Term Definition
Hack 0 likes
Cut with variable or unskilled blows
Cut back; coarsen a surface
Hacking 1 like
Positioning masonry units so the bottom edge is set back from the plane wall surface
Hacksaw1 like
Small toothed handsaw used to saw metals
Hair Trap3 likes
hair trap
A device to trap and keep the hair content of waste water and sewage; used in a shower, bath tub, or beauty salon
Hairline Cracking 1 like
Tiny cracks in a surface
Little random cracks in a concrete surface
Very thin cracks in a paint surface or varnish film
Hairpin Bars 2 likes
Small hair pin shaped bars used as short hooked spacer bars in columns and walls and for distinctive dowels
Half and Half 0 likes
A dry or moistened mixture of one part Portland cement and one part extra-fine sand; employed as filler in the joints of mounted ceramic mosaic tiles to keep them properly spaced throughout installation
Half Bath 3 likes
A room with a toilet and a lavatory
Half Block 0 likes
Concrete masonry unit half the length of a standard unit
Half Round Gutter 1 like
A narrow round channel from a metal piece, like a pipe cut longitudinally or along its length, employed as a gutter
Half Round Molding 1 like
An ornamental strip with one flat side and one round side
Half-Timber 1 like
Construction of timber framing where spaces are filled in with brick or plaster
Halide Fixture1 like
halide fixture
Lighting fixture with a Halide Light
Halide Light1 like
halide light
An electric-discharge lamp that creates light from metal vapor such as sodium or mercury
Halide Refrigerants 0 likes
Refrigerants containing halogen chemicals
Halide Torch 1 like
Torch employed to safely detect halogen refrigerant leaks
Hall 0 likes
Lobby, entrance area, hallway or corridor
University building for a special purpose
Hallway 1 like
A corridor or hall
Halogens 0 likes
Poisonous non-metallic elements (fluorine, chlorine, bromine, iodine, and astatine) that form halides by union with a metal
Halon System 1 like
A system that employs halon gas for protecting water sensitive equipment against fire
Hammer4 likes
Hand implement with a solid head set crosswise on a handle; used for pounding
Hammer Fracture 0 likes
Tear in the gypsum board face and core due to inappropriate banging or drive of the nail; also called Nail Fracture
Hammer Loss 2 likes
Test to clarify the impact resistance of gypsum board
Hammered Effect Finish 1 like
Resembles hammered metal; produced by including an aluminum powder in a vehicle that controls a leafing effect to create unique designs
Hand 0 likes
The feel of a carpet in the hand determined by factors such as pile height, quality of the fibers, construction, stability, and backing
Hand Buggy 1 like
A two or four wheeled cart, may be pushed or pulled; employed to transport small quantities of concrete or material
Hand Dryer3 likes
hand dryer
A mechanical/electrical apparatus that blows hot air above wet hands to dry them
Hand Excavation 1 like
Digging out earth using hand tools
Hand Level1 like
hand level
Hand-held viewing tube with a spirit level to determine a level line of sight
Hand of a Lock or Door 2 likes
Direction of swing or motion and/or locking security side of a door; defined as left hand, left hand reverse, right hand, or right hand reverse
Hand Prints 1 like
Wallpapers printed by hand, most often with the silk- screen process
Hand Seeding 2 likes
Planting seed by hand
Handed Locks 0 likes
Locks for use on the same handed door; not reversible locks
Handhole 0 likes
Access hole employed for repair and cleaning
An enclosure installed in the ground, deck, building floor, or another location as a pull or junction box for underground electrical or communication conductors; has a removable cover so the conductors may be pulled, spliced, or handled without a person entering it
Handicapped Parking 0 likes
A parking space reserved for the vehicles of disabled people
Handicapped Partition 1 like
Dividing wall that creates a toilet cubicle area accessible to the disabled; typically bigger than a standard cubicle and able to accommodate a wheelchair
Handicapped Plumbing 0 likes
Plumbing devices and layouts for disabled individuals
Handicapped Symbol 1 like
Wheelchair and occupant graphic on a sign to denote access for disabled persons
Handling, Air 1 like
See Air Handling System
Handling, Rubbish 1 like
See Rubbish Handling
