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Banging pipes

Banging Pipes

Many of us have experienced a banging sound when a faucet is turned off. There are two types of faucets, quick close and slow close. Push pull faucets are quick close. One motion is used to operate the faucet. Hose bibs or any faucet, the handle is turned clock wise several times to close are slow close. Lever handles are too. The banging starts with quick close faucets but the real culprits are either excessive water pressure or loose pipes. In houses water pressure of more than 60 psi is not needed and approaches the danger zone. Water pressure of 80 psi requires a pressure reducing valve to be installed by code. More than 60 psi puts strain on the plumbing system and causes the system to have leaks before they normally would. If the pressure is too high and a pipe is loose, the pipe will act like your garden hose when you turn it on, move violently.

Another cause of banging pipes is pipes very tight against the wood inside the walls. When the house is plumbed the plumber is
supposed to drill holes one size larger than the pipe. Plastic insulators are inserted around the pipe. The pipe is not supposed to touch wood at any time. Hot water pipes are worse. When the hot water hits the pipe the pipe moves. If the pipe is tight to the wood it will make a loud squeaking sound, much like a dull bang. When the pipe cools off it will contract to where it was, repeating this annoying occurrence. It drives people crazy and there is little that can be done to fix it. It is hard to pin point the spot where the pipe is loose or tight, and even if you could the wall will still needs to be opened to remedy the situation. Inspectors on residential projects do not look for this too closely mostly because many homes are plumbed with plastic pipe. On commercial projects it is closely watched because steel studs are used and a copper pipe tight to a steel stud will leak in six months. The hot water pipe moving back and forth will have a hole worn in it very quickly. You cannot get a commercial plumbing job to pass inspection if any pipe is touching metal. You must put 10 mil insulating tape where this happens.I hope you live in a house that was piped by a caring, professional, plumber so your pipes don’t bang.
I surely do.

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