When you turn on the tap in your house, you normally hear the sound of free flowing water as it rushes through your plumbing pipes. This sound is normal and there is no cause for alarm. When turning the faucet back off, however, there is sometimes a rattling, banging or “hammering” sound. This sound is a little more worrisome and should be thoroughly checked out.
When you open the tap, water rushes out and relieves some of the pressure in the line. Closing the faucet creates a shock wave of pressure that travels back and forth in the pipe. The sound you hear is the movement of the plumbing pipes hitting the structural supports of your house as it tries to dissipate the pressure.
Securely, strapping the plumbing pipes to the structure will minimize these noises. If this solution doesn’t work, a professional plumber can install a device known as a “water hammer arrester” onto your plumbing lines. You will need one on both the hot water and cold water lines to completely eliminate the problem.
The rattles you hear in your plumbing pipes are often just a nuisance. Sometimes, however, the violent shaking of a pipe can cause damage to adjoining structures. If you hear significant noise coming form your plumbing system, err on the side of caution and check that your plumbing pipes are in proper working order and that there are no obvious problems.
If you are still unsure that you have adequately fixed the problem, call a plumbing professional. The affordable price of a service call is small compared to the peace of mind you will have.