Handling, Trash 0 likes
See Trash Handling
Handling, Waste 1 like
See Waste Handling
Handrail3 likes
Component grasped by hand for support at stairways, in showers, and other places for the safety of pedestrians, the handicapped and the elderly
Handrail Bracket0 likes
handrail bracket
Handrail support
Handrail, Pipe0 likes
pipe handrail
See Pipe Handrail
Handsaw1 like
A wood saw powered by hand, commonly called a Carpenters Saw or Wood Saw
Handsplit Shingle 2 likes
A cedar or redwood shingle made by splitting a block of wood along its grain creating a shingle for roofing or siding; also called Shakes or Shake Shingles
Handsplit Shingles 0 likes
See Cedar Shake
Hang 3 likes
To mount certain materials such as gypsum lath, gypsum wallboard, or wallpaper
Hangar 1 like
A shelter for storing, maintaining and repairing aircraft
Hanger 0 likes
A tradesman who works with gypsum board products
Vertical tension component supporting a load
Device secured to walls or other structure to support pipe lines
Hanger Rod2 likes
hanger rod
A rod that connects pipe, gutters, or ceiling framework to a support
Hanger Wire 1 like
Malleable wire that hangs ceilings and equipment from the structure located above
Hanger, Door Rail2 likes
hanger, door rail
See Door Rail Hanger
Hanger, Joist 1 like
See Joist Hanger
Hangers Bench 0 likes
See Bench
Hangers Tee 0 likes
See Tee Square
Hansa Yellow 0 likes
Organic yellow pigments
Hard Edge 0 likes
Employed along the paperbound edges to increase resistance to damage while handling and applying of gypsum board
Hard Money 3 likes
Actual cash paid to a seller
Hard Oil Finish 1 like
A varnish creating a rubbed-in oil finish effect while producing a hard surface; any interior architectural varnish with a reasonable luster
Hard Tile3 likes
hard tile
Tiles such as ceramic, glass mosaic, or marble tile as compared to resilient tile
Hard Water 1 like
Water containing too many minerals
Hardboard 1 like
Dense panel usually with at least one smooth face, made of highly compressed wood fibers; strengthened under heat and pressure, with a density factor of around 50 to 80 pounds per cubic foot
Hardboard Door 2 likes
Door made of compressed wood fibers
Hardboard Panel 1 like
Flat sheet fibrous material consolidated under heat and pressure in a hot press
Hardboard Panel Siding 1 like
Panel siding made of hardboard
Hardboard Soffit 3 likes
Hardboard finishing material covering the underside of a part or component
Hardboard Underlayment 0 likes
Flat sheet hardboard material positioned above subflooring to provide a smooth even surface for the finish floor covering
Hardener 1 like
Curing agent; promoter; and catalyst employed in preparing and finishing concrete
Hardening 3 likes
Strengthening of plaster, mortar, or concrete after setting; see Set
Hardhat3 likes
A metal or plastic safety helmet worn by construction workers on a job site
Construction worker who wears this hat
Hardness 1 like
Characteristic of a material that resists indentation
Quantity of dissolved minerals, such as calcium and magnesium compounds in water
Hardpan 1 like
Hard, tight soil; a hard layer that may form just beneath plow depth on cultivated land
Hardscape 0 likes
Artificial parts of landscape development, such as walls, paving, lighting, and fences
Hardstand 0 likes
A hard surfaced area for storing or parking an airplane
Hardwall 1 like
Base coat plaster
May refer to sanded plaster or to neat according to the region
Hardware2 likes
Metal or plastic fittings installed in a building just prior to completion such as door knobs, towel bars, handrail brackets, closet rods, door closers, and house numbers; The Interior Trim Carpenter installs the hardware
Hardware Cloth2 likes
hardware cloth
Generally galvanized steel wire mesh, typically 1/8 inch, ¼ inch, or ½ inch mesh
Hardwood Dimension Lumber 0 likes
See Dimension Stock
Hardwood Plywood & Veneer Association (HPVA) 1 like
1825 Michael Faraday Drive, Reston, Virginia 20190, Tel: (703) 435-2900, URL: www.hpva.org
Hardwood Plywood Manufacturers Association (HPMA) 0 likes
P. O. Box 2789, Reston, Virginia 22090, Tel: (703) 435-2900, URL: www.hpva.org
Hardwood Plywood Panel 1 like
Plywood with face plies produced from hardwood species such as cherry, oak, ash, walnut, maple, gum, mahogany, teak, or birch
Hardwoods 0 likes
