best to take shorter and cooler showers for the winter season to reduce the amount of clicking that occurs. In the warmer months, when construction is easier, you can cut open your walls and insulate your pipes.
If your pipes are emitting large bangs when you turn on the water, you do not have enough air in your pipes' air chambers. This results in a water hammer, which is what happens when water slams into a curve in the pipes, and can actually damage your plumbing system pretty severely if allowed to continue over an extended period of time. Air chambers are pockets of air in your pipes that cushion the water, preventing it from slamming into curves and stopping water hammers from happening.
This problem is much easier to fix than clicking pipes. Simply turn of the main water supply valve for your home, and open the faucet at the most elevated point in your home. Then, find the faucet at the least elevated point in your home, and open that one as well. This will drain water from your pipes and refill the air chambers. Once the water finishes draining, turn off the least elevated faucet and turn the water supply back on. Wait until the flow of water is normal from the most elevated faucet before turning it off again. You've now refilled your air chambers, and won't have to deal with banging pipes any longer. Contact Trenchless Pipe Technologies for more information.