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My pipes are squealing. What should I do?

We just moved into an older house and have been having problems with the pipes. We would often hear high pitched awful squeals from time to time. How do you fix this problem?
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Posted 2015-03-11T22:51:46+0000  by fwilson77 fwilson77
 
It depends on when your house was built. If the house was build many decades ago, there might be a chance that you have galvanized iron pipes for you water supply. These pipes have a tendency to rust inside out, which creates debris from the rust. You can try to flushing out your pipes by opening up all your taps, valves and showers and let the water run for a few minutes. Squealing pipes can also be attributed to high water pressure too. Here's a checklist of what to do when your pipes are squealing.
Posted 2015-03-11T23:02:34+0000  by mikeplumber
Hi fwilson77,

Most homes have a whole-house pressure regulator on the main water line where it enters the building.

When originally installed, the regulator was set to stabilize water pressure inside the house at approximately 55-pounds.

Flush valves on toilets, sink and tub valves, hose bibs, and water lines to washing machines perform their best around this pressure.

As the house ages, these valves will build up deposits, commonly called calcium or lime, which reduces the size of the opening and causes the water to speed up ...... which often leads to a high pitched noise.

As mentioned earlier in the thread, galvanized pipes rust inside causing a similar effect.

THE SOLUTION:
Resolving this issue can be a bit of guesswork.

Start by testing the water pressure on your main line.

Apply a pressure gauge on the hose bib next to the main supply line.

Typically, this bib is installed before the regulator, so you'll be testing the "street" pressure.

Now do the same on the hose bib on the opposite side of the house ... typically installed after the regulator and test the "house" pressure.

You should measure more than 55-pounds of street pressure and almost exactly 55-pounds of house pressure.

If these numbers are off, consider installing a new regulator.

If these numbers are accurate, your next step is to identifying approximately where the noise is occurring.

Remove the faucet valves and/or stop cocks nearest the sound source and inspect the water pathway for a white calcium/lime buildup.

Replace valves and stop cocks that show buildup and continue following the squealing sound across the building, until you resolve the issue.

FINALLY:
Water heaters build pressure as the water warms, so they are constructed with "pressure release valves."

This is one more location you should check, since this valve will likely make a squealing noise as hot water is released.

Consider lowering your water heater temp setting or replacing the pressure release valve should you discover the valve regularly releases water.

Posted 2015-03-24T19:02:33+0000  by Pat_HD_ATL
 
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