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Plumber Washington DC » Articles » Noisy Plumbing

How to Identify Noises from Plumbing Systems

Noisy plumbing systems are common in many homes and offices. The noises plumbing systems make warn us of a range of plumbing problems such as faulty parts, worn out valves, leaky toilets, and damaged pipes. Plumber Washington DC will often receive calls for "banging pipes", "rattling toilets" or "ticking meters". Plumbing systems will sound out their troubles – instead of shutting out noises learn why they occur.

Banging, clanging, clunking
Noisy pipes are usually heard when we suddenly turn off water flow. Shutting off water flow sends a shock wave down the pipe and creates a banging sound, also known as the water hammer. Water hammers exert significant pressure inside water lines, and can extensively damage valves, pipes and fittings. Modern plumbing systems are fitted with water hammer arresters or air cushions that absorb shock waves. Over time water hammers arresters can become waterlogged and not function as effective absorbers. Waterlogged arresters can be drained by following the steps below:

  1. Close main water supply to home.
  2. Open lowest faucet in the home, often located outdoors. Turn on indoor faucets at high locations. Let water drain from open faucets.
  3. After 5 minutes close all faucets and turn on main water supply.

Wailing, Rattling, Chattering - A faulty toilet ballcock, a damaged faucet washer or high water pressure – can all make the above sounds.

Ticking – Running water in pipes may sometimes carry into the home the sound of ticking water meters. No plumbing repair needed in such cases.

Running Water – The sound of running water may indicate a plumbing leak. Specific to bathrooms, this sound points to leaky toilets. A simple dye test can help you detect a toilet leak. Insert a couple of food dye drops into the toilet's tank. Colored water in bowl after half an hour indicates a leaky toilet. Toilet leaks waste gallons of water and increase water bills significantly.

Consistent and repeated sounds should not be ignored, but instead followed with the right repair. Listen to your plumbing system – it might be trying to tell you something.

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