You're lying in bed on a dark and stormy night, but you're not afraid -- after all, the noise is only thunder, the flashes from the window only lightning. But then you hear a mysterious, angry-sounding hammering within the walls. You get up to see what's wrong, only to discover that your feet are bathed in water. You're not in a haunted house after all -- it's your plumbing that's causing the nightmare! Here are some issues that may require an "exorcist" in the form of a skilled plumber.
That insistent knocking, pounding, or other sound that goes "bump" in the night is most likely due to water pipe or hot-water system issues. While these annoyances may not constitute emergencies in and of themselves, they can definitely deprive you and your loved ones of a good night's sleep -- and over time, they damage your plumbing or heating system as well. Possible culprits include:
Unsecured wall pipes - Normally, the water pipes running through your walls are tied down with mounting straps. The straps keep the pipes from shifting position as volumes of water move through them, so they won't knock against each other or other structures in the wall. Sooner or later, however, these straps will give way, and the pipes are now free to form an impromptu percussion ensemble until you get those straps replaced or add insulating clips to hold the pipe still.
Pressure problems - Banging noises in your pipes may occur when water (or in the case of your radiator, steam) is pushed through them at too high a pressure level. Have the pipe pressure checked; if it reads above 80 pounds per square inch, your plumber may need to adjust the water main's pressure reducer valve. If air bubbles in your forced hot water are causing the noise, then your plumber can purge the air out of the system to quiet your "ghosts."
When you turn a faucet on or off, you expect it to either produce water or stop producing water accordingly. It's disconcerting when your faucets develop a mind of their own and stop disobeying orders, especially if you're subjected a dripping noises in the middle of the night or a frighteningly high monthly water bill. The two main problems here include:
Leaks from worn components - A faucet contains multiple components -- washers, rings, stems, nuts and so on -- all of which must work together perfectly to seal off the water supply. Wear on these components can cause them to fail. Unless you understand the structure of your particular faucets well enough to work on them yourself, you may want to call a plumber to get this problem fixed quickly and easily.
Clogs and breaks - If no water is coming out of the faucet, you may simply have a blockage or clog inside the aerator, the mesh screen attached to the end of the tap. You can usually fix this issue yourself by removing the aerator and either cleaning the gunk out of it or replacing it with a new part. If none of your faucets are producing water, however, then you've got a bigger nightmare -- namely, a major leak or break in a pipe. This is absolutely a job for a professional!
If poltergeists have seen fit to dump water onto your floors and carpets, you have no choice but to contact a 24 hour emergency plumber immediately. While flooding may occur as the result of the aforementioned pipe break, it can also originate from other devices in your home such as your basement hoses, washing machine, water heater, dishwasher, or sump pump.
The longer you let this situation continue, the more damage your home will sustain and the more likely you are to face another scare -- toxic mold proliferation. That's why it's critical that you have a plumber who can respond at any time of the day or night to stop that water in its tracks.
Few things are as scary for a homeowner as a plumbing system run amuck. Knowing the trouble signs and the possible solutions, however, can help relieve your fears and restore your home to normalcy as soon as possible. Just stay calm -- and call a plumbing company like A Rescue Rooter Plumber.