By Gene and Katie Hamilton
When the nice calm of a household is jolted by a loud thud as a washing machine turns on, that noise is called a water hammer. The banging or slamming noise is caused by a lack of air in the pipes which leaves no air cushion to absorb the shock of water turning off. Since a washing machines calls for water several times during its cycle, it has an electrically-operated solenoid valve. The valve opens and closes very fast and can create a shock wave in the pipe when the water abruptly stops. The noise is annoying, but the shock wave can do real damage by bursting a hose or rupturing a plumbing line. The addition of a water hammer arrester usually solves the problem.
A plumber charges $150 to install arresters at a washing machine but you can buy the devices for $25 and install them in a short time and save 83 percent. The job involves unscrewing the two water hoses to the machine, then attaching the shock absorbers to the line and reinstalling the hoses. The only tool you'll need is a pair of slip-joint pliers. This project is easy to do, even as a first-time plumbing project. If the water hoses are worn, replace them at the same time to assure continued good service.
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Here's more on the subject of noise and vibrations of water pipes from Rotorooter Frequently Asked Questions.
Now you know the average cost to repair noisy water pipes, which includes the labor and material, and what’s involved, so you can decide to do it yourself or hire a contractor. Don’t forget to adjust the cost to where you live by adding your ZIP Code.
Improvement and Repair Cost Updated 2020