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December 2, 2008 7:39 AM   Subscribe

What can I use to dampen vibrations from a water pipe?

I have a heat pump in my basement, directly below my dining room. Two copper hot water pipes (one in, one out) come from the heat pump and go straight up to where they are mounted to the joists. From here they bend 90°, convert to PEX tubes, go about 10 feet across the basement ceiling where they convert back to copper and go down to the hot water heater.

When the heat pump is running these pipes mounted to the wooden joists are transferring vibrations to the hardwood floor of the dining room above. You can feel the vibrations when you’re sitting down and the noise, while not too loud, is louder than it should be. I recently attached insulation to the pipes and I think this made the problem worse.

Obviously, the pipes need to be attached securely, but I would like to mount them in a way that the vibrations are dampened somehow. Currently they are mounted with metal clips screwed into the joists. Is there something else I can mount them with, something that will isolate them from the wood?

I do not want to do any plumbing, I’m looking for solutions that don’t involve re-routing the pipes.
posted by bondcliff to Home & Garden (8 answers total)
A couple of strategically placed Adel Clamps might help.
posted by Confess, Fletch at 7:49 AM on December 2, 2008

Best answer: You can probably damp some of the vibration by placing rubber washers between the clips and the joists. Also make sure the pipes themselves don't make direct contact with the joists.
posted by le morte de bea arthur at 7:53 AM on December 2, 2008

You could rig up something like the hangers for your car's muffler. Mount some hooks on the joists, attach similar hooks to the pipe, and these connect to a rubber isolator.
posted by backseatpilot at 7:55 AM on December 2, 2008

Best answer: cheap: refit clips with a pencil eraser between clip and joist.
posted by mandal at 8:20 AM on December 2, 2008

I'm no plumbing expert (!), but had a similar problem. You could have "water hammer", which is where pipes vibrate due to pressure. There are water hammer arrestors you can put on pipes that provide a sort of shock absorber for this.
posted by ecorrocio at 9:21 AM on December 2, 2008

Response by poster: You could have "water hammer"

No, this is definitely mechanical vibration from the heat pump motor being transferred through the copper pipes.
posted by bondcliff at 9:56 AM on December 2, 2008

You can buy pipe clamps with built-in foam rubber (sort of like this although I don't know if I'd get these specific clamps) specifically for this purpose. They may not eliminate the vibration/noise but they will surely dampen it.
posted by ostranenie at 11:44 AM on December 2, 2008

Response by poster: Follow up: I used a few scraps of foam from an old camping pad and some spare pipe insulation to damped the vibrations. Worked great. Thanks, everyone!
posted by bondcliff at 5:39 AM on January 2, 2009

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