Air in the Pipes
The most common cause of banging pipes is air in the pipes, which makes the pipes produce that tell-tale vibrating noise or short bursts of banging. This trapped air can be removed by flushing the line or installing a p-trap. This problem is easily mistaken for the second most common cause of noisy, banging pipes: water hammer.
What is Water Hammer?
Water hammer, or banging, may be a series of bangs you hear followed by a much louder bang, or you may hear a bang when you turn a faucet on or off in the home. If you hear the bang when you turn on a faucet, it's probably air in the pipes. If you hear it when you turn off water or your dishwasher changes its cycle, it's most likely water hammer. The most common fix for this problem is having a plumber in California install water hammer arrestors.
Do you Hear Squeaking or Banging in One Area?
If the noise seems to be isolated to a certain area of your home, it may just be that the pipes haven't been properly secured and need to be tethered to the wall or ceiling. They may also be expanding or contracting with temperature changes, which can cause them to rub together. In this case, they'll need to be re-spaced and tethered down again or the channel through which they travel should be widened.
What is Jackhammering?
This term applies to a rapid drumming sound you hear, most often when you're running a dishwasher or washing machine. It's typically a sign that the solenoid fill valve in the appliance needs to be replaced.
Pipes that Shriek, Whistle or Hum
These noises may indicate you have an obstruction or blockage somewhere in the pipe that's causing high water pressure. This may be a very easy fix that requires only replacing a washer or it may require replacing some of the pipes.