Derived from botanical trees that have broad leaves rather than the conifers or softwoods; the term does not refer to the hardness of the wood
Hardy Cross Method 0 likes
See Moment Distribution
Harmon Hinge 0 likes
Hinge that swings a door into a pocket perpendicular with the frame
Harsh Mortar 2 likes
A masonry mortar that is difficult to spread under the trowel, usually because of a small proportion of cement paste in the aggregates
Hasp Assembly 2 likes
Fastener used for a door or lid; a hinged metal strap that fits above a loop secured by a pin or padlock
Hatch 1 like
A hinged or removable cover in a floor or roof which permits ventilation, transport of people and objects
Hatch, Roof1 like
hatch, roof
See Roof Hatch
Hatchet2 likes
Short handled hand tool with a head suitable for interchangeable use as a hammer or axe; the convex head dimples the nail, while the hatchet blade cleaves and adjusts framing and wallboard edges to fit; also a jacking wedge
Hatchway 0 likes
An opening providing access to a lower area such as a cellar, usually with a ladder
Haul Resistance 2 likes
The distance measured along the most practical direct route between the centers of mass of excavation and the fill when finally positioned; the distance material is moved
Haul, Station Yards of 1 like
Station Yards of Haul
Haunch 3 likes
Extension, knee like projection of the foundation wall that a concrete porch or patio rests on for support
Hawk 1 like
A metal square with a wooden handle at the center to temporarily hold mortar or plaster; usually, a rubber pad fits over the handle and covers the part of the metal hawk in contact with the hand
Hazard Insurance 0 likes
Protection against damage caused by fire, windstorms, floods or other common hazards; many lenders require borrowers to carry an amount equal or more than the mortgage
Hazardous Waste 2 likes
A substance characterized by a susceptibility to poor healthy, toxicity, or danger
Hazardous Wiring 1 like
Wiring that does not conform to the applicable laws in effect at the time of installation, maintained in good condition and employed in a safe manner
HB 0 likes
Hose Bibb
Head 0 likes
Functional part of a tool
Flat part of a nail
The top part of a column or pillar
Upper horizontal part of a door, window, or another opening
Pressure resulting from the difference in elevation of two points in a body of fluid
Head Flashing 1 like
Exterior flashing mounted at the head of a door, window, or another opening
Head Friction 0 likes
Head to overcome friction from a conductor’s interior surface and between fluid particles in motion
Head Joint 2 likes
See Butt Joint
Head Pressure 0 likes
Pressure in a refrigerator’s condensing side
Head Pressure Control 0 likes
Pressure-operated control that opens an electrical circuit when high-side pressure is too high
Head Velocity 1 like
Fluid height equal to its velocity pressure in a flowing fluid
Head, Pop-Up 0 likes
See Pop-Up Head
Head, Service 1 like
See Service Head
Head, Static 0 likes
See Static Head
Head, Total Static 0 likes
See Total Static Head
Header 1 like
Beam positioned perpendicular to joists and where joists are nailed in framing for a chimney, stairway, or another opening
Wood lintel
The horizontal structural member above an opening such as a door or window
Header Bond 1 like
Brick bond that displays only headers on the face or surface of a wall; each header is divided evenly above the header beneath it
Header Course 0 likes
Brick bond where a course is made up of solely of headers
Header High 2 likes
The height up to the top of the brick course directly below a header course
Header, Ceiling 1 like
A perpendicular joist that supports ceiling joists
Headroom 0 likes
Clear area between the floor and ceiling, such as in a stairway
Headwall 0 likes
A wall, usually concrete or masonry positioned at the inlet side of a drain or culvert to protect fill from scouring, undermining, or to sidetrack flow
Headwall, Removal 0 likes
Demolishing and removing a headwall
Healing Power 1 like
Ability of a glaze to heal surface flaws during firing
Hearing 1 like
A proceeding led by a judge or arbitrator who hears evidence about a dispute
Hearsay 0 likes
Information that is heard from other people
Heart Rot 0 likes
Rot restricted to the heartwood; typically comes from a live tree
Hearth 0 likes
