PLUMBING SYSTEM NOISE DIAGNOSIS & CURE - home - CONTENTS: Plumbing Noise Source List - what causes various kinds of noises traced to plumbing system piping, drains, vents, or fixtures? Catalog of sources of noises traced to plumbing system supply pipes, drain waste or vent pipes, or plumbing controls, faucets, or fixtures
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Plumbing system noises at supply pipes, drain pipes, vents, faucets, fixtures:
This plumbing drain and vent noise article explains proper plumbing vent piping and how errors cause trap siphonage, odors, and plumbing noises such as gurgling or a glub-glub-glub noise at plumbing drains or fixtures.
Drips at plumbing fixtures may make an obvious drip or splash sound. But dripping water can be tricky to track down. Don't forget to consider
A small water supply leak inside of a building cavity can produce a noise that is hard to track down. Supply pipe leaks may be continuous (and thus are eventually discovered by water stains or mold) or intermittent, such as a leak around a tub or shower control that drips into the wall cavity only when the valve is turned "on".
A drain piping leak inside of a building cavity can also produce a noise that is hard to track down. But a drain drip noise should not be present when no fixtures have water running into them. But don't forget that a quietly running toilet can also produce a drip or other plumbing problems downstream from the toilet in the building drain piping.
Plumbing Fixture noises at drains, gurgling, glug glug sounds, burbling, bubbling during drainage when sinks, tubs, or showers drain, or when a toilet is flushed -
see NOISE, PLUMBING DRAIN REPAIR - fixing plumbing noises at drains by fixing drain or vent problems and
Leaks in water pipes outside of the building but in water supply piping coming to the building from a municipal water main or city water piping can produce a humming, hissing, or ringing sound in the building. If you turn off the main water shutoff at the building and listen with a mechanic's stethoscope to the water pipes on the street side of the shutoff valve, comparing this sound to pipes in the building you can identify this problem.
See Water Supply/Drain Pipe Leak Types
Water pipe transmission of vibrations in well pumps or other pumps used in the plumbing system -
see NOISE, PLUMBING CHECKLIST for details.
Water pump noises: hiss, hum, motor sounds, clunks, or thunks: at water pumps or well pumps. Water pumps can be quite noisy, depending on the pump type and model, and the pump location.
If the well pump is a submersible unit located inside the well, normally the only noise you'll observe in the building is the clicking of the pump control relay(s) that turn the pump on or off, and possibly a modest sound of water entering the water pressure tank or building piping.
Water pump noises change from loud and rattling to a more quiet hum if a pump has lost prime (contains air instead of water) and then regains its prime (contains water). Running a pump "dry" can also destroy it.
See WATER PUMP LIFE EXPECTANCY.
But if your well pump is located indoors the pump motor sound can be loud and disturbing
We do not recommend simply surrounding the pump or covering it with fiberglass insulation in contact with the pump or water tank, because condensation can lead to a mold problem. But enclosing a well pump in a utility room that has benefited from sound control insulation can make a big reduction in pump noise heard in the rest of the structure.
Hissing noise of air escaping at water tanks: air escaping from the air volume control valve on some water pressure tanks, such as the U.S. Gauge Type 310WJ Air Volume Controls makes a hissing noise and is normal but should only occur on occasion, not constantly. Otherwise there is a problem putting too much air into the water tank.
See WATER TANK AIR VOLUME CONTROLS.
A "thunk" or "clunk" sound heard around the water pressure tank or water pressure tank controls can be caused by check valve, control, or piping troubles. See WATER PUMP NOISES for details.
Water pressure tank and water storage tank noises:
Bubbling and gurgling at the water pressure tank is usually air in the well piping system; look for a leak in the well piping system or low water levels in the well.
See AIR DISCHARGE at FAUCETS, FIXTURES
Clicking at the water pressure tank, especially if the well pump is submersible (in the well and nowhere near the tank itself) is more likely the water pump pressure control relay clicking in and out to turn the pump on and off. If the clicking is rapid, every few seconds, your well pump is short-cycling and needs repair.
See SHORT CYCLING WATER PUMP
Squeals and shrieks from water pressure tank: A squealing water pressure tank sound is often due to water passing through a restricted valve or pipe clog. A high pitched shriek or whine also occurs during fill-ups of water tanks whose water level is controlled by a float. In that case the noise seems to come from a combination of stick float mechanism that may not fully open the fill valve and thus a partial restriction in the water line. Shrieking from a water pressure tank that incorporates a bladder may be due to a partly collapsed bladder or obstruction at the tank entrance fittings.
Running toilets - may produce a high pitched sound, or may be silent but sill running
Plumbing Supply piping noises, including a high-pitched hissing or whistling sound may be heard as water runs through building supply piping. This sound should stop immediately when you turn off any fixture that is running water in the building. You may be able to stop or reduce plumbing supply piping noise by changing the water system pressure at a municipal water supply valve.
Try first just slightly reducing the incoming water pressure.
See WATER PRESSURE REGULATOR ADJUSTMENT. We have also corrected this noise by slightly closing the main water shutoff valve at a municipal supply to adjust the incoming water flow rate.
Plumbing vent piping-caused plumbing system noises and odors -
At PLUMBING VENT DEFECTS & NOISES we explain the basics of proper plumbing vent piping and how errors cause trap siphonage, odors, and noises. See:
Water heater noises:
see WATER HEATER NOISE DIAGNOSIS, CURE - identify and cure noises at water heaters such as rumbling, clanking, burbling, hissing, and clinking noises observed at water heaters. Also there may be noises at the water heater due to oil or gas burner problems.
See OIL BURNER NOISE SMOKE ODORS.
Water tank noises: Bubbling sounds if air is being forced into the water tank from an air leak in well piping, low well water level, or from an air volume control. Hissing noise of air escaping at water tanks:
See WATER TANK NOISE FAQs
See WATER TANK AIR VOLUME CONTROLS.
Other advice about controlling normal plumbing noises in buildings by controlling sound transmission is
at SOUND CONTROL for PLUMBING.
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Questions & answers or comments about diagnosing and fixing plumbing vent and drain noises
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Developments in Noise Control, NRCC, National Research Council, Canada, suggestions for noise control, sound transmission through block walls, plumbing noise control, noise leaks, and sound control advice. Web search 01/17/2011, original source: https://www.nrc-cnrc.gc.ca/eng/ibp/irc/bsi/90-noise-control.html
Oakville Stamping & Bending, 2200 Speers Rd.,
Canada L6L 2X8
(905) 827-0320 or
(905) 827-6375 FAX - Email: email@example.com produces and supplies the V-200 automatic plumbing vent.
We believe ProVent and the V-200 are spring-loaded siphon breaker valves and are not approved in some code jurisdictions. The Sealing Disc of the V-200 automatic plumbing vent anti siphon valve must be located at least 6" above the top of the trap arm. NOTE: An Angle Mounting of no more than 15 degrees from the Vertical is acceptable. Location of the V-200 is no way related to the flood level of the fixture that it's venting. The V-200 functions equally well above or below the flood level of any fixture in the home. - V-200 ABS Auto Trap Vent product description, V-200 anti siphon valve installation instructions from manufacturer Oakville Stamping & Bending.
STUDOR is a good example of an approved air admittance valve. These devices do not include a spring, only a diaphragm. This makes them more mechanically reliable. OATEY also makes an air admittance valves, possibly also spring-loaded auto vent types.
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