You may not know that your water pipes are shaking until you hear a sudden bang or rattle coming from somewhere deep inside your walls. This may happen when you turn water on or off at a faucet, or when your washer stops the flow of water coming in.
The sound of shaking water pipes can be annoying. However, what’s worse is the potential damage these pipes can sustain. You need to fix them now to avoid leaking pipes in the future.
What Causes Pipes to Shake?
Flowing water contains energy, and when something disturbs the water’s flow, it releases contained energy into the structure around the water. This released energy can cause unsecured water pipes to move around quite a bit. Solenoid-triggered water valves, found on dishwashers and washing machines, can stop the flow of water suddenly, causing stored energy to shake your pipes. Water flowing above 80 psi can cause backflushing, which also results in moving pipes.
Shaking pipes strain pipe joints and seams, but the damage may not show itself for a long time. One day, your pipe joint might fail or a crack, leaving your with a major water leak on your hands.
What Can You Do About Shaking Pipes?
To subdue your rattling pipes, you need to bring in a licensed plumbing contractor. Your plumber will identify what’s causing your pipes to shake and offer solutions to fix the problem. This might be as simple as securing your pipes to studs and joists, or be as complicated as installing water hammer arresters and water pressure regulators.
A water hammer arrester is a sealed tube installed on top of water pipes near the valve. It contains a cushion of air that absorbs the energy within the water when the valve shuts. A water pressure regulator keeps the amount of water flowing into your home at a manageable pressure below 80 psi.