Banging Pipes...it's got a good beat and you can dance to it

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by djk, Jul 10, 2006.

  1. djk

    djk New Member

    Messages:
    4
    ...but it's driving me crazy!! We have been experiencing a strange rhythmic banging in our pipes for the last 2-3 weeks that seems to happen at random times for random lengths of time. Some days it will only last 15 minutes and happen mid-morning, other days it can last 7+ hours starting around bed time (those are my personal favorite!). Draining the pipes resulted in two glorious days of no banging, but alas, it came back. Turning on every faucet and flushing all toilets also seems to work...at least for a few minutes.

    Any suggestions on where to start...or should I just put on my dance shoes and enjoy my own little version of "American Bandstand"
  2. speedball1

    speedball1 Retired plumber

    Messages:
    43
    Location:
    Sarasota Fl.
    How old is your home? Are you on city water or a pump? If on a pump system do the noises start when the pump cycles? Let me know. Tom
  3. vleespet

    vleespet New Member

    Messages:
    47
    well

    I don't want to steal the thread but i have banging pipes too.
    I am on a private welll system and it only bangs when draining.
    any ideas?

    ron
  4. Mikey

    Mikey Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek

    Messages:
    2,734
    Location:
    Central Florida
    Hot vs cold; possibly a leaking toilet

    First, turn off the water heater to isolate the cause -- if the noise stops, it's on the hot water side; if not (more likely), go on. If it does, report back.

    Try turning off all your toilets at the stop valves. If the noise stops, turn them back on one by one until the noise returns, at which point you've found the culprit.
  5. djk

    djk New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Our home is 2 years old and we have city water. We're in a developing subdivision where there are new homes being built on a daily basis but none of our neighbors seem to have the same problem (lucky us!!). I'm at work now, but will try the water heater & toilet valve idea tonight...wish me luck :)
  6. Mikey

    Mikey Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek

    Messages:
    2,734
    Location:
    Central Florida
    Are you in Virginia?
  7. djk

    djk New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Okay, here's my update...the banging was in full swing last night so we turned off the cold water going into the hot water tank and it stopped. So where to go from here? Oh, and no, we are not in Virginia...we're in Northern Illinois. TIA
  8. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,269
    Location:
    New England
    Some water meters, most pressure reduction valves and potentially a separate add-on include a check valve. This lets water into the house, but potentially contaminated water can't get out.

    When you use some water from the hot tap, it gets replaced with denser cold water from the supply. When you reheat that water, it expands. If there is a check valve (that is working perfectly), the pressure in the lines of the house will increase, often enough to dump a little bit of water from the pressure relief valve on top of the water heater (called a T&P, or temperature and pressure relief valve). It might not get high enough to dump water from there, especially if the check valve is leaking a little. It could also be the prv.

    The solution may be the addition of an expansion tank to the cold water inlet side of the water heater. This, properly installed and sized, gives the water someplace to expand into when the heater does its thing.

    Stop at one of the big box stores, pick up a $10 water pressure gauge, screw it onto either a washing machine supply or a hose bib outside. Check your pressure when this is happening.

    My guess is that you notice it in the evening more because you give the kids (and/or yourself) a bath before bed, use a lot of hot water, and then overnight while it reheats, it is overcoming the check valve and making the noise.

    A new check valve might fix that, but then the T&P would probably leak. If this scenario is correct, adding an expansion tank should resolve it.
    1 person likes this.
  9. djk

    djk New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Thank you so much for your help...fingers crossed that we'll no longer be "dancing" with our pipes :p
  10. speedball1

    speedball1 Retired plumber

    Messages:
    43
    Location:
    Sarasota Fl.
    Hi djk, Greetings from Florida from a Rockford transplant.

    I'm with jadnashua on this. Add a expansion tank, (see image) on the cold water supply line and remove the bang forever. Regards, Tom

    Attached Files:

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