How to suppress sound in PVC sewer pipes

Written by scott knickelbine
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One challenge in remodelling a basement is deciding what to do about water and sewer pipes. They can be concealed with panelling or drop ceilings, but the sound of the sewer pipes every time somebody flushes the toilet, takes a shower or turns on a tap is harder to disguise. Fortunately, there are soundproofing tapes that combine dense sound barriers with noise- and vibration-isolating foam cores. These products are peel-and-stick and are very easy to use.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Anti-grease detergent
  • Clean rags
  • Tape measure
  • Pipe soundproofing wrap, 1 roll for each 1 1/2 feet of exposed pipe
  • Scissors or shears

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  1. 1

    Measure the length of exposed pipe you want to soundproof. You'll need one 8-foot roll of soundproofing wrap for every 1 1/2 feet of exposed 4-inch sewer pipe.

  2. 2

    Clean all dirt and grease from the surface of the PVC pipe, using detergent and water. Dry thoroughly.

  3. 3

    Peel the backing off the soundproofing wrap.

  4. 4

    Press the adhesive backing of one end of the wrap to one end of the pipe, and wrap it completely around the pipe, pressing lightly to make sure it adheres.

  5. 5

    Continue to wrap the pipe, working your way down, making sure each wrap overlaps the one above it by about 1/4 inch.

  6. 6

    Start a new roll, if necessary, by overlapping the end of the last roll by about 1/4 inch.

  7. 7

    Cut the wrap with scissors or shears when you have reached the other end of the pipe.

Tips and warnings

  • A soundproofing wrap that's about 1/4 inch thick can reduce noise from the pipe by as much as 40 decibels, depending on the frequency of the sound.
  • If you're working in confined conditions, you may want to remove the adhesive backing of the wrap gradually, as you work down the pipe, so that the free end won't stick to other surfaces.
  • Once soundproofing wrap is applied, it is very difficult to remove. Make sure you have properly positioned the wrap before pressing it into position.
  • Do not apply soundproofing wrap over access plugs in the pipe. Cut the wrap when you come to the plug and continue it again just past the plug.
  • Unlike some pipe insulators, acoustic foam is flammable. Do not install it in areas of high heat or open flame.

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