There is nothing quite so annoying as the rumbling and pounding that is characteristic of many plumbing systems. In most cases, the cause of noisy plumbing is relatively simple and can be repaired by the home mechanic. In a few cases, the noise is due to faulty installation of the system and will have to be corrected by a plumber.
Causes of noisy plumbing
A faucet that pounds when it is opened usually does so because of a loose part inside. This can be easily repaired by replacing the washer, with a new one (see FAUCETS), or by tightening the loose screw or nut inside the faucet.
Chattering in the pipes can be caused by overhead pipes not secured to the ceiling. When a faucet is opened, water flows through the entire branch of the system of which the faucet is a part. When the faucet is closed, the momentum of the water will cause a loose section of pipe to vibrate (called noisy plumbing). This vibration soon can cause joints to leak. Make certain that all pipes are held securely in place. If they are not, purchase some metal brackets made for this purpose and use them in sufficient quantity to make all piping secure.
The momentum of water flowing through a pipe is the cause of a condition known as "water hammer." This will cause a chattering and pounding in the system when a faucet is closed. It can be corrected by having a plumber insert a short section of pipe in the system which will act as a shock absorber.
Hot water system
Noises in the hot water system are more frequent than in the cold water 'lines, and they can be due to several factors. A rumble in the hot water tank is generally caused by the water 's having been overheated so that it forms steam in the tank. The remedy for this condition is not to let the water get too hot. For household purposes, the temperature should be somewhere between 130 and 140 degrees F. ; never so high that the water will boil.
Another common cause of noisy plumbing in the hot water supply tank is faulty installation of the pipes between the heater and the tank. The water passing through the heating coil gives off steam, which tries to force its way through the coil and into the tank. If the hot line from the coil to the heater slopes upward, the steam has a free passage into the tank.
If, however, the pipe is horizontal, or on a downward slope, the water in the line will impede the progress of the steam, causing noise in the line. To remedy this condition, it is necessary to change the position of the hot pipe so that it slopes upward from the heating coil to the tank.