Is your house haunted by the ghost of the banging pipes? Is there a clatter every time that you turn on a tap? If there is, don't worry. These sounds are a normal every day problem that our Santa Monica plumbing service handles all the time. There are several major causes for knocking pipes that aren't ghost related.
Air hammers are the most common pipe thumpers in the pipe system. They happen when air enters the system and causes pressure to build up in the system. The knocking sound can get very loud in areas where the valves are opened and shut repeatedly. Having a licensed Santa Monica plumbing service tech install an air hammer suppressor will eliminate this problem.
High water pressure is also a major culprit in knocking pipes. When pressure in the pipes reaches a PSI of 60 or higher the pipes can move significantly more than normal. If a faucet is opened, the initial burst of water will be quite forceful and release the pressure in the pipe. The pipe will swing in response to the release of pressure and possibly bang against other pipes or the support brackets. When the tap is closed the pipe will repressurize and the cycle will start again.
Loose supports can also cause a knocking sound. When supports get old they can come loose and allow pipes to swing more generously than before. They may then smack against other pipes or floor joists.
Showers and toilets are often the recipients of a broken valve knocking sound. When water begins to flow through the valve, pipes on either side of the broken valve can knock together or against support members.