Houses, especially older houses, make noise. Usually it is the kind of imperceptible noise that fades from consciousness once we grow used to our surroundings. While not always the case, there are instances in which those noises are indicators of a deeper issue, such as a water leak, a loose pipe, or even a more serious problem that could eventually lead to a hefty bill if a 24 hour plumber must be called in.
What's That Sound?
There are several possible, and highly common, causes for noisy pipes/plumbing. The issue could be something as simple as a poorly secured pipe that needs to be re-anchored, water pressure being too high, or even something as serious as a burst pipe. Noisy pipes could lead to a series of problems if left untreated. One of the easiest problems to prevent is high water pressure. High water pressure could lead to damaged automatic water-supplied appliances, such as your clothes washer or dishwasher, as warranties are often voided if water pressure exceeds 100 psi (a standard gauge for normal water pressure should be somewhere between 30-55 psi), & is also incredibly wasteful. Testing water pressure at home is a simple matter of screwing in a water-pressure gauge onto a hose bib.
Water Hammer and How to Fix It
Water hammer occurs when a water source is abruptly shut off, leaving the water nowhere to travel, resulting in a loud "hammering" sound within the pipeline. This is typically the most common problem that leads to homeowner worries of plumbing leaks, however, it's fairly simple to correct. Water hammer can sometimes be prevented by air chambers, which essentially act as a cushion that protects the piping at critical areas where rapid closing of electric shut-off valves must occur.
When a water hammer strikes, have no fear, the correction process is fairly simple. Firstly, shut off your water supply. Secondly, open the faucet at the highest point in your house. Next, turn on the faucet at the lowest point in your house (typically a basement or outdoor faucet) and allow the water to drain completely from the line. Lastly, once the water has been drained completely, close the lowest faucet and reopen the water supply.
When to Call In a Professional
While there are plenty of things that can be fixed by an inexperienced home owner, there are just certain things that are better left to a professional. If your knowledge of plumbing is extremely limited, you're going to want to call in plumbing services if a pressure regulator needs to be installed, as this procedure, if done wrong, could end up costing you a main line repair or an eventual emergency plumber visit. It's also essential to remember that galvanized tape or straps should never be used on copper piping, as this could eventually lead to electrolysis and leaking. Additionally, any installation of an air chamber in your piping should be left to a professional to eliminate any chance of future damage to your plumbing. If you are currently looking for an experienced Las Vegas plumber, an appointment can be scheduled with Pure Plumbing at (702) 710-7388.