Have you ever had one of those moments where you are just sitting quietly in your living room, trying to relax after a long day and read a good book, only to have some unearthly noise coming from your basement that makes you seriously consider running straight out the front door as if you were starring in a horror film? If you have, it might be time to sprinkle a little Holy water here and there, but it’s actually far more likely that you have noisy pipes. If you’ve never heard your pipes moaning and groaning before, that first time can be a real eye-opener and it’s something that will definitely get your heart rate up. Once you get past that, you have to figure out why it’s happening and what you can do about it so things can be nice and quiet once again.
Why Do Pipes Moan?
Before we get into figuring out ways to make sure that your pipes stop moaning, it’s important to figure out why they’re doing it in the first place. There are actually a number of different reasons that pipes moan and some of them might surprise you. For starters, old pipes have a tendency to make a lot more noise than those that are newer. Chances are, this won’t come as much of a surprise to you, as anyone that’s ever lived in an older house knows that they have a tendency to make a lot of noise. In fact, between the pipes moaning and the floors creaking, you may feel like you’re living with a whole army of people even if you live alone. Perhaps the more confusing thing that you have to sort through is understanding why your pipes moan and groan when you’re dealing with new construction. After all, you would think that a house involving new construction should also be nice and quiet, not have you jumping out of bed and running around in the middle of the night, trying to figure out what’s going on. The truth of the matter is that it can and does happen in houses that are brand new. It all comes down to finding out what the root cause of the problem is and then correcting the issue. Only then can you truly find the peace and quiet you’re looking for. Next, you’ll have the opportunity to explore potential reasons why your pipes are moaning and then figure out what you can do about it in order to address the issue one thing at a time. This will give you a much better idea of the different things that you can potentially do to correct these issues so that you can simply relax and enjoy things the next time you’re at home.
Your Pipes Move Too Much
Believe it or not, it is possible for your pipes to move around. There are a couple of different reasons this can happen. One involves something called water hammer. It happens when you don’t have any water running at all through the tap and then you suddenly turn it on full force, only to turn it off just as quickly. The subsequent pressure that’s going through your pipes can actually cause them to move. When it does, the pipes will make a moaning sound, especially if they’re older metal pipes, as they tend to be quite noisy. What’s the solution? Fortunately, it’s not as difficult as you might think. In fact, you may not even need to call a plumber. In many cases, this type of thing can be dealt with successfully by adding straps to your pipes so that they are better supported. It’s sort of like strapping something down whenever you haul something from the store to your home. You don’t want it to move around a lot, so you add straps that support and secure it. That’s the exact same thing you want to do here. They even make metal straps that are specifically for this type of thing. By the way, if your pipes are moving because of water hammer, it’s also a good idea to simply be a bit more gentle when you turn the tap on and off. It’s also worth noting that your pipes might be moving on their own accord, even if you have learned to use some finesse when turning on the tap. That’s when the straps will really come in handy, as they can prevent any additional issues and stop the moaning and groaning at the same time.
Your Pipe Mounts Are Old
Another issue that sometimes causes noisy pipes involves old pipe mounts that need to be replaced. In fact, metal pipe mounts can be one of the biggest culprits of noisy pipes. If you’re experiencing a lot of moaning and groaning in your pipes because of this, the best solution is to replace the pipe mounts with plastic ones. They don’t move around as much, they don’t make noise when they do move around and they can typically solve your problems without too much trouble in the process. If you have metal pipes that have been in place for some time, it’s easy for the constant expansion and retraction of those pipes to make a pipe moan. Therefore, it’s something that you should take a look at if you notice noisy pipes because it’s highly likely that this could be the cause.
You Need to Replace Your Toilet Valve
Believe it or not, something as simple as a faulty toilet valve can also cause your pipes to make more noise than an entire high school band. It’s hard to believe that something so seemingly benign can cause so much noise, but faulty toilet valves can make an enormous amount of noise because they don’t allow the water to fill properly in the toilet. This can cause a backlog of water pressure and complicate things from every turn, eventually culminating in loads of noise that you probably don’t want to deal with on a daily basis. If that’s the case, you’ll have to replace the toilet valve in order to stop all of the noise from occurring. Fortunately, it’s fairly easy to do this even without the help of a qualified plumber. The good news is that even if you’re on a budget, you can usually purchase a new toilet valve at the hardware store and replace it on your own without any additional problems. While you’re at it, you should also check and see if there’s a chance that your water pressure is too high. That can cause problems with noisy pipes and it can also cause your toilet valve to become faulty because there’s too much pressure going through to begin with. The solution for this problem is simple. Just reduce the amount of water pressure by metering the amount of water that is able to come into the house through the main line. Taking care of that issue can help you solve a lot of other problems and it might prevent you from having to do additional maintenance later on.
Air Can Get Caught in Your Pipes
Another surprising culprit that you might not suspect at first involves air caught in your water pipes. It happens more often than you think, especially if the water has been turned off in your area recently or even if you had to leave your faucets dripping because of cold weather. All of this allows air to get into the system and it can create a lot of noise in your pipes whenever you turn on the tap. Fortunately, this is one of the easiest problems to fix. All you need to do is gently turn on the tap. Make sure both the hot and cold water have been turned on, but it’s best to turn them on separately. Go through every room in your house and slowly open the tap for each faucet, starting with the cold and then when you’re finished there, taking care of the hot water. The goal is to slowly open each one until it’s fully open and allow the water to run until all of the air has bled out of the lines. Sometimes this can take a few minutes and sometimes it is a process that goes much more quickly. You’ll know when all of the air has been properly bled out because you’ll have a steady stream of water that’s coming out clear without any additional noise. Otherwise, it tends to almost hiccup out of the tap and it also has a white color to it because of all of the air that’s involved.
There May Be a Blocked Pipe
One of the more serious reasons that might cause noisy pipes is because one or more of your pipes is blocked. This can happen as a result of buildup or even a foreign object that has found its way into the pipe. Either way, water is either unable to get past the blockage or the flow of water is severely reduced, leading to an ever-increasing pressure behind the blockage. If you don’t take care of the problem promptly, you could be dealing with a burst pipe in relatively short order. If too much water pressure builds up behind the blockage, the pipe is likely to burst and you’ll end up with water damage all over the place. While you can fix most of the problems associated with noisy pipes on your own, this is one where you really need the help of a highly qualified plumber. It’s almost impossible to tell whether or not you have a blockage in your pipes unless you have the proper training and equipment to make that determination. Furthermore, you’ll need someone that’s skilled at doing what needs to be done to clear the blockage, so if you’ve tried the other methods to quiet down your noisy pipes and you’ve had little or no success, it’s probably time to call a plumber. If you do so quickly enough, a good plumber can clear the blockage and help you get on with your day before the pipe bursts and you end up having to deal with subsequent water damage as well.
Other Strange Noises From Your Pipes
In addition to everything you’ve already read, there are other strange noises that sometimes come from your pipes which might leave you baffled. While it’s true that older pipes tend to moan, they can also squeak, whistle and even tick. Even if you get used to pipes that moan, you might not be so happy the next time that you hear a whistling noise that sounds almost as if it’s coming from a disembodied voice somewhere in your home. By the same token, no one really likes the idea of listening to pipes tick louder than the most obnoxious grandfather clock that you could ever possibly imagine. It might surprise you to learn that you can even hear pipes whistling through drains from time to time. What about that whistling you heard coming out of the drain in your bathroom sink when you brushed your teeth last night? Does it mean your house is haunted or that you need to call a plumber? Theoretically, it could be either one but chances are, it’s time to call a plumber in order to figure out why your pipes are making so much noise and how to stop it. You may be less likely to be woken up in the night by noisy pipes if you live in a new house, but that doesn’t mean that it’s impossible. Regardless of where you live, it’s always nice to know that most of the time, you can take care of noisy pipes by yourself. In some cases, it’s definitely better to call a plumber. Either way, the good news is that you don’t have to simply put up with it. There’s always a solution and that means there’s always a way to stop the noisy pipes from getting in the way of your daily home life instead of forcing yourself to live with it.