For many homeowners, winter can be a season of frustration. In addition to the cold weather and snow, another annoyance is the feeling that there’s no escaping the noise. Have you ever noticed how your heating pipes bang when they freeze?
There are many causes for this banging noise and we’re going to explore 4 common reasons why your pipes might be freezing up and what you can do about it.
We’ll also go over some simple tips on how to prevent future problems from occurring or getting worse. Whether it’s the heating pipes in your home or in your business, you’ll want to be proactive about dealing with this problem when you notice any of these four warning signs.
- Thermostat – These sounds typically occur when turning on the thermostat, but they can also happen anytime there’s pressure changes within pipes and other parts of the heatersystem.
- Exterior – Heating pipes that are exposed to the outside of your home (typically due to poor insulation or cladding) will be most prone to freezing up in the cold winter months
- Valves – Pipes with valves are more likely to freeze than those without them, so you’ll definitely want to pay attention if you have any nearby.
- Insulation – If your exterior is not properly insulated and covered with a weather resistant barrier, cold air will seep in and cause the piping it comes into contact with to freeze.
- Loose Fittings – In many cases, this type of noise comes as a result of loose fittings which need to be tightened or replaced so that they don’t continue to rattle against each other during operation.
How to stop heating pipes from ticking
Do you have a problem with your pipes ticking? Have you ever been woken up in the middle of the night by this sound, and no idea what it is or where it’s coming from? It turns out that many people experience this but don’t know how to fix it.
This article will show you some easy ways to make sure your pipes stop ticking:
- wrap insulation around them;
- install an insulating sleeve;
- replace old plumbing systems.
All of these methods are quick and easy to do without making a dent in your pocket.
If none of the above methods works, try running a fan in the room where your pipes are located to circulate air around them so they heat more evenly. If you have valves or other parts in the system that are making noise, you’ll want to replace them.
It’s always best to consult a professional when making any major changes to your heating system so they can advise you on the best course of action for your home.
How much does it cost to fix heating pipes?
It varies depending on how expensive it is to repair the specific part in question, but replacing valves typically costs around $100 per fixture whereas replacing entire fixtures ranges from $200-$400 upfront with additional costs for materials and installation services.
A water system problem can make its way through the entire heating system. If there is a high home-heating bill, check for air in the hot water lines (a telltale sign of this is an exposed copper pipe).
Sometimes this will be found where pipes enter or leave floor heaters or under sinks or behind faucets. Airlocks are difficult to clear; you might need professional help to fix them.
Other common problems include failing insulation and broken supply hoses. The hoses should be inspected every year because rubber hoses wear out over time.
They may look fine but crackle when squeezed. Replacing one hose once it has worn out can save $20 per year in energy costs.
What causes pipes in heating system to bang?
The most common reasons for banging in your central heating system are:
1. The water in the pipe (inside insulation) is freezing and expanding, causing the pipe to bang against the fitting or adjacent pipes
2. The insulating material around the pipe has deteriorated due to age or exposure to water or insects have eaten through it, allowing condensation into it during cold weather which freezes when exposed to heat from the boiler;
3. Corrosion of metal parts inside a fitting, such as cartridge valves where you can hear them rattling if they have come loose.
4. A pressure build-up associated with the expansion of the water/air mix being pushed through a joint or joint failure.
How can I prevent my pipes from freezing up again next winter?
The most important advice that to help avoid freezing pipes is to insulate all exterior piping. The best insulation is a thin layer of closed-cell foam surrounded by one or two layers of Bubble Wrap.
You can buy bubble wrap at your local home improvement store and it comes in rolls, pre-cut to the size of standard piping.
Installing this type of insulation yourself will cost around $200 per joint (pipe joint) if you use 1″ foam and 2 layers of Bubble Wrap, or around $400 for larger diameter pipe.
If you want to save money, use this insulation on the pipes that need it and your existing insulation elsewhere. Replacement pipe insulation is expensive and for much larger diameter piping (2″ and up) may cost as much as $5 per linear foot of pipe.