Water Pipes Banging at Night

Do you experienced water pipes banging at night?

If you’ve ever been startled awake in the middle of the night by the banging and clattering of water pipes, you know how disruptive and frustrating it can be. Noisy pipes are a common nuisance many homeowners face, prompting them to seek plumbers.

The disruptive sounds may range from banging to squealing to gurgling. However, each sound provides valuable clues to the underlying issues within the plumbing system.

Before rushing into any plumbing repairs or considering a repipe, it is crucial to identify the root cause of the noisy pipes.

In this post, we will delve into the common causes of noisy water pipes at night. We will also provide practical solutions to restore a tranquil home environment and ensure restful nights of sleep.

Water Pipes Banging at Night – Most Common Causes


  1. Water Hammer Time

The water hammer phenomenon is a common reason behind the noisy symphony of water pipes. It occurs when water flowing through the pipes suddenly comes to an abrupt stop. When either cold or hot water flow is abruptly halted, it creates pressure fluctuations within the pipes. [1]

This results in a resonating effect that causes the pipes to collide with nearby objects like studs, joists, or other water pipes. The impact of the sudden stop can create a loud thud, similar to a hammer striking the pipes.

Understanding air chambers that act as shock absorbers in plumbing systems is crucial for addressing water hammers effectively.

Air chambers cushion sudden water flow stops, although they can lose effectiveness over time.

The following steps will help replenish the air chambers and reduce the water hammer effect.

  • Locate your home’s main water supply valve and shut it off to stop the water flow.
  • Turn on the highest-positioned tap in your home to drain the water from the plumbing lines.
  • Open the lowest positioned tap to allow air to enter the pipes and refill the air chambers.
  • Once the pipes are fully drained and the air chambers replenished, close the lowest tap and turn on the main water supply valve.

If the water hammer issue persists despite trying the above solution, consider purchasing and attaching a water hammer arrestor. Alternatively, seek assistance from a qualified plumber.

Related: Best Water Hammer Arrestor

  1. Worn out Tap or Valve Washers

Worn-out washers inside taps and valves are another frequent cause of nightly noisy pipes. Consistent use of washers causes them to become loose and damaged. This leads to uncontrollable water flow and excess noise. A telltale sign of a worn-out washer is when the tap drips, even when turned off. [2]

Replacing the washer is a relatively simple DIY task that can resolve the issue. This can be achieved by the following steps.

  • Turn off the water supply at the main valve to prevent water flow during the replacement process.
  • Disassemble the tap or valve to access the old washer.
  • Remove the worn-out washer and replace it with a new one of the correct size and type.
  • Reassemble the tap or valve, ensuring all components are correctly fitted and secured.
  • Turn on the water supply and test the tap to ensure proper functioning and no leaks.

If you need more clarification about replacing the washer or if the problem persists after replacement, consult a plumber to assess and fix the issue.

  1. Excessive Water Pressure

High water pressure is the most prevalent cause of pipes banging at night in many apartments and homes. If the water pressure is too high than your pipes can handle, it increases noise levels as the water rushes through the plumbing system. [3]

Checking and regulating water pressure is crucial to preventing noisy pipes. In many regions, standard water pressure ranges from 45 to 55 pounds per square inch (psi). If the pressure exceeds 60 psi, it can create problems. To address this problem, do the following:

  • Check the water pressure using a gauge or get a plumber to measure it accurately. Reducing the water pressure can also help minimize the water hammer effect.
  • If the pressure is too high, install a pressure limiting valve (PLV) to optimally regulate and maintain water pressure.
  • A qualified and licensed plumber can help install the PLV correctly to ensure its effectiveness.
  1. Loose Pipes Need Tightening Up

Over time, the constant water flow through the plumbing system gradually loosens the once tightly secured water pipes. This loosening effect causes the pipes to shift and move around within the walls or behind fixtures.

Securing loose water pipes is crucial to preventing unnecessary movement and noise. To ensure the stability of your plumbing system, follow these steps:

  • Inspect your plumbing system to identify any signs of loose mounting straps or fixtures.
  • Gather appropriate tools, such as wrenches, screws, or pliers, and use them appropriately.
  • Tighten the mounting straps or fixtures, and use the correct tool for each type of fastener .
  • Consider additional support, such as installing supplementary mounting brackets or clamps.
  • Wrap foam insulation around the pipes to reduce vibrations and dampen noise.
  1. Defective Main Shut Off Valve

Main shut-off valves are crucial in plumbing systems, as they control water flow and prevent flooding. They serve as the gateway for water supply to the entire home and are essential for maintaining a well-functioning household.

A damaged or faulty main shut-off or pressure limiting valve contribute to banging noise and pressure fluctuations, making it a key safety concern. Factors contributing to the deterioration of the valve include wear and tear, exposure to moisture, poor installation, improper maintenance, and low-quality materials.

Replacing or repairing a defective main shut-off or pressure limiting valve can resolve the issue. Here are steps to follow so as address the issue.

  • For the main shut-off valve, you may need to shut off the water mains supply at the water meter outside your home or near the street.
  • Carefully disassemble the valve to assess its condition and identify the cause of the problem.
  • Replace any damaged or malfunctioning components or the entire valve if necessary.
  • Reassemble the valve, ensuring all parts fit snugly and there are no leaks.
  • Turn on the water supply and test the valve to ensure it functions correctly and noiselessly.

Maintaining secure plumbing is important to prevent costly repairs, water damage, and disruptions to daily life. This requires scheduling annual professional inspections with a plumber to identify issues early and sort them out.

Avoid DIY plumbing repairs if uncertain, and schedule preventive drain cleaning to avoid clogs and keep your system running smoothly.

Related: Water Hammer Arrestor Not Working


If you faced water pipes banging at night, good chance that you have one of the five problems that we listed above. You can try it to fix it yourself or you can ask for a professional help.

Understanding and proactively addressing the common causes of noisy water pipes will lead to a properly functioning plumbing system.

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