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Old 05-22-2012, 10:36 AM   #1
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Annoying tapping sound from ceiling??


I wasn't sure what forum to put this under, so General seemed a good choice.

I'm hoping I can tap into your collective knowledge to solve an annoyance I've been dealing with since I moved into my house 7 months ago. It's driving me mad, so I'm open to any suggestions for how to further investigate it!

Basically, when I'm in the downstairs bathroom, I hear a rhythmic tap-tap-tapping sound coming from above the ceiling. (rough estimate: ~150-155 beats per minute according to this calculator.

The second floor bathroom is directly above the first floor bathroom, so my first thought was water leaking. But after 7 months, there's no hint of moisture and the ceiling feels solid everywhere i check it. Surely if water was leaking for 7+ months I'd see some sign of it?

When it started, I would go up to the upstairs bathroom to see if any faucets were dripping or anything, and found none. Putting my ear to the floor, I could hear the sound through the floor.

I also considered it could be pipes or heat ducts expanding, as I hear a tapping sound coming from my ducts when the furnace runs. But those are occasional.

Another thing I considered was animals, but the fact that it's rhythmic makes me think it's not likely (unless it's, like, a mouse DJ or something with a good sense of rhythm).

It will start pretty much randomly, and will go on for anywhere to a few minutes to a half hour or more. When it stops, it either stops immediately, or speeds up/slows down before it stops.

What could this mystery sound be???

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Old 05-22-2012, 11:25 AM   #2
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Annoying tapping sound from ceiling??


Have you tried flushing the toilet or running the water in the sink while the noise is occuring? That may give you a clue as to whether it is the water or some other mechanical gremlin.

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Old 05-22-2012, 11:32 AM   #3
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Annoying tapping sound from ceiling??


Are the lights on in that bathroom when you hear the noise?
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Old 05-22-2012, 11:47 AM   #4
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Annoying tapping sound from ceiling??


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Are the lights on in that bathroom when you hear the noise?
I've heard it with the lights both on and off.
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Old 05-22-2012, 11:48 AM   #5
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Annoying tapping sound from ceiling??


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Have you tried flushing the toilet or running the water in the sink while the noise is occuring? That may give you a clue as to whether it is the water or some other mechanical gremlin.
Yup. I've become somewhat neurotic over it Tried flushing the toilet, running the sink, shower, and having my wife do the same stuff in the upstairs bathroom.
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Old 05-22-2012, 12:12 PM   #6
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Annoying tapping sound from ceiling??


Water heater.

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Old 05-22-2012, 12:23 PM   #7
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Water heater.

DM
Can you elaborate?
My water heater's in the basement...
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Old 05-22-2012, 12:52 PM   #8
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Annoying tapping sound from ceiling??


Its ceiling cat, no doubt about it.

I'd guess it's some type of PVC piping that has been installed with a little pressure on it. Not sure what makes it do that, but I have a PVC line that taps after flushing toilets sometimes. Take a stethoscope and try to track it down. A hollow pipe or screwdriver to the ear can work also. Once you've located it, maybe you can figure out what is in that area. Also take a stethoscope and check different plumbing lines under sinks while it's tapping or even vent stacks.
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Old 05-22-2012, 01:04 PM   #9
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Annoying tapping sound from ceiling??


It COULD be a ton of different things. Water pipes convey sound quite well so when the water heater is heating, it could be as simple as the elements "popping" (if electric). I've actually heard this before and it took a while for us to figure out where it was coming from. My suggestion is just another possibility for your mystery. But of course, it's most likely a ceiling cat or a DJ mouse, we all know that.

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Old 05-22-2012, 01:10 PM   #10
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Annoying tapping sound from ceiling??


Water heater would be easy to check. Go down to the basement and listen. Post back with your findings.
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Old 05-22-2012, 01:12 PM   #11
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Annoying tapping sound from ceiling??


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It COULD be a ton of different things. Water pipes convey sound quite well so when the water heater is heating, it could be as simple as the elements "popping" (if electric). I've actually heard this before and it took a while for us to figure out where it was coming from. My suggestion is just another possibility for your mystery. But of course, it's most likely a ceiling cat or a DJ mouse, we all know that.
DM
Hehehe

Well hopefully it's both, then ceiling cat can take care of the DJ mouse.
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Old 05-22-2012, 01:14 PM   #12
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Annoying tapping sound from ceiling??


Ever read Edgar Allen Poe? The tell tail heart? 150-155 beats per min. read the story. All kidding aside I hope you can trace it down.
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Old 05-22-2012, 01:16 PM   #13
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Water heater would be easy to check. Go down to the basement and listen. Post back with your findings.
Will do, thanks.
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Old 05-22-2012, 01:18 PM   #14
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150-155 beats per min.
??? Maybe after running a mile as fast as you can! That's nearly TWICE the speed of a normal heart rate!

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Old 05-22-2012, 01:22 PM   #15
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Annoying tapping sound from ceiling??


So we're taking this thread off track until he comes back with the water heater findings?

In that case...You could hit 180 plus after some sprinting. My resting is about 60bpm. About 120 after running 10 miles at 6mph.

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