Have you ever woken up to your pipes screaming at night? It’s shocking, and downright creepy. If you live in an older house, you probably experience this often.

Screaming pipes can come from a variety of sources. Loose pipes, worn out washers in faucets or valves, and water hammers are all possible causes of this unpleasant sound.

To avoid this uncomfortable interruption, there are certain things you can do to keep your pipes quiet. Here is a list of tips on how to silence your creaking pipes:

Check Your Toilet

If your toilet is flushing, but making an awful gurgling or whistling sound, it’s likely caused by a leaky toilet flapper (that contraption that falls against the hole at the bottom of the tank until the next time you flush.)

To fix the sound, try cleaning the flapper with a brush. If it continues, you likely need a new flapper. If your toilet stops flushing altogether, call your local plumber for help.

Anchor Your Pipes

Often, noisy or rattling pipes are caused by insecure anchors. Warm pipes shake and rub up against their holds, creating that awful, clattering sound. If you live in an older house, your pipe anchors may have come loose or disintegrated over time. These anchors may need tightening, or in some cases, need to be replaced.

Another option is to add cushioning to your pipes with insulating foam. Be sure to leave some room around the pipe for expansion.

Reset Your Pipes

If your pipes seem to be creaking all over your house, you may want to reset your pipes completely.

First, turn off your home or unit’s water supply. Next, drain all the water left in the pipes by turning on your taps and faucets. Be sure to turn them off when you’re finished. Turning your water supply back on should allow some air to enter the chambers and silence your noisy pipes.

Use a Pressure Testing Gauge

To diagnose your screaming or banging pipes, purchase a pressure testing gauge from your local hardware store. Attach it to a regulated faucet (these usually come out of your wall outside,) and turn on the water to get a pressure reading.

If your gauge reads over 80 PSI (pounds per square inch,) call your local plumber to replace your pressure regulator.