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Posts Tagged ‘noisy pipes’

Top 10 Common Plumbing Problems

Friday, October 14th, 2016

Good plumbing is easy to take for granted, but when something goes wrong, you soon know about it. It could be your drains are clogged, the HVAC has stopped working, or your shower is leaking. And when it needs fixing, it usually needs fixing now. Some plumbing problems are more serious than others, but all are worth your immediate attention for your peace of mind and your budget.

Common Plumbing Problems
Consumer Checkbook gives a breakdown on the most common problems you are likely to encounter with home plumbing.

  1. Water hammer: an annoying banging from your pipes, which is caused by the water flow suddenly stopping and the water crashing into a valve. Other causes of noisy pipes are normal water flow, fixings coming loose, and temperature changes. If you’re worried, a plumber can usually locate the cause.
  2. Clogs and blockages: drainpipes must slope slightly to help rainwater flow quickly and wash away debris. If the slope is too flat, clogs can occur. Blocked sinks, basins, showers, tubs, and toilets usually result when inappropriate material is deposited in them.
  3. Leaks: toilet, sink, and other fixture water traps and pipes may leak due to age or because they were not properly tightened.


Hidden Dangers
You may not notice certain dangerous problems with your plumbing. A professional can check your home to find out if it is at risk.

  1. Poor ventilation: water heaters and furnaces must have adequate ventilation to avoid dangerous gases building up in your home. Your family is at risk if a chimney or vent is clogged or doesn’t have a strong draft, and if the room that contains the heater or furnace has little or no ventilation.
  2. No grounding: replacing steel water pipes with plastic ones removes the electrical grounding a home. If there is an electrical fault or your house is hit by lightning, the electricity has nowhere to go, leaving your family in danger of electrocution.
  3. No fire shield: when a water heater flue has no fire-resistant shield, any nearby combustible material can catch fire.
  4. Poor seals: several pipes leave your house through the outer walls, and if the holes aren’t properly sealed, rain and moisture can leak inside and cause damp and mold.


Avoiding Plumbing Issues
Popular Mechanics explains how to avoid or fix simple plumbing errors.

  1. Retained disposal plug: after fitting a garbage disposal, remove the disposal plug if the unit is connected to a dishwasher, or water will leak everywhere.
  2. Construction materials: don’t pour materials left over from your construction project down the sink. The materials can harden and clog the pipes.
  3. Incorrect appliance use: don’t hang heavy racks from your shower fitting or heavily crank faucet handles. Also, don’t turn on a new water heater until it is full.

Plumbing problems are annoying at best, but at worst they can be dangerous. Treat your appliances kindly to get the best use from them and if you are concerned about your plumbing, book a professional inspection.

For answers to your questions, contact the Pink Plumber today.

Strange Plumbing Noises Part 4: Why Do My Pipes Sound Like a Foghorn?

Thursday, September 17th, 2015

It may sound absurd to compare simple plumbing noises to a foghorn until you actually hear the noise. This is a deep humming that reverberates and can be caused by several different things, depending on where in your house the noise is coming from. Let’s take a look at the common culprits.

Toilet

This is one of the most frequent causes of the foghorn sound in plumbing. If you hear the sound every time that the toilet is used, then it’s probably a problem with the ballcock (a.k.a. fill or flapper) valve inside the toilet. When ballcocks get offset or old, they no longer close the valve properly and shudder – this can quickly echo and get amazingly loud.

The easiest solution for this issue is to pop the top off of your toilet and see if you can replace the “ball” part of the valve so that it closes completely. You may need to replace the valve altogether, so it’s best to contact a professional.

Faucet

If you hear this sound when you turn on a faucet, then it’s probably a problem with a faucet washer. A loose faucet washer, when subjected to water, can also create a lot of noise and may approach that foghorn-level of noise. Tighten the screws throughout your faucet system to try to stop this problem. If your faucet continues to rattle, get in touch with your plumber.

Washer

At some point, you have probably heard your washer or dishwasher make some strange sounds as it fills up with water. One of the most common noises is the sharp, slamming “machine gun” noise that indicates valve problems. If this rattle grows fast enough it can also cause reverberating, foghorn-like sounds.

Here, the problem is probably related to a worn out solenoid fill valve, which is a bit like the one in your toilet, but smaller, stronger and harder to reach. It’s probably time to replace that valve before it gives up forever.

Inside the Walls or Widespread Issues

If you have trouble pinning down where the foghorn sounds in your plumbing fixtures are coming from, or if it appears to be coming from all your appliances, then it’s time to call your plumber. A professional will cover all the bases, such as: are the pipes old? Are the brackets holding them in place loose? A few loose pipes may be causing these noises. You should also check to see if you have a pressure regulator (located at your water meter or near your water source), and if the foghorn noise is coming from this regulator, it may be malfunctioning and due for a replacement.

For answers to your questions or for a solution to strange plumbing noises, contact the Pink Plumber today!

Image Source: Flickr

The Water Hammer Fix: Can You Stop Banging Pipes?

Thursday, September 3rd, 2015

Are you looking for a water hammer fix? Is the noise starting to drive crazy? Water hammer occurs when you turn the water on and your pipes respond with an audible bang – a thundering boom that is sometimes loud enough to rattle your windows and may be followed by other disturbing noises.

Water Hammer and Your Pipes

When you first hear a water hammer, it sounds incredible – like something that shouldn’t be happening inside your home at all. But the cause is surprisingly simple: the “hammer” is made from a combination of blocked pipes and pressure waves.

When you turn on water, especially for high-demand applications like pouring a bath or turning on a shower, your water system sends in a powerful gush of water through your pipes and toward its destination. But along the way, sometimes water encounters a slow valve, a sudden turn or a loose pipe that forces a sudden change or a quick stop. But the water is moving so quickly that this sudden crash creates a powerful pressure wave as the water is suddenly compressed and released. That wave is the explosive sound that travels outward, often making pipes throughout your house rattle.

Water hammer is more common with older pipes, poorly installed pipes and pipes that carry heated water. Think about a water hammer fix that will address these problems for overall healthy plumbing.

Water Hammer Problems

The blast of water hammer does not mean that something is immediately broken – after the pressure wave, water typically continues to travel as normal. But water hammer isn’t something that you want hanging around. The shockwave can knock pipes from their brackets, cause serious valve damage, encourage leaks to develop and more.

Finding a Water Hammer Fix

There are several different solutions to water hammer issues, depending on the source of the problem. One of the easiest is air chamber maintenance – most homes use air chambers that have pockets of air in the pipes to provide some cushioning as water makes tight turns. That air can sometimes leak out over time, creating problems, but you can replace it with new air. This usually requires professional help.

If your problem is a stuck valve, this is a more immediate problem that can be fixed with a simple replacement. Sometimes there is a more far-reaching issue, such as a problem with the pitch of your pipes (the angle at which they decline over a distance), but this is relatively rare.

Water hammer can also be treated with special valves call arresters that help water slow down in better ways. If you cannot solve your water hammer problems any other way, then contact a professional and ask them about installing an arrester or similar device to help prevent future noises.

For answers to your questions or a fix for your water hammer problems, contact the Pink Plumber today!

Image Source: Flickr