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Sound Control for Noisy Plumbing

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Posted by Gary Pressley on November 13, 2017

 

Today’s houses can be noisy, they suffer from a combination of open floor plans and lightweight construction, so it can be hard to find some peace and quiet when needed.

Noise pollution is not just an irritant, it can mess up our sleep, add to our stress and infringe on our privacy.

In this article, we will look at the issue of noisy plumbing and the methods that can help quiet, a noisy home.

Three main factors often contribute to plumbing system noise:

  1. Lack of awareness on the part of owners/developers.
  2. Lack of contractor awareness and training regarding the application of specific solutions.
  3. Design teams fearful of uncertain solutions and seemingly uncontrollable expenses.

Plumbing systems generate both airborne and structure-borne noise, making the problem fairly complex. The following are the four main categories comprising a building’s plumbing system.

  1. Drainage Systems
  2. Water Distribution Systems
  3. Fixture, faucets and appliances
  4. Valves, pumps and equipment

Noisy Pipes

Plumbing systems are a necessary part of a house and any residential building. They are kept hidden behind walls and ceilings, away from the living space, but the walls and ceilings provide little sound proofing.

While sitting in the living room enjoying television, you don’t want to hear the sound of water rushing through the pipes sounding like you are in front of Niagara Falls, because someone is taking a shower, flushing the toilet or running the dish washer. Plumbing noise is a significant source of annoyance, particularly for occupants of multi-tenant residential buildings.

Resources are now available from a product and service standpoint that can assist the engineering community with application solutions.

Pipe soundproofing can be achieved in two ways:

  1. Wrapping the pipes with noise blocking materials.
  2. Filling the openings around the pipes with sound absorption products.
  3. Block and fill the walls that contain drain pipes.

 

Solutions

Wrapping a pipe with a sound proofing wrap barrier will dramatically reduce the amount of noise transmitting through the walls. Our SilentWrap™ with lag can be used to wrap drain pipes. Simply cut width to proper dimension to reduce the amount of overlap.

Openings can be tackled with a variety of products depending on the situation. Silent putty, acoustical caulking, can fill gaps where pipes may rattle within studs, joists or brackets.

One trick to block noise is to use SilentWrap™. SilentWrap™ is a flexible, yet dense polymer barrier that dampens vibrations in the structure and also reduces the transmission of airborne noises. If you are working with a finished room, an option you can take would be to add another layer of drywall and add SilentWrap™ or green glue, between the two layers.

 

Adding a layer of insulation in the wall will aid in maximum noise absorption. Mineral wool is a porous material that traps air, making it one of the top insulating materials. It has an excellent R-value and can also absorb noise. Mineral wool actually has a slightly higher R-value than fiberglass, which is found in most homes. Adding mineral wool between joists and/or studs can make a huge difference in absorbing and blocking noise.

Sound Acoustical Solutions has an array of products for all acoustical challenges. Explore our website to learn more about what line of products can assist you with your sound issues.

 

 

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