Fireproof masonry area directly in front of a fireplace; interior or exterior floor of a fireplace, most often made of brick, tile, or stone
Heartwood 1 like
Wood spanning from the pith to the sapwood; may include phenolic compounds, gums, resins, and other materials that darken it and make it more decay resistant than sapwood
Heat 2 likes
Energy from the random motion of the molecules of bodies that may be transferred by conduction, convection, or radiation
Heat Exchanger 1 like
A device that transfers heat from one medium to another
Heat Intensity 0 likes
Heat concentration in a substance determined by the temperature of the substance with a thermometer
Heat Lag 0 likes
The time it takes for heat to move through a substance when heated on one side
Heat Leakage 3 likes
Flow of heat through a substance
Heat Load 0 likes
Amount of heat removed during a period of 24 hours, measured in BTUs or watts
Heat Loss 0 likes
Heat lost from a structure via conduction, convection, radiation and through air infiltration and ventilation systems
Heat Meter 2 likes
Electrical municipal inspection of the electric meter breaker panel box
Heat of Compression 0 likes
Mechanical energy of pressure transformed into heat energy
Heat of Fusion 0 likes
Heat released from a substance to modify it from a liquid to a solid; the heat of fusion of ice is 144 BTUs per pound (151.9 joules)
Heat of Hydration 2 likes
The thermal energy emitted by concrete, masonry, or gypsum as it cures
Heat of Repression 1 like
Assimilating oxygen and carbohydrates by a substance
When carbon dioxide and water are emitted by a substance
Heat Pipe 0 likes
Heat recovery from exhaust air where a coil has a partition wall separating the coil face into two sections; no moving parts are involved, recovery relies on the slope of the coil from the cold end down to the hot end
Heat Pump1 like
heat pump
A combination heating and cooling device; in cold weather, it extracts heat from air as cold as 20 degrees, and in warm weather it operates in the opposite way and becomes an air conditioner.
Heat Pump (Ductless Ceiling) 1 like
A ductless heat pump is a new option for home heating that offers many benefits, including: substantial cost savings on energy bills, quiet operation both indoors and out, easy installation and provides both heating AND cooling.
Heat Recovery 0 likes
Extraction of heat from a source not designed to produce heat
Heat Rough 0 likes
Work performed by the Heating Contractor after the stairs and interior walls are built including installation of all duct work and flue pipes; occasionally, the furnace and fireplaces are installed at this construction stage
Heat Sensor1 like
heat sensor
Device that emits a loud noise or flashes a light when high air temperature is detected; substitutes as a smoke detector in locations where there is ambient smoke, such as in kitchens
Heat Sink3 likes
heat sink
A device for the absorption, dissipation or retrieval of heat connected with a passive solar heating system
Heat Storage 1 like
A device or substance that absorbs solar heat and stores it for colder weather
Heat Strengthened Glass 0 likes
Glass strengthened by heat treatment, but not as strong as tempered glass
Heat Time 0 likes
In multiple-impulse welding or seam welding, the time the current flows during an impulse
Heat Transfer 0 likes
Movement of heat from a body or substance to another; heat may be transferred by radiation, conduction, convection, or a combination of these methods
Heat Trim 0 likes
Work accomplished by the Heating Contractor to ready the home for the municipal Final Heat Inspection; includes venting the hot water heater, installing all vent grills, registers, air conditioning services, starting the furnace, installing thermostats, venting ranges and hoods, and all heat related work
Heat Wheel 0 likes
Heat recovery from exhaust air where the intake and exhaust ducts are connected to the wheel
Heat-Affected Zone 0 likes
The part of the base metal modified by the heat of welding, brazing or cutting
Heat-Set Nylon 0 likes
Nylon fiber heat treated to maintain a specific shape
Heat/Smoke Vent3 likes
heat/smoke vent
A vent or chimney allowing passage of vent gases expelled from gas-burning units to the exterior
Heater2 likes
A heat producing appliance or unit, such as a furnace
Heater Duct2 likes
heater duct
Heating system conduit that transfers warmed air through a building or structure
