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Every home has a clutch of pipes running through the basement, walls, and sometimes, in the ceilings.
These open-ended metallic cylinders are mostly hidden in a lot of new constructions –no one would like to see large barrels of iron jutting from the wall. However, chances are you will see them here and there in older houses.
Since pipes are hidden and most homes didn’t have plans for soundproofing when the structures were nothing but pencil sketches, many homeowners who have experienced weird noises from water running in through pipes know how nerve-racking it is and are fast searching for a way out.
What Are Soil Pipes?
Everyone uses the toilet and bathroom every day for personal businesses. Soil pipes are the mechanisms put in place to remove the liquid waste produced as a result of your activities.
Soil pipes are equally important in the kitchen as well. These wastes are emptied in a sewer or a septic tank depending on the structure of your building.
Having to apologize to your family for flushing at night and waking everyone with the noisy sound is not something everyone looks forward to often doing.
And neither is having to use the shower at designated times, like when everyone is away, so the noise doesn’t disturb others.
If you have ever experienced this, then you know how dreadful it can be to live in a house with piping problems, especially loud soil pipes.
While reducing the noise coming from within your walls may seem difficult to achieve, there are always solutions to try and the ones I’m going to discuss in this post works. Stay with me.
What Are The Causes Of Noisy Pipes?
A noisy environment is not conducive for learning and resting as well. It affects concentration and many other aspects of good living. This is why it is essential to find a solution to such non-conducive situations as quickly as possible.
But before looking for solutions, the first step should be to evaluate the cause and origin of the noise. Some of the leading causes of unpleasant sounds in internal pipes are:
The High Pressure Of The Liquid
Liquid waste is fluid and flows with force depending on the source feeding the pipe and the outlets through which it is emptied.
When the pressure of the liquid is way too high, the movement through the pipe is unstable, and this causes noise as the ‘excited’ water molecules regularly hit the walls on the pipes they are enclosed in.
Apart from causing disturbances in the form of noise, the high pressure of sewage is a significant factor that increases the chance of having to deal with a burst pipe. And when you have an unchecked burst pipe, you are accumulating water damages that will grin scornfully at your budget later on.
Whether for the noise or to avoid water damages, it’s essential to check the water pressure. There are a couple of good pressure reduction valves that can do the trick. However, seek professional advice before and after purchasing those valves.
This is one that is common factor. Movement of liquid wastes through pipes can cause a vibrating action and when this vibration comes in contact with a surface, say a wall, noise emerges.
To avoid this, consider placing rubber insulation between the pipe and the wall. Some insulations act as shock absorbers. They take in the vibrations without transferring them to the wall.
Also, place some insulation between pipes that are close to each other in a way that they have fewer chances of rubbing on themselves.
The Thermal Effect
Some pipe materials such as copper are susceptible to heat. As the heat of the water increases, they (the pipes) become hotter and expand to allow smooth flow.
If the pipes are so close to each other, they will rub against themselves and create some rattling noise. This usually occurs at places like joints and studs where pipes are pretty close.
Eliminating the noise produced by heated and clashing pipes is very easy. You can consider reducing the temperature of the water, so the pipes are in stable conditions.
But when it is necessary to use heated water often, install rubber matting and isolate brackets to the pipes at the points where they come in contact. This is slightly off our discussion on soil pipes, but it’s worth knowing it, back to internal soil pipes. Next, I will discuss how to soundproof these pipes.
Soundproofing Internal Soil Pipes: How To Quiet Noisy Pipes
So far we have examined the causes of loud pipes, and I have given some solutions on how to fix them. But if the noise persists, everything points to the need for soundproofing your inner pipes.
Soundproofing internal soil pipes should be viewed in two different ways
It is possible to block out noise from internal pipes, at least from your ears. There are a few ways to achieve this, and they require you to use some materials like mass loaded vinyl and insulators. These materials are dense enough to contain the sound and prevent it from escaping the wall.
In some cases, it’s not entirely possible to eliminate the noise. But you certainly can keep the sound less distractive and even unheard. How does one do this?
All you need do is to purchase efficient sound-absorbing wraps and materials. One unique thing about these shock absorbent insulators is their ability to fit into any hole and prevent unnecessary movement of pipes.
In the video below, a unique product is being used to soundproof drains.
When this is in place, the materials absorb vibrations and suppress unwanted sounds from escaping the walls or ceilings –wherever the pipe may be.
Step By Step Measures To Soundproof Soil Pipes
Pipes carrying liquid waste can be internal or external. I won’t outline the steps involved in soundproofing external soil pipes because they are mostly fixed outside the house. Therefore, even if they produce deafening noises, inhabitants of the house are safe from it (although to an extent).
Let’s briefly look at the items required in soundproofing internal soil pipes.
Now, here are the procedures to follow in soundproofing an internal soil pipe effectively:
1. Take The Length Of The Pipes
Measure the length of the pipes to determine how much soundproofing materials you’ll need to use. Whether you choose to block the noise totally or to reduce its intensity, you’ll have to use mass loaded vinyl or foam insulations.
After measuring the length of the pipes, you know the dimension of foam insulation to use. All you have to do now is to cut that required amount of padding with the utility knife and spread the foam with your fingers on the pipe along the seam of the foam.
2. Wrap The Sewage Lines With Sound Absorbent Insulation
After a layer of foam insulation, wrapping with another layer for deadening any rattling noise is the next line of action.
This extra layer absorbs vibrations and prevents unnecessary sounds from escaping the walls. There is also another benefit of taking this step.
During periods of lower temperature, the insulation provides the pipe with adequate heating, prevents it from freezing thereby curbing potential water damages. Secure the wraps with duct tapes.
3. Use Pipe Hangers
Adding pipe hanger brackets cushions the pipe and restricts its movement. Pipe hangers prevent the pipe from hitting interior studs when in use.
You will need a screwdriver, studs and wood screws to fasten the hangers to the wall. It is possible that your home’s initial plumbing didn’t provide space for screws. This emphasizes the need to open walls in your home for cushioned pipe hangers to be fixed.
The after effect is worth opening holes in your walls –who wouldn’t trade a few holes to get rid of a regular, disturbing noise?
4. Carryout A Final Check
A couple of screws may not have been tightened properly. There may be loopholes in wrapping the soil pipes with soundproofing materials.
You can only find these out when you go over everything you’ve done. Ensure everything is in perfect condition before you step out.
Final Thoughts On Soundproofing Internal Soil Pipes
I have detailed the effective medium for soundproofing your internal soil pipes which in turn gives your home the sanctity it needs.
No longer do you have to worry about nagging sounds when you flush or use the shower. Your kids will stop asking you to postpone your bath so that they could study.
Quieting your pipes doesn’t have to be difficult. First, you should determine the cause and origin of the noise and try to fix it. If the problem persists, follow the steps outlined above and seek professional help when necessary to achieve the best results.
Note: In extreme cases, there may be a need to bring down your dry walls before doing any soundproofing. Such situations demand expert attention. Do not attempt to soundproof the pipes if you don’t have the required skills. A plumber is just one call away, save yourself more trouble.