How to Quiet the Pipes

The Seattle Times has a good article in the Sunday paper about a technique that assures you won’t be listening to the drain pipes in your new or remodeled home.

Back in the day, plumbing drain pipes were cast iron, but over time they were replaced by ABS and other types of plastic pipes. Unfortunately, those plastic pipes are really noisy, especially in locations where the pipes make a turn from vertical to horizontal.

People try all sorts of techniques to try and quiet those plastic pipes down. They wrap them with carpet padding foam, vinyl wraps and other materials, but those techniques don’t work very well. Neither does spray foam, double drywall, or a multitude of other after-the-fact approaches.

Instead, the solution is to change from plastic to cast iron at those noisy locations where the pipes make a directional change. Rubber fittings with clamps make the transition connections fast and inexpensive.

There’s no easy way to go back and fix this mistake if it’s not addressed during construction and it’s really annoying to listen to loud drain pipes. Spare yourself the frustration by specifying cast iron pipes at these critical locations.