Serious banging in old pipes

December 30th, 2009

It’s time to call the emergency plumbers if the pipes in your old house start making a racket. Not only is it noisy and upsetting, but it can point to serious underlying problems, too.

The first thing emergency plumbers in London will do if called to your home is check the pipes to see if they can trace the noise – generally, the pipe has become loose from its housing and is banging against the wall.

In crawl spaces and basements, the pipes are usually suspended by perforated pipe straps from the joists. A long run of pipe may start knocking against the wood, and this can be eliminated by wedging a block of wood in a strategic place. The plumber must be careful to allow enough play for temperature expansion within the pipe, however.

If the vibration occurs throughout the system, it is an indication that the water pressure is too high – this must be reduced or, eventually, the pipes will spring a leak. Similarly, if you only get knocking when the hot water is switched on, it is a sign the thermostat is set too high, as the noise is simply steam in the system.

These are all fairly easy problems to rectify, but if the knocking continues then this indicates that the system has developed water hammer. Emergency plumbers in London often get call-outs for this because of the age of the houses – it is rare in newer properties.

We at IQ Plumbing Services know how distressing and potentially damaging water hammer can be in old pipes, and always recommend that you call us if you suspect that this problem is occuring in your home.

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