Heater, Electric2 likes
heater electric
See Electric Heater
Heater, Unit1 like
heater unit
See Unit Heater
Heater, Water1 like
heater water
See Water Heater
Heating Coil1 like
heating coil
An element where heat is transferred to an air stream via steam, hot water, or electrical media
Heating Control1 like
heating control
Device which regulates the temperature of a heat transfer unit
Heating Load 1 like
Amount of heating needed to maintain a building at a specific temperature during the winter, usually 65° F, regardless of the external temperature
Heating Value 2 likes
Amount of heat obtained by burning a fuel; normally expressed in BTUs per pound, BTUs per gallon, or calories per gram
Heavy Bodied Oil 1 like
High viscosity oil
Heavy Centered Pattern 1 like
A heavy centered pattern is a spray pattern with most of the paint in the center, and less at the edges
Heavy Duty Tile1 like
heavy duty tile
Tile suitable for areas where there is heavy pedestrian traffic
Heavy Soil 0 likes
A fine grained soil largely composed of clay or silt
Hectare 1 like
A unit of land area equaling 10,000 square meters or 2.471 acres
Heel 0 likes
The point at the end of a truss at the intersection of the top and bottom chords
See Steel Square
Heel Cut 1 like
A notch cut in the end of a rafter to enable it to fit flat on a wall and on the top, doubled, exterior wall
Heel, Rafter 1 like
The end or foot that rests on the wall plate
Heeling In 1 like
Temporary planting of shrubs and trees
Hegeman Grind Gauge 1 like
Proprietary device to measure smoothness of pigment dispersion in liquid paint
Height 1 like
The dimension measured at right angles to the thickness and length of a masonry unit; the vertical dimension, as used in a wall
Helmet1 like
A protective head ware employed in arc welding for shielding the face and neck equipped with a filter glass
HEPA 3 likes
High Efficiency Particulate Arrestance; see HEPA Filter
HEPA Filter4 likes
HEPA filter
High-Efficiency Particulate Air Filter; these filters are rated to trap at least 99.9% of all particles 0.3 microns in diameter or larger
Hermetic Compressor1 like
hermetic compressor
Compressor where the driving motor is sealed inside the compressor housing; the motor operates in an atmosphere of the refrigerant
Hermetic Motor 1 like
Compressor drive motor sealed within the same casing as the compressor
Hermetic Seal 1 like
Airtight seal
Hermetic System 0 likes
Refrigeration system which has a compressor driven by a motor in the compressor dome or housing
Heroic Scale 1 like
A statue of huge size or proportions
Herringbone Blocking 0 likes
Wood blocking between studs at a slight angle in alternate directions in neighboring stud spaces, the angle enabling the blocks to be inserted tightly between studs
Herringbone Bond 5 likes
Bricks laid in a zigzag design in a herringbone pattern
Herringbone Floor 0 likes
A floor covering made up of rows of parallel lines with adjacent rows slanting in opposite directions
Hertz (Hz) 0 likes
Measurement of the frequency of sound vibration in cycles per second; one cycle per second is one Hertz
Hessian 1 like
See Burlap
Heteropolymer 1 like
Outcome of Heteropolymerization
Heteropolymerization 2 likes
See Polymerization
Heuristic 0 likes
Occurring by trial and error; by experimentation
Hew 0 likes
Chop, fell, or shape with an axe
Hex 0 likes
Hexagon; hexagonal
Hex Nut2 likes
hex nut
A six-sided, short metal nut with a threaded hole to permit a rod or threaded bolt
Hexagon 1 like
A polygon of six sides
Hg 0 likes
HI 0 likes
Hydraulic Institute
Hickey 0 likes
A tool that bends pipe, conduit, and reinforcing bars
Hiding Bond 1 like
Ability of paint to hide the surface where it is utilized; degree of opacity of a pigment or paint
High Boiling Solvent 0 likes
Solvent with an initial boiling point above 302° F (150° C) such as diacetone alcohol or cellosolve acetate
High Build 0 likes
Creating thick dry films per coat
High Calcium Lime 1 like
Lime containing mainly calcium oxide or hydroxide and not more than 5% magnesium oxide or hydroxide
High Chair Reinforcing 3 likes
A chair-shaped device employed to keep steel reinforcement off the bottom form of a slab during the pouring of concrete
High Early Strength Cement 2 likes
Cement that strengthens quicker than ordinary cement, achieving strength at 3 days and 7 days that standard cement would achieve in 7 days and 28 days; alumina cement
