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Old 03-18-2010, 11:16 PM   #1
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Fix ticking noise in pipes

I just bought a condo, it was built in 2009. When the tenants above us use the water in their bathroom, a ticking sound is generated which is soooo loud and annoying (the HOA maintenance guy says it's water dripping down the stack). I asked him how he would fix it, and he emailed me this: I
cannot promise we can do anything about it. We have found that it is caused by the fire caulking where the drain pipe goes through the top and bottom plates in the stud wall. The fire caulking fills the gaps between the pipe and the hole cut in the plate to allow the pipe to pass through. It is required by code to stop fire from passing between floors. It seals the gap so tight that it doesn't allow the pipe to expand and contract as it changes temperature with the water that is running through it. The only way we know of to stop the noise is to cut open the wall and remove the caulk around the pipe. That is not an option in this case because it would be illegal in multi-family housing.

Does anyone have any ideas on other ways to fix the problem? Thank you so much in advance...


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Old 03-19-2010, 06:28 AM   #2
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He is probably correct. It could be pipe rubbing almost anything as the expand/contract, but where they pass thru a floor is the usual culprit. If you can't see the pipe, you can't fix it.


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Old 03-19-2010, 03:55 PM   #3
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doubt that it is due to fire caulk, it is due to expansion, pipe rubbing against stud or plate.
more common on hot water line. if you can narrow down point of noise you might be able to open wall or ceiling to see. sometimes it only takes a peice of insulation to correct
also hole in plate might have been drilled to tight

Last edited by just a guy; 03-19-2010 at 03:56 PM. Reason: forgot
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Old 03-19-2010, 06:46 PM   #4
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It is most likely the result of expansion and contraction of the pipe as the temperature changes. A hot shower or a dishwasher will cause the loudest noises. It could well be coming from more than one point as the pipe expands and contracts and I would not be confident that you could stop it even if you open the wall--it could be coming from contact with plates above or below your unit.
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Old 03-19-2010, 07:16 PM   #5
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dollars to donut holes the hot or cold water pipe is not secured well somewhere. The noise you describe is a pipe hitting some framing.. I would hope not the drywall on your ceiling... but you won't know until you look. You would need to enlist the help of your neighbor above and try to pin point the source. Get on your cell phones and have the upstairs turn the water on and off. Get or make a (stethoscope) SP?

Less involved to go through a ceiling than tear up a floor... and as this is a condo check to see if you own the drywall or just the paint on the ceiling. If you have a smooth ceiling that access would be easiest to restore.

The firecaulk is a nice can't do anything about the problem story...
sound like bunck to me.. If anything the fire caulk is holding the pipe firm at that location at least.

You may need to get a contractor or Engineer to check it out and get the
condo folks on board with the proper repair. might be
under warranty... but that is a condo management issue.

Good luck..let us know how this turns out.
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