This DIY guide will teach you how to fix noisy chattering  or banging pipes. Learn about the different causes of noisy pipes and how to fix noisy pipes yourself.

Does you home sound like a ghost is living in the walls—thumping, rattling, and hammering every time you turn off a faucet or flush a toilet? If it does, the chances are good that it’s just the plumbing. Pipes can make a variety of noises that are due to any of several problems:

How to Fix Pipes That Rattle

Sometimes water traveling through pipes makes them vibrate against your home’s framing members. If you can gain access to your pipes where they rattle, from the basement, for example, the quickest and easiest way to solve the problem is to put foam pipe insulation sleeves onto them and refasten them securely.

Foam pipe insulation can help quiet some noisy pipes. Photo: Frost King
Foam pipe insulation can help quiet some noisy pipes. Frost King

How to Fix Chattering Pipes

If pipes chatter when you turn on certain faucets, replace the faucet washers. For information on this, see How to Fix a Dripping Faucet.

How to Fix Banging Pipes (Water Hammer)

A very common pipe noise called “water hammer” is the banging sound that may occur when water rushes through pipes and hits a quick-closing valve, such as the type inside a toilet or washing machine. Normally a home’s plumbing system is designed with short lengths of pipe that fill up with air to cushion the water as it comes to a quick stop, but the air can eventually leak out.

Water Hammer Arrestor Sioux Chief

To solve water hammer, recharge the water supply system with air to help cushion the water’s flow when it reaches faucets. To do this, turn off the main water supply valve, and drain the water from the supply system by opening all of your house’s faucets halfway. Then close the lowest faucets and turn on the main water supply. Work your way up through the house, turning off the faucets as water begins to flow through them.

If the problem persists, you can buy a water hammer arrestor that attaches to the supply valve or pipe that serves the offending fixture. For information about working with copper pipe, see Working With Copper Pipe. If this work is beyond your skills, call a plumber.

Featured Resource: Get a Pre-Screened Local Plumbing Pro

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About Don Vandervort
Don Vandervort has developed his expertise for more than 30 years as a remodeler and builder, Building Editor for Sunset Books, Senior Editor at Home Magazine, author of more than 30 home improvement books, and writer of countless magazine articles. He appeared for 3 seasons on HGTV’s “The Fix,” and served as MSN’s home expert for several years. Don founded HomeTips in 1996. Read more about Don Vandervort