High Flash Naphtha 0 likes
Aromatic solvent having a high flash point, minimum 113° F, 45° C
High Frequency Curing 1 like
See Radio Frequency Curing
High Joint 1 like
See Crown
High Lift Grouting 1 like
When concrete block units are laid on the entire height of the wall before grouting; this construction method requires special inspection
High Magnesium Lime 0 likes
Lime that includes more than 5% magnesium oxide or hydroxide
High Pressure Gauge2 likes
high pressure gauge
Instrument for measuring pressures in the range of 0 psi to 500 psi (0 kg/cm2to 3.52 kg/cm2)
High Pressure Steam Curing 0 likes
See Autoclave Curing
High Rate Sand Filter 1 like
A sand filter for flows of more than five gallons per minute per square foot, but not more than 20 GPM per square foot
High Relief 0 likes
Sculptural relief in which there is a projection of a minimum of half of the circumference of the modeled form
High Side 1 like
Refrigerating system parts under condensing or high-side pressure
High Strength Bolt2 likes
high strength bolt
A bolt designed to connect steel components by clamping them together with enough force so that the load is transferred between them by friction
High Tension 1 like
High Voltage
High Voltage 1 like
Electrical power more than 600 volts
High Voltage Cable1 like
high voltage cable
Cable manufactured to endure high-voltage
High Voltage Circuit 1 like
Circuit with a potential difference of more than 600 volts or 750 volts where specified in regulations, between any two conductors of the circuit
High Wall 0 likes
Untouched soil or rock surrounding a cut; a face which is dug up, as distinguished from spoil piles
High-Pressure Boiler 1 like
Boiler yielding steam at pressures of 15 pounds per square inch gauge or higher (1.05 kg/cm2)
High-Pressure Cut-Off 1 like
Electrical control switch operated by the high-side pressure, automatically opening an electrical circuit when the pressure is too high
High-Rise 0 likes
A multi-storied building with elevators and staircases
High-Side Float 0 likes
Refrigerant control mechanism regulating the level of the liquid refrigerant in the mechanism’s high-pressure side
High-Vacuum Pump 0 likes
Mechanism that produces a vacuum in the 1000 to 1 micron range
Highbay Lighting 2 likes
Lighting system found high above work or floor level
Highest and Best Use 2 likes
Use of land to furnish the highest net income
Highlight 1 like
A smooth area, obviously different from the usual area
Highlighting 0 likes
Making specific parts of a project appear lighter than other parts
Highlights 2 likes
A light spot, area, or streak on a painted surface
Highway Demolition 0 likes
Destruction and removal of a public road
Hinge2 likes
A joint securing the position of the ends of two or more structural parts, but allowing them to rotate
Door hardware that enables a door to open and close by joining the door to the jamb with a flexible device
Hinge Stile 1 like
The door stile where the hinges are installed as compared with the lock stile
Hip 1 like
A roof with four sloping sides; external angle created by two sloping sides of a roof meeting
Hip Rafter 0 likes
A structural part of a roof creating the junction of an angled external roof, or where the planes of a hip roof meet
Hip Roof 2 likes
A roof with four sloping planes that intersect forming a pyramidal or elongated pyramid shape; a roof which slopes up toward the center from every side, making a hip rafter at each corner necessary
Hippodamian Plan 3 likes
Greek plan with grid city blocks, casual organization of public spaces and facilities within the grid matrix; examples are Ionian cities, Ephesus and Miletus, 5th Century BC
Product of the day

How to Fix Plumbing Noises In Your Home

plumbing fiberglass insulationTo diagnose loud plumbing, you must first determine whether the unwanted sounds occur on the system's inlet side - in other words, when water is turned on - or on the drain side. Noises on the inlet side have various causes: excessive water pressure, worn valve and faucet parts, poorly connected pumps or other appliances, incorrectly placed pipe fasteners, and plumbing runs with excessive tight bends or other restrictions. Noises on the drain side usually originate from poor location or, as with some inlet side noise, a layout with tight bends.


