How to Keep Water Pipes From Howling

Written by stephanie nolan
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How to Keep Water Pipes From Howling
Noisy water pipes can become bothersome. (Water Pipe with red handle image by Olga Sapegina from

If you turn on your water and notice the pipes howl or make strange noises, you may wish to repair them to avoid unwanted noises. A water hammer arrester allows excess water pressure or steam to escape. This reduces the noise coming from your pipes. Howling faucets may be an indication of water pressure set too high. You may wish to contact a plumber to verify the water pressure in your home.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Screwdriver
  • Pipe hangers or straps
  • Foam pipe insulation
  • Pipe cutter
  • Flux
  • Propane torch
  • Solder
  • Teflon tape
  • Water hammer arrester
  • Locking pliers
  • T-fitting
  • Short nipple
  • Female adaptor

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  1. 1

    Look for loose pipe straps or hangers on the water pipes. If you find some, tighten them by tightening the screws holding the straps or hanger. You may wish to add another strap or hanger as well. The pipe hanger or strap attaches to a stud in the wall for vertical pipes. For horizontal pipes, fasten them to exposed floor joists, if located in the basement.

  2. 2

    Verify your water pipes contain one strap or hanger for every 3 to 4 feet of pipe. If they do not, install straps or hangers every 3 to 4 feet, according the manufacturer's instructions.

  3. 3

    Turn on the hot water and listen for noise. If you hear noise, the pipe is tightened too tight. Pipes should be just loose enough to slide in their straps or hangers. You may wish to loosen the clamp or add a piece of foam pipe insulation to silence the noise.

  4. 4

    Install a water hammer arrester by turning off the main water supply and draining the system by opening all faucets in your home. This allows trapped water to drain from the pipes. Cut the pipe with your pipe cutter, removing approximately 1 inch of copper pipe.

  5. 5

    Install the T-fitting to the two cut ends of the water pipe by pushing it into the fitting. Install the short nipple by pushing it into the top of the T-fitting. Install the female adaptor by pushing it into the top of the short nipple.

  6. 6

    Apply flux to all pieces you installed in Step 5. Apply the flux to the pipe ends and insert the pipe ends into the fitting. Twist the fitting and spread the flux evenly around the pipe ends and fittings.

  7. 7

    Heat one joint with your propane torch until it's hot enough to melt solder. Apply a thin bead of solder until it forms a joint around the entire rim of the pipe. Flux helps pull solder into the fitting, allowing for a watertight solder.

  8. 8

    Solder the remaining joints of the pipe fittings in the same manner as you did in Step 7.

  9. 9

    Wrap Teflon tape around the threads of the water hammer arrester and screw it into the female adaptor with your locking pliers

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