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

  1. #1

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

    ...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. #2
    Retired plumber speedball1's Avatar
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    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
    speedball1 is a veteran expert from AskMe.com.

  3. #3

    Default 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. #4
    Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek Mikey's Avatar
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    Default 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. #5

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    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. #6
    Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek Mikey's Avatar
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    Are you in Virginia?

  7. #7

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    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. #8
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    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.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  9. #9

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    Thank you so much for your help...fingers crossed that we'll no longer be "dancing" with our pipes

  10. #10
    Retired plumber speedball1's Avatar
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    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 Images Attached Images  
    speedball1 is a veteran expert from AskMe.com.

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