Hissing that occurs when a faucet is opened slightly generally signals excessive water pressure. Consult your local water company if you suspect this problem. They will tell you about the water pressure in your area and if necessary, can install a pressure reducing valve on the incoming water supply pipe.


Thudding, often accompanied by shuddering pipes when a faucet or appliance valve is turned off, is a condition called water hammer. The noise and vibration are caused by the reverberating wave of pressure in the water, which suddenly has no place to go. Sometimes opening a valve that discharges water quickly into a section of piping with a restriction, elbow, or tee fitting can produce the same condition. Water hammer can usually be fixed by installing fittings called air chambers or shock absorbers in the plumbing to which the problem valves or faucets are connected. These devices permit the shock wave produced by the halted flow of water to dissipate in the air, which unlike water, is compressible. Older plumbing systems may have short vertical sections of capped pipe behind walls on faucet runs for the same purpose; these can eventually fill with water, reducing or destroying their effectiveness. The solution is to drain the water system by turning off the main water supply valve and opening all faucets. Then open the main supply valve and close the faucets one at a time, starting with the faucet closest to the valve and ending with the one furthest away.

Chattering or Screeching

Intense chattering or screeching that occurs when a valve or faucet is turned on, and that usually disappears when the fitting is fully open, signals loose or defective internal parts. The solution is to replace the valve or faucet with a new one. Pumps and appliances such as washing machines and dishwashers can transfer motor noise to pipes if they are improperly connected. Link these items to plumbing with plastic or rubber hoses - never rigid pipe - to separate them.

Other Inlet Side Noises

Creaking, squeaking, scratching, snapping, and tapping are usually caused by the expansion or contraction of pipes, generally copper ones supplying hot water. The sounds occur as the pipes slide against loose fasteners or strike nearby house framing. You can often pinpoint the location of the problem if the pipes are exposed; just follow the sound when the pipes are making noise. Most likely, you will discover a loose pipe hanger or an area where pipes lie so close to floor joists or other framing pieces that they clatter against them. Attaching foam pipe insulation around the pipes at the point of contact should resolve the problem. Be sure straps and hangers are secure and provide sufficient support. Where possible, pipe fasteners should be connected to large structural elements such as foundation walls instead of framing; doing this reduces the transmission of vibrations from plumbing to surfaces that can amplify and transfer them. If attaching fasteners to framing is unavoidable, wrap pipes with insulation or other resilient material where they contact fasteners, and sandwich the ends of new fasteners between rubber washers when installing them. Correcting plumbing runs that suffer from flow-restricting tight or numerous bends is a last resort that should be performed only after consulting a skilled plumbing contractor. Unfortunately, this situation is common in older homes that may not have been built with indoor plumbing or that have been through several remodels, particularly by unprofessional contractors.

Drainpipe Noise

On the drain side of plumbing, the main goals are to eradicate surfaces that can be struck by falling or rushing water and to insulate pipes to contain unavoidable sounds. In new construction, bathtubs, shower stalls, toilets, and wall-mounted sinks and basins should be set on or against resilient under-layments to lower the transmission of sound through them. Water-saving toilets and faucets are less noisy than conventional models; install them instead of older types even if codes in your area still allow older fixtures. Drainpipes that do not run vertically to the basement or that branch into horizontal pipe runs supported at floor joists or other framing present especially troubling noise problems. These pipes are large enough to radiate substantial vibration; they also carry significant amounts of water, which makes the situation worse. In new construction, use cast-iron soil pipes (the large pipes that drain toilets) if you can afford them. Their immense size contains much of the noise made by water traversing them. Also, avoid routing drainpipes in walls shared with bedrooms and rooms where people gather. Walls containing drainpipes should be soundproofed as stated earlier, using double panels of sound-insulating fiberboard and wallboard. Pipes can be wrapped with special fiberglass insulation made for the purpose; these pipes have an impervious vinyl skin that sometimes containing lead. Results are not always acceptable.

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