Imagine this scenario: you’re peacefully sleeping or relaxing in your home, and then all of the sudden your peace is disrupted by a persistent knocking noise. It’s not coming from the front door—rather, it’s coming from… inside your walls!
No, this probably isn’t the sign of a haunted house. A much more likely scenario is that what you’re heating is your plumbing pipes knocking. This is definitely not a sound to be too alarmed by, but that doesn’t mean you can ignore the problem either, and that can cause plumbing problems like pinhole leaks and loose plumbing joints.
Read on as we dive into what causes knocking pipes and what you can do about it.
What Causes Knocking Pipes?
In many cases, the cause of knocking pipes is due to variable water pressure happening in your main supply water line that comes into your home. This may sound alarming, but this pressure is actually pretty important. It keeps water moving freely throughout your pipes and into your faucets and plumbing appliances like your dishwasher and washing machine.
When the air that’s supposed to create this pressure is leaking, then water can move quite violently, causing your pipes to shift—this is when you hear the knocking, as that water moves through the length of your plumbing system.
“Okay, I Get It, Now What Do I Do?”
The good news is, there is something you can do. Normally we’d say “call a plumber” for any plumbing problem you might experience, and we’ll talk about that more below.
For now, you’re going to turn off the main water supply. Be sure to alert your household that you’ll be doing so first, since they won’t be able to use any plumbing appliances or fixtures for a little bit. Next, you’ll flush your plumbing pipes and faucets by opening all of those said faucets. Flush all your toilets as well. While you still have the main supply valve switched off, opening the faucets and flushing the toilets will allow all the water in your home to exit through the drainage pipes and your sewer system, ensuring all the supply lines are empty.
After all this, turn your main valve back on, but do it slowly! This is important, as the air chambers between and around your pipes need time to refill before water rushes back through them. Once you do this, the knocking should subside.
“I Really Don’t Have to Call a Plumber?”
Nope! If you followed the steps above, the knocking subsides, and there are no other signs that you have a plumbing leak or blockage, you’re good! Of course, that being said, if you don’t invest in routine annual plumbing maintenance then you definitely should give us a call. You could have problems you don’t even know about.
Also, if you follow the steps above but the knocking doesn’t stop, then you are risking future damage to your plumbing, so it’s in your best interest to call a pro.