When it comes to your plumbing, what you hear could often be more important than what you see. Keeping abreast with what is going on inside your walls could help catch plumbing leaks early and save your home from extensive water damage or having to pay outrageous utility bills. Here is a look at tips on how you can diagnose your plumbing using your auditory sense.
Banging in the pipes
One of the most common complaints homeowners run into is a disturbing banging noise in their pipes. The most common cause of this problem is pipes that are loosely attached along long stretches in the basement or crawl space, which causes them to shake when water flows through them. The problem can get more intense if water pressure in your pipes is too high, which can cause pipes to jerk anytime you open a faucet or flush a toilet. This problem can be fixed by using hangers to firmly secure loose pipes to joists and have your plumber install a pressure reducer valve to regulate water pressure at the water main.
Banging in the pipes can also be caused by a forced water heating system that pushes air into the plumbing. To halt the banging and gurgling, your plumber will usually have to purge the air out of the plumbing and regulate the water temperature so as to reduce the buildup of air into pipes.
If you hear dripping in your plumbing that isn't caused by a drippy spigot, you are probably dealing with a leak in your internal pipes.
To establish that there is a problem, use the low flow detector on your water meter to detect any leakage that is out of sight. The detector is typically a small red/blue triangle embedded on the water meter gauge that registers subtle amounts of water flow. If the detector rotates after you have turned your water main valve off, this should point to a leak somewhere in the pipes.
To pinpoint exactly where the issue is, turn off the main shutoff valve to your home and then turn the water back on. Typically, the on/off flow of water through the plumbing should help magnify the sound of the leak, making it much easier to catch.
For underground leaks, listening may not always help you identify the damaged location, and you may have to call in a plumber to use specialized equipment to find the leak. Contact a business, such as Aurora Plumbing and Electric Supply, Inc, for more information.