The best way to deal with noisy pipes

Water flowing through pipes can create all kinds of weird noises. Normally when you place your ear close to a pipe that is actively moving water, you can hear the flow, this is normal. However, pipes can make all kinds of noises that are not considered normal; the plumbing in Clayton can rattle, bang, creak, crackle and whistle. What causes all these noises to happen?

Creaks and crackling:

These noises usually happen as a result of the pipes themselves expanding or contracting. This can happen when there are significant temperature changes and is most common on hot water pipes. As hot water travels through a length of pipe, the pipe gets warmer. As the pipe warms it expands a little bit. Once the water stops flowing, the pipe begins to cool slightly and contracts a little bit.


A pipe will rattle when it is loosely fixed to a support of some sort. Pipes are fastened every so many feet with clamps when they are first installed. For some reason a clamp may slightly loosen which allows the pipe to rapidly vibrate as water flows through it. This is even more apparent when the pipe is fixed on something which is solid as the sound is transmitted easier.


As pipes age they can often get a buildup of sediment or perhaps lime somewhere in the bore. There is also the possibility of a defective valve. Usually the whistling sound will only be heard when the defective faucet is opened. Once the washer in the subject faucet has been changed the noise should disappear, if however it does not, this usually indicates that the problem lies with the main valve.


Banging is most often called “water hammer” and it happens when the water is turned off. Banging pipes are a common problem with older homes. Plumbing that was installed years ago was built with short sections of pipe that contained air. When the water was turned off abruptly, the energy in the flow was absorbed by the trapped air. Over the years this air cushion can leak out so that there is no longer a shock absorber.

If you do start to hear strange noises coming from your plumbing in Clayton, listen carefully, try to determine the reason and then have a plumber fix the problem.


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