Why Do Pipes Rattle?

Running water always causes a little bit of noise when your toilet or faucet is open, but you should always be concerned if your pipes make loud noises. The sound of “rattling pipes” is a sure sign that there is something wrong with your plumbing system. If left unchecked, these bad vibrations can lead to leaks, breakage, and water damage. Know the causes of these issues and be sure to call a reliable plumber to diagnose, troubleshoot, and diagnose the problem.

Rattling, vibration, and similar plumbing noises can be caused by a variety of issues. Most of the time, they make themselves known when someone around the house closes a faucet or flushes the toilet. There are three common reasons for this type of malfunction.

Common Causes for Pipe Noises

First, there could be a loose pipe that isn’t securely fastened to your home’s frame. Check your home’s exposed piping carefully to see if there are any rattling or knocking pipes. If not, a technician can come over to examine your plumbing in between the walls.

Another cause for noisy pipes can come from your plumbing system’s indoor water pressure being too high. Water under high pressure tends to slam against the piping, which creates the rattling and noise. This isn’t just an auditory annoyance. Water under high pressure can degrade the integrity of the pipe walls and fittings, which over time will create leaks and breakage. A pressure-reducing valve can be installed near the main line or in your toilets to help alleviate the stress caused by running water.

Third, knocking pipes could be under the effects of a “water hammer.” The water hammer occurs when the water rushing through your pipes is stopped suddenly by a closing faucet. Much like a plumbing system under high pressure, hearing this noise is a sure sign that your pipes are under stress and may be prone to breakage. Luckily, many piping systems are equipped with air-filled chambers meant to cushion the effect of water hammer. Try closing your main water line and letting your faucets run and toilets flush for a few minutes to replenish any chambers that may have flooded.

Get a Professional Opinion

While rattling pipes are easily an annoyance, they also serve as warning signs that should be heeded. If your pipes continue to knock or make noise even after testing for water hammer, it’s time to have a qualified plumber  take a look at your system. Remember, taking the extra precautions now can save you from costlier repairs in the future.