What Your Home's Plumbing System Has To Say About a Possible Pipe Break
When the water pipes in your North Saint Paul, MN, home get noisy, they are actually letting you know about possible plumbing problems. You may hear hammering, bangs, and thumps, or squeals; any of these sounds could give you the chance to provide repairs before water damage from a pipe break happens.
Identify Your Home's Warnings of a Pipe Break
It's not uncommon for homeowners to feel a little spooked when they hear suspicious sounds from their water pipes. There's a good reason for this; plumbing mishaps, such as a pipe burst or drain backup, can leave you with a lot of messy, expensive cleanup. When you know what your pipes are trying to communicate, it's much easier to fix broken pipe before it leads to significant water damage.
Banging or Hammering
Any sounds similar to thumping and banging are likely caused by problems with water pressure or flow. For example, if a faucet is opened and then shut off suddenly, the pressure from rushing water causes a loud bang as the water hits the closed valve. This is known as a water hammer. Too much air pressure can also cause humming; this happens because too much pressure causes the pipes to vibrate.
Air bubbles are an example of a water flow problem. Pockets of air may become trapped in the pipes for a variety of reasons, and you may need help from a plumber to resolve this issue.
There are several forms of damage that could arise from water hammers, too much pressure, and an inconsistent flow of water:
- Weakened joints
- Damaged connections
- Waterlogged air chambers
- Potential pipe break
Remember, it's less expensive to pay for maintenance and small repairs than for large-scale repairs and professional water damage cleanup.
Gurgling or Sucking
If the pipes are becoming clogged or there's an obstruction somewhere along the line, you may hear a gurgling sound. The culprits could be a buildup of soap scum, hard water residue, or something that shouldn't have been flushed. Professional drain cleaners can usually remove the problem and, as a result, eliminate the gurgling, sucking sound.
A high-pitched squeal, whine, or whistle often indicates worn components within the faucet, valves, or plumbing line. You should be able to determine the location of the worn part simply by listening. Homeowners can often handle faucet repairs, but washers and other components deep within the plumbing system may require expert attention. This is particularly important if the whine is situated near any gas lines.
Rattling and Clanking
Sometimes older pipes become detached from the walls, ceilings, or floors. There are many possible reasons for this:
- Rust has weakened fasteners.
- Very hot water caused copper pipes to expand, loosening fasteners.
- Structural elements of the home have decayed and no longer hold fasteners.
The plumbing system is usually hidden behind walls and between floors and ceilings. This makes it difficult for homeowners to address the problem and can make it very difficult to identify the exact location of the missing fastener.
You probably don't want to hear noisy pipes, but when your pipes do speak up, respond as quickly as possible to avoid the trouble and expense of a pipe break.