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Old 04-12-2005, 02:04 PM   #1
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Noisy Pipe


I have a pipe in my basement that makes a loud banging sound whenever the cold water is turned on from any faucet in the house. The sound is coming from the wall directly behind the water heater. I thought it might be water hammer, so I drained all the plumbing in the house, but the sound still continues. The walls are finished with drywall, so there's no way to check for a loose pipe other than ripping the sheetrock out. Any suggestions as to what this may be/ methods of fixing it? Thanks.

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Old 04-12-2005, 08:03 PM   #2
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Sheepie; I'm not clear on what you have done. Draining the plumbing of all the water would not help matters if it is hammering due to air in the system. If you meant that you bled the system, meaning bled the air out, then either you didn't get it all, or you could possibly have a loose pipe that jerks when the water flow is opened or closed. In any case, I hope you reply as to what your situation is. I'm sure you will aquire the knowledge you need to solve the problem. There are a lot of experienced people that enjoy helping in here.

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Old 04-12-2005, 08:08 PM   #3
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Water 'hammer' is usually caused by air being trapped in a high spot. Draining your system may have made it worse, at minimum, it is still the same.
Try this. Open every valve that you have, sinks, baths, outdoor faucets, hot and cold.
The idea is to 'burp' the system (eliminate the air). Full flow for a few minutes may accomplish this or it may take longer if the air has to be emulsified.
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Old 04-13-2005, 06:55 AM   #4
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I decided to be proactive last night and went to Lowe's and picked up a water pressure tester. Screwed it on and turned on the water, 100 PSI right off the bat. I think this is the problem. :o The high pressure is great for washing cars, invigorating showers, and sprinkling the lawn, but I don't want to cause a leak in my pipes! Would I be better off installing a pressure reducer or a water hammer arrestor? Thanks.
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Old 04-17-2005, 11:03 AM   #5
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100 psi, that's about ten times more than standard! You should definately do something about that, in addition to finding out why the pressure is that high. Something is amiss.
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Old 04-17-2005, 08:02 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sheepie
I decided to be proactive last night and went to Lowe's and picked up a water pressure tester. Screwed it on and turned on the water, 100 PSI right off the bat. I think this is the problem. Would I be better off installing a pressure reducer or a water hammer arrestor? Thanks.
100 psi is probably anywhere from 25 - 45 psi high. I've seen working pressures on mains as high as 80 psi. I'd be shocked if 100 psi is the norm.
Call your local water company and find out what the pressure should be at your house. Sounds to me like there's a problem that they haven't become aware of yet. Water distribution systems incorporate pressure relief and pressure reducing valves that serve to both keep the pressure in the municipal sytem balanced from locale to locale as well as keep it from blowing up building plumbing. If the working pressure of the main is that high, get a pressure reducing valve first. You don't need that much pressure on your plumbing.
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Old 04-17-2005, 09:00 PM   #7
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100 PSI is definitly high even if you live next door to the water plant. My first thought is to suspect the Lowe's gauge.
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Old 05-03-2005, 05:46 PM   #8
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seriously, it is too high and can cause nothing but problems. After you confirm the gauge is right, you have to find out what is causing the high pressure and remedy it. Please forward info on your findings, I'm really curious.
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Old 05-03-2005, 06:12 PM   #9
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ARE YOU SURE YOU READ THAT PRESSURE TESTER CORRECTLY 100 PSI....WOW I'M MEAN REALLY WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :confused:
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Old 05-05-2005, 03:14 PM   #10
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Yes I read it right!! :D I had a pressure regulator installed, and it helped the problem some, but its still continuing. (The plumber said that the water pressure had probably been increased in the area due to a lot of new construction and would drop once it was all complete.)

The plumber also mentioned that the valves at the water heater were sometimes defective and could cause water hammer. So I went and played with the valves and found that when I close the cold water valve going into the water heater, the problem stops completely. Is this an indication that I need to have that valve replaced?
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Old 05-06-2005, 01:26 AM   #11
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Your residential pressure shouldn't be above 50-60 psi. If you've just put it a new PRV, that creates a "closed system", and you also may need to install an expansion tank at the water heater to prevent the T&P relief valve on the water heater from leaking due to thermal expansion.
Turning off the cold water supply line valve to the water heater will only turn off the hot water lines. If the hammering happens only on the cold water side throughout the house, and it doesn't hammer when the water heater supply line valve is closed, that line is the one probably doing the hammering. It is likely to continue until you open up the drywall and properly secure it.
Good Luck!
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Old 05-06-2005, 03:28 PM   #12
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Water pressure is now at 50PSI with the PRV. I've tried listening to see if I can determine where the knock is coming from, and it honestly sounds like it's coming right out of the water heater closet. Especially since I installed the PRV, as it reduced the amount of noise that was made in the first place. I'll play with it some more and see if it may be coming from somewhere else. If I can find where it's coming from, cutting a hole in the wall and strapping it down won't be a problem.

Any suggestions from the experienced on locating where the pipe is loose?

Thanks!
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Old 05-11-2005, 10:34 PM   #13
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Water pipe hammering and a pipe bumping the wall are two different critters. 99% of the time "hammering" is due to air in a water line. There are pin valves that you can apply to the highest point of your copper pipe just by clamping it in place. A sharp vented point will protrude into the line, then all you do is open the valve and bleed the air out. In the case of a loose pipe making the noise...I have seen more poorly mounted water pipe than proper, so I would suggest you inspect the whole system and brace/clamp where needed.
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Old 06-28-2005, 10:35 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tomm
Water pipe hammering and a pipe bumping the wall are two different critters. 99% of the time "hammering" is due to air in a water line. There are pin valves that you can apply to the highest point of your copper pipe just by clamping it in place. A sharp vented point will protrude into the line, then all you do is open the valve and bleed the air out. In the case of a loose pipe making the noise...I have seen more poorly mounted water pipe than proper, so I would suggest you inspect the whole system and brace/clamp where needed.
Hi, I know this post is old but I figured since things were a little slow out here I would comment on this issue at hand that I hope has been resolved.

First of all "water hammer" is not caused by air in the lines! A potable water system is a closed system until you open a fixture such as a faucet. The water pressure is greater than atmospheric pressure and that is why water comes out as opposed to air going in. Believe it or not but air trapped in the system such as a dead end (capped pipe) is good for water hammer because air is compressable and water is not. We actually make air chambers (1/2copper pipe approx 18 inches long capped on one end) and install them on the hot and cold of all quick acting valves (shower,washer machine etc.).
The system needs to be drained once a year to replenish these air chambers with air because over time the air will absorb into the water (H2O) make-up.

Water hammer is usually caused by water velocity and excessive pressure suddenly stopping and nothing in the system is there to absorb it and that is why pipes will bang and chatter! It can also and commonly be a loose washer in a valve or loose part alot of times caused by excessive pressure. The max press here (MA) allowed by code is 80 psi. a normal working press is 50-60 as previously stated. And most PRV valves from the factory are preset at 50. They also have water arrestors that install inline and are user friendly to install and are commonly put on the washer machine. The solenoid valve is a common culprit of water hammer.They do make them for other fixtures and applications but the washer is usually the first place to look.
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Old 07-01-2005, 01:08 PM   #15
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Plumguy, I think I have an very similar problem to Sheepie. Every time my washer, shower, or the one toilet is activated, I get this sound from the location of my hotwater heater. I have heard water hammer before in other houses as the toilets shut off, but this only happens when things are turned *on*. It sounds like somebody dumped a box of softball-sized rocks on a driveway! And it's not just one bam, but goes for a full second or two. Where should I start looking? thanks

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