Not only can noisy water pipes be quite annoying, but they can be the first signs of a plumbing problem that needs your attention. If water pipes shake excessively, they could become loose, cracked or even disconnected. This can, in turn, cause expensive leaks and water damage to floors, carpets and/or walls. However, by adhering to the following tips, you can avoid any of these disasters.
The Main Culprits: Washing Machines
The most common causes for shaking pipes, also known as hammering pipes, are washing machines. Hammering occurs when a constant and rapid flow of water stops suddenly such as when a washing machine cycle ends. Since water cannot compress, its back pressure dissipates through any unsecured pipes in your home causing your pipes to shake.
Fasten Your Pipes to a Secure Structure
Although washing machines are the main culprits when it comes to jiggling pipes, other turbulence in water flow can cause shaking as well. This may include garden hoses, faucets or showers being turned on or off in your house. As such, you will need to look for any unsecured pipes in such areas as under cabinets, in basements and in your crawl space.
If you find any pipes that are not secure, you can easily secure them by using pipe clamps or heavy-duty zip ties to attach them to solid structures such as support beams or floor joists. However, be sure to wrap the pipes with a bit of pipe insulation or duct tape to help prevent the clamps or zip ties from causing any damage that could occur over time.
Invest in Hammering Arresters
Hammering arresters are sealed tubes that fit vertically over your water lines to help reduce or eliminate hammering. Typically, arresters are installed near valves; however, you can install them in various locations along your water supply lines as well. These handy fixtures work by forming an air pocket in the tube that cushions any shocks that result when water flow stops suddenly.
If all of your water pipes are secured and there are already arresters installed on your supply lines, but your pipes are still shaking, you will need to check the arresters for damage. If you notice any damage to the arresters, simply replacing them should solve your problem. On the other hand, if they seem to be in good condition, the following steps can help.
1. Turn off your water supply.
2. Turn on the faucet that is at the lowest elevation of your house. This is usually a garden hose or a basement faucet.
3. Leave the faucet on until the water runs out.
4. Turn your water back on after a few minutes.
If you have noisy, jiggling pipes in your home, you will want to remedy the situation right away. After some time, jiggling pipes can result in such problems as loosened, disconnected or even cracked pipes. However, if you follow the steps described above, you can easily secure your water pipes and avoid any of these problems.
*Image courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net
Pablo is an experienced handyman who fixes leaky pipes, gas lines, garbage disposals and more. He works for Texas Power Plumbing in Houston, Texas.