If you’re hearing popping or hissing sounds coming from your pipes, you might be wondering what’s causing these strange sounds and what can be done about it. Often, these noises are caused by air in your pipes.
Another telltale sign air is the culprit is a vibrating noise or loud gurling sound coming from the pipes. You may also hear thumping, or what sounds like a ghost banging within the walls.
Whether you consider these sounds spooky or simply annoying, it’s a sign that you need to call a plumber. While air in your pipes isn’t necessarily a plumbing emergency, if not addressed, it can lead to big plumbing repairs in the future.
What causes air in pipes?
There are many ways air can get into your home’s water lines. If you’ve recently installed new pipes or have altered your existing pipes, after a home remodel for example, it could have caused air to get into the pipes. Additionally, air can infiltrate pipes via your home’s water heater’s anode rod. Should it become corroded, it can lead to other issues as well, including foul smelling water filled with sediment.
If there’s been construction happening in the neighborhood, it can affect your home’s plumbing system, and cause air in the lines. When the city works on water lines, it can cause air build up and lead to clanking, sputtering faucets. This is especially the case after the water company shuts off water supply for maintenance.
Why do I need to remove air from my pipes?
Many homeowners choose to remove air from their water line when the noises create a quality-of-life issue. However, there are other reasons to contact a reputable plumber if you suspect you’ve got air in your pipes. Not only can the air cause water pressure issues, but it can make water flow inconsistent.
The trapped air can also create a blockage around the pipes, and this can lead, in turn, to strong vibrations from the pipes that can damage the area supporting them. And air in pipes can also cause corrosion which can lead to rusty, weak, and even broken pipes.
How can I remove air from my pipes?
While it may be important to call a plumber to fix the problem, if you’ve just begun to hear clanking or rattling in your pipes and suspect that air is the culprit, you may be able to fix the problem yourself. Here are four steps to removing air from your pipes.
First, shut off the main water supply. Your main shut off valve is likely located in your basement or at the base of your home’s foundation or crawl space. Once you’ve located it, turn it off so that you can drain the water from your pipes safely.
Next, turn on your faucets. All you’ll need to do is rotate your faucets by about one-half turn. You should also turn on any appliances, like your washing machine and showers, so that excess water can flow from them as well.
Now, flush all the toilets. Wait until water stops flowing from your faucets and flush every toilet in the house. You’ll need to flush until there is no water in the tanks.
Finally, turn on the water supply. Let water run through the faucets for at least 15 minutes. Also, let the washing machine run through a rinse cycle (just add a cup of water). If you don’t hear banging that sounds suspiciously like air in the pipes, consider it a DIY job well done. On the other hand, if the noises come back quickly, it’s time to call the plumber.
We’ve been helping Cincinnati area homeowners address air in pipes for decades. Give the team at Allied Reddi-Rooter a call at 513-396-5300, or contact us via our website to schedule plumbing maintenance today. We always come highly recommended and have earned an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau for our expert quality of service.