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Old 04-16-2012, 10:27 PM   #1
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Squealing water pipes


Recently, right about the time I turned on my outside hose bibs, as well as my irrigation system, the pipes in my house started squealing something fierce. The problem goes away as soon as I so much as turn on a trickle of hot or cold water, at any faucet in the house. The sound seems to be coming from the area of my natural gas hot water heater.

Anyway, I googled and found several suggestions, including:
  • bad cistern inlet valve in a toilet tank
  • bad vacuum breaker in an outside hose bib
  • leaky irrigation system
  • leak in an outside faucet

So, I turned off the valves to both outside hose bibs. And the valve to the irrigation system. And, I turned off the valves on all the toilets. Still, I get the high-pitched squealing that instantly stops if I open a faucet at any sink.

The wife said that neither the dish washer nor the washing machine seems to stop the squealing if they were in use, but any faucet will instantly stop the noise.

What in the world could it be?

Larry

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Old 04-16-2012, 10:35 PM   #2
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What is your water pressure? You can get a pressure gauge that connects to any hose connection (hosebib, laundry tub faucet, etc). May not be the problem, but it's where I would start since the problem persists after you've turned the irrigation and hosebibs back off.

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Old 04-16-2012, 10:40 PM   #3
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What is your water pressure? You can get a pressure gauge that connects to any hose connection (hosebib, laundry tub faucet, etc). May not be the problem, but it's where I would start since the problem persists after you've turned the irrigation and hosebibs back off.
I don't have a pressure gauge. Sounds like trip to Sears or Lowes is in my future. What is a normal reading?
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Old 04-16-2012, 10:48 PM   #4
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Squealing water pipes


The absolute highest, in theory, is 80psi. I usually set pressure reducing valves at 60 psi and have no complaints from my customers. Extreme high pressure can cause squealing pipes. You can pick up a pressure gauge and most any hