How to Soundproof a Drain Pipe – New and Existing Water Pipe

One of the most annoying sounds in a home comes from water going down a drain. No one generally enjoys any unnecessary sounds around the house, but the thought of waste going through the pipes and being a little too noisy is not only problematic but a little gross as well.

Most people would love to eliminate the sound as much as possible. Even though drain pipes generally don’t tend to be too noisy, if the pipes are in the wrong location, it can be a bit of a nuisance.

Fortunately, there are ways to build a drainage system that is a lot quieter, and also soundproof an existing drain pipe. It takes a little bit of extra work, but most find it to be extremely worthwhile in the end.

Why Do Drain Pipes Tend To Get Noisy?

When people think about noisy drain pipes, there are two different types of noise. For some, it is a constant noise that they notice daily, and maybe they want to finally take care of it. This means that there isn’t anything necessarily wrong, but it is just too easy to pick up the sound of draining water every single time the pipes operate.

There is also the type of noise that comes out of nowhere. When a drain pipe becomes very noisy all of a sudden, that most likely means that there is something wrong with it. The faster everything goes through examination, the easier it is to find a solution.

Maybe there is a leak or damage to the pipe, or it could be simply banging up against other pipes. Regardless, putting off these louder sounds out of nowhere has the chance of only making matters worse.

Pipes need regular maintenance just like anything else, so be proactive as possible with fixing things when there is noise. It might just be a case of tightening up loose pipes or moving something that the pipe might be rubbing up against when in use. In many cases, quieting the pipes can be done completely by a person without needing professional assistance.

Material Matters

Cheap Plastic Pipes can be Loud

The materials used for the drainpipe is one of the biggest reasons why certain setups sound louder than others. A lot of plumbers in today’s world like to use plastic piping, even if it is not exactly quiet. There are many advantages to going this route, such as a cheaper price, and easier installation process, and more.

Despite all those advantages, there is no doubt that a plastic drain pipe is pretty noisy when compared to other materials. If they are strategically placed, that extra amount of noise might not make that much of a difference.

A cast-iron drain pipe is considered by many to be one of the best materials to use for a drain pipe from a sound perspective. Not only is it built to last, but the sound difference is pretty significant. The drawback is it costs quite a bit more, and it is harder to replace or fix if that is ever needed.

There is a bit of a compromise for those people who fall somewhere in the middle. If it’s just impossible to use something like cast iron for the entire drainage system due to cost, there is a way to mix materials to control the sound a decent amount.

Using plastic for the drain pipe for most of the drainage system until it is close to living areas might make sense for some. Instead of replacing everything with cast iron, only a small section uses it.

Location, Location, Location

If it is a new type of set up for a drain pipe, putting it in the right location can help out quite a bit with the overall sound. Some people might be shocked to hear how much of a difference it makes to send a drain pipe through a closet wall instead of one that connects to the living room.

Having that little bit of separation from a main living area is essential. In new construction, most of the walls are fairly hollow, and having a drainpipe located right behind that hallowed wall will be heard.

In some cases, a person will have a few different options to play around with during new construction. Others might be forced to go in one particular direction in the home. Whenever there is a choice, try to look at things and see where the drain pipe can be a bit more isolated.

How to Soundproof Existing Drain Pipes

No one enjoys having to deal with a noisy drain pipe, but the sound might not be enough to force a complete replacement. If the pipe functions well otherwise, it might make more of a difference to go ahead and look into soundproofing material that goes around or near the pipes to reduce noise levels as much as possible.

There are many different types of forms and insulation out there that help with reducing sound. The great thing about using either one of these options is that it can be cut and shaped in a way that goes right up against drain pipes. This is the most effective way to kill the sound before it has a chance to reach other parts of the home.

There are even some soundproofing wraps that are built specifically for drains. This helps to speed up the process of installing the soundproofing material. Instead of having to cut everything exactly to size, the entire process might just take a few minutes to see a difference.

Just make sure that the material used is not up against any areas that are prone to heating up. Some soundproofing material is flammable, so it should never be directly touching areas in the walls or basement that might become hot.

One of the best soundproofing material for soundproofing drain pipes is Mass Loaded Vinyl (MLV). click the link or watch the video below to learn everything about this great soundproofing product!

Soundproofing The Walls

If the pipe isn’t easy to access, there is the option of soundproofing that area of the wall to kill sound as well. This tends to be just a little more costly and time-consuming, but it works in a lot of the same way.

There are options such as soundproofing insulation, foam, and other types of mass that will fit into any type of wall. Since the wall likely won’t be exposed, a person doesn’t have to worry too much about it looking just right. As long as it is capable of being placed between the pipe and the living area, everything will become a lot better overall.

How much of the wall should be covered with soundproofing material? Generally speaking, the more the better. This can help control the sound of all the pipes that are behind this wall, making for a better overall experience for everyone.

A lot of people might end up opting to soundproof the entire wall that is near that pipe. This makes a lot of sense if the pipe is right near the living room, kitchen or bedroom. (Source)


If All Else Fails, Ask For Help

Most people who are researching how to soundproof a drain pipe would love to do it all by themselves. For most people out there, soundproofing is a fairly simple fix as long as nothing is physically wrong with the pipe. It’s a pretty straightforward process, and with the right material and a little bit of time, a person can get some pretty good results.

If it becomes a little too complicated though, don’t be afraid to reach out to a professional to get assistance. It’s important to make sure that there is some caution used when installing some material and making changes to the drainpipe in general. Most people might feel like they can’t accomplish it all on their own, but it never hurts to get some additional help.

Pipes made of plastic generally need a bit more maintenance over time. Most professionals will charge significantly less for replacing or fixing plastic pipes though, so that is one positive. Make sure to ask about any soundproofing solutions they might have to share if a professional does come out to take a look.

The Importance Of Keeping Pipes Quiet

Most of the noises people hear in regards to their pipes come from the water supply system. Since water is being pushed into the home, there tends to be more noise that occurs when that happens. Drainage relies a lot on gravity, but pipes that aren’t functioning correctly, or just made of subpar material, will cause a decent amount of sound.

If the pipes already exist, explore as many options as possible to reduce the sound before thinking about replacing them. It usually becomes a huge hassle to replace everything, not to mention going up in price.

If a brand new drain pipe is being installed, that’s when it’s time to use some knowledge about certain materials. Think about the budget, the location of the drain pipe, and more before making the ultimate decision.

It’s much easier to operate early on during construction instead of changing things up later. With a clean slate, most people try to get at least some cast iron piping in there to help control the sound.

Remember, pipes that are quiet not only make a home that much more peaceful, but it can help out with resale value when the time comes. No one enjoys doing a bunch of minor upgrades when they first by a new home. Taking care of the pipes now can provide huge dividends for years to come.

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