DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum

DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum (
-   Plumbing (
-   -   loud jackhammer-like noise from hot water pipe (

omar 01-18-2009 03:07 PM

loud jackhammer-like noise from hot water pipe

I'm afraid I'm not really handy and am going to be calling a plumber to have a look at this, but I wanted to see if anyone here has experienced something similar or knows what's going on.

This is the situation in a house in Toronto (Canada), so it's fairly cold, about -8 degrees Celsius today. Not sure how old the house is, about 25 to 30 years I guess? The basement kitchen sink has a simple Moen faucet. This faucet has only one lever, turn to the right for cold, turn to the left for hot, and pull the lever up to turn the water on.

Anytime the lever is set for fairly hot water, AND the lever is pulled up all the way so that the water's running as fast as it can, an unbelievably loud vibrating noise is heard from the pipe connected to this faucet.

The sound is extremely loud, it sounds like a jackhammer is being operated inside the wall.

As soon as the tap is shut (or either the water-flow or the water-temp. is reduced) the noise ceases.

As stated the problem only occurs when the water is anywhere past fairly warm AND the water is running full blast.

There's also a laundry sink in the basement. We've noticed that if the hot water tap in the laundry sink is running, then the kitchen sink's tap never makes any noise, the water can be run as hot as one likes at full blast without incident.

The laundry sink and kitchen sink are on opposite sides of the same wall (i.e. the rears of the sinks are attached to the same wall, one sink is on one side of the wall and one on the other).

So anyone have any idea what going on? I found some descriptions of a phenomenon called 'water hammer' but I'm not sure if this is it. (Water hammer seems to be a hammering sound that occurs when a tap is shut off.)

I think there may be air in the pipes. One time the City was doing some work in the neighbourhood and turned off the water supply. When the water was turned back on, we were told to run our taps for a bit to get the air out of the pipes and the same kind of jackhammering sound we now have was heard, but it stopped after the water ran for a bit.

I'd greatly appreciate your comments or suggestions. :)

lilh2o3 01-18-2009 09:34 PM

In my experience that problem can be caused by a bad cartridge in the back of the faucet. In moen faucets the back of it where the water runs through are full of o-rings and if one of them are woren out or something else is getting worn or loose it can cause a fluttering motion that will sound just like water hammer. Try to replace that. Hopfully this helps....

omar 01-19-2009 09:34 AM

Thank you for the advice, I appreciate it. :)

I don't think I'll be opening the faucet myself so I've called someone to have a look at it.

jogr 01-19-2009 01:22 PM

Make sure your supply valves under the sink are fully open. If you have one partially closed it can cause that.

omar 01-21-2009 10:29 AM


Jorg, you hit the nail on the head!

For some reason the hot water supply for this faucet was just barely on. Once I turned the hot water supply on properly, the problem vanished.

Hopefully this thread will be useful for others who encounter this issue.

Thanks again for all your help! :)

(And my thanks to everyone on the forum here, it's a great resource.)

drunknmaster 01-22-2009 09:37 PM

cartride has NOTHING 2 do with it......angle stop not open all the way can cause it,,,,,,some times

Rhyyke 07-18-2009 03:28 PM

Had the same problem, fixed!
Had this problem in two pipes, one of them for YEARS. Fixed them both, thanks jogr!

fwilliam 10-10-2009 10:32 PM

Thanks, Jogr!
I'd been dealing with hot water faucet fluttering noise for weeks. I'd read several suggestions online, but your suggestion to make sure the hot water inlet valve was open all the way got me back under the sink. I discovered there were two valves in was fully open and the other, half-open. A few turns of the valve, and, problem solved! Thanks for the simple and effective advice!

P Marage 10-11-2009 04:31 PM

I love Holms on homes... just so happens he had a show recently(repeat) that dealt with this exact problem. its usually(but not always) caused by pressure buildup in the pipes and poor anchoring of the pipes, like how a garden hose stiffens when closed(happens over time in older houses)
his solution was installing what he had called a "hammer stop" its just a copper tube sealed at the top 4-6 inches in length that installs in an upright vertical position to the output line(must be void of water), air is easy to compress and acts like a shock absorber, thus preventing the pipes from rattling from pressure buildup.

Adamdavidson 01-04-2010 02:35 AM

I had this same problem, however turning the hot water on further didn't fix the problem. All that was wrong is the screw on the handle mechanism, the part you can remove (the name escapes me), the small washer screw was loose.

missmarcie123 07-25-2010 02:00 PM

Had the same problem...opened the valve, worked like a charm..Thanks! :thumbup:

pawnyou 08-24-2010 09:33 PM

thank you..... no longer banging..

diyorpay 09-30-2010 02:56 PM


Did a bathroom remodel, lots of pipe sweating, new tub. Wanted to blame bang in plumbing on Pegasus brand tub and shower faucet. Somewhere in the process I must have turned off water lines in adjacent bathroom sinks. When turning them back on, I now know that a supply valve on one sink was no where near fully opened. I've lived with noise in system for over a year. It was like a thump every time other water valves were shut off, even the refrigerator water dispenser. I dreaded closing the tub wall and tiling, knowing I hadn't corrected the noise.

Now it's quiet as can be.

These old threads on this site are invaluable.

Can't say thanks too much jogr. You're great.:thumbup:

pmoney 08-21-2011 12:59 PM


You are a life-saver! Thank you so much:) My grandpa told us it was air-pockets in the pipe and we thought it was going to permanent. Thanks to your brilliant advice, we can now turn on the hot water on full blast.

EdG 01-07-2012 03:00 PM

Jogr, turning the valves open all the way worked for me too, thanks! I had turned them down since water was coming out too fast. The jackhammer didn't start right away, so I didn't put 2 and 2 together. It turns out I didn't have the screens in right where the water comes out which was making it come out too fast. I took another faucet apart to see what I had done wrong.


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:55 PM.

vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
User Alert System provided by Advanced User Tagging (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.

Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.1