Soundproofing plumbing pipesNovember 26, 2001
What is the best way to soundproof ABS plumbing pipes?
Soundproofing plumbing pipes is usually overlooked during new home construction. Given the opportunity, I always insulate every walls inside the home on all levels using R12 or R14 fibreglass batting. No vapour barrier is required because you are only doing this for soundproofing reasons and not for energy efficency. This "extra" insulation provides a tremendous sound deadening effect to all rooms not just to eliminate water noises like flushing toilets but also to achieve greater privacy from room to room.
If your home is finished and you weren't lucky enough to be able to install insulation in your inside walls during construction, you can still make those drains and water pipes a lot more quiet but it's going to take more work.
1. Locate the wall cavity encasing the noisy pipes.
2. Using a nail and hammer or a good stud finder, locate the studs on either side of the noisy pipes.
3. Once you have located the studs, measure approximately 3/4" to 1" from cavity side to identify centre of studs, make a mark to identify the center of the stud.
4. Measure up from floor 12" and down from the ceiling 12" and make a mark.
5. Mark a line that runs from your mark a foot down from the ceiling to your mark a foot up from the floor along the entire center line of the stud on each side of the cavity.
6. Join all marks forming a rectangle on the wall. This identifies the stud opening that houses your noisy plumbing.
7. Using a straight edge, take a drywall knife and cut along all marks. Apply pressure as you are cutting through 1/2" of gypsum board. (if the wall is plaster, a drywall saw may be required)
8. Remove the piece of gypsum board revealing pipes behind wall.
9. Using R12 or R14 fill entire cavity with fibreglass insulation (split batts in half to go around noisy pipes).
10. Replace the same piece of drywall that you cut out and nail or screw it to the studs. Sand area along painted side of patch and drywall tape and fill.
NOTE: Drywall filler should extend 4" to 6" either side of seam, this will feather out edge before priming and painting.
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