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leted_82 10-14-2007 02:18 PM

Clicking sound in walls
I have a questions about a strange noise. Whenever we run very hot water down our kitchen sink - or even drain hot water off of pasta into the sink drain - we hear a clicking sound coming from a couple places inside the walls.

One is almost behind the sink but a little higher, and the other clicking sound sounds like it comes from the wall on the other side of the kitchen toward the ceiling. The clicking starts out fairly quick, and then slows down until it stops.

Any ideas what this is? Is there a fix or is it not a concern? Any ideas would be great!!! Thanks.

ron schenker 10-14-2007 04:02 PM

Could be a poltergeist. Seriously though, what kind of drainage pipes are in the house?

leted_82 10-14-2007 04:41 PM

Now I will sound very uneducated in plumbing. I don't really know what kind of pipes are here for drainage. I can tell you the house was built in 1994 if that helps - so nothing should be too old. How can I tell what kind of drainage pipes there are?

scorrpio 10-15-2007 07:46 AM

Could be result of thermal expansion - copper pipe coupled to framing with no room to flex. Our baseboards produce sound similar to what you described - coming primarily from corners where piping passes through interior wall framing.

Hearing same from drain is interesting - it would indicate copper drains. My house is circa 1940, and all its drains are copper - but in a 1994 house, I would expect 100% PVC.

RippySkippy 10-15-2007 09:01 AM

PVC can snap, crackle and pop when hot water passes through it. The warm water causes the pipe to expand and when it rests on wood it will make a popping sound as it expands, and commonly it will make the same sound when it contracts and returns to surrounding temperature. Copper water pipes will do the same and SCORRPIO suggests. You could run a sink of hot water, don't let it go down the drain. Does the popping sound present itself? If not, let the water go and check again. I'd almost bet it's the supply lines rubbing on a stud or plate someplace.

I know it's annoying...but short of tearing open the wall, you'll have to live with it, off hand being in an enclosed wall, I can't think of a good way to fix it.

jmancine 10-15-2007 12:07 PM

noise above?
Is the noise in the ceiling even when you are just dumping pasta water down the drain? That would be very strange...

It sounds like the holes that were drilled to pipe your house may have been a bit too small. There's really not much you can do but you might just reach under the sink and give the pipes a tug ang wiggle (not TOO hard) to see if you might be able to move them enough to eliminate the binding point where the noise is created. Not likely though it is worth a shot. :)

leted_82 10-15-2007 11:58 PM

The sound does not start until the water has gone down the drain. And yes, just dumping hot water down the drain does cause the sound high on the wall near the ceiling, on a wall opposite the sink. It is definetly weird, but you have given me some good ideas as to what it might be. Likely will leave it though, since it doesn't sound like an easy fix.

RippySkippy 10-16-2007 06:25 AM

From you last description, it sounds like it's not the drain specifically, rather the vent pipe for the drain. Is this in an attic? If so, with someone running hot water down the sink, it wouldn't take but a minute or two to pin-point where the binding is coming from. If it's not accessible, there's not much you can do. Sorry.

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