Why Are My Pipes Rattling?

One local plumber issue that we come across occasion is rattling or loudly vibrating plumbing. In the plumbing trade, this is known as “water hammer” due to the sounds made by the pipes. The technical term is hydraulic shock. As the technical name expresses, the hydraulics (water) in a plumbing system has come to an abrupt top or violently changes direction. Some attempt to simple insulate or wrap rattling pipe so that the noise is less noticeable. In many cases this works, however, fixing the symptom will not solve the problem. And the problem can get a lot worst in time—a whole lot worst.

What Water Hammer Signals

Your plumbing is designed to absorb shock wave caused by water stopping abruptly. Water hammer signals that there is an internal problem in your plumbing. If you are hearing water hammer, there are two reasons why it is happening. First, the air chambers (cushions) in your plumbing could be waterlogged. Secondly, there is residue preventing the air chamber from functioning correctly. With either problem, the plumbing is exposed to an excessive amount of pressure. If left unabated, water hammer can wear seals, cause leaks, affect appliance functionality, and even burst pipes. Yet, there is another reason pipes can rattle which is mistaken for water hammer.

Loose Supports

Water moving through plumbing rapid alters the weight of the pipes. When pipes are not supported well or have worn supports, they can rattle against things mimicking water hammer. The solution is simple. Install sturdy pipe supports that are anchored into beams or concrete.
Blue Planet Drain & Plumbing is a full service plumber capable of handling any plumbing issue. Besides rattling pipes, we also provide drain cleaning, leak detection, slab leak repair and other general plumber services. We are local plumber serving the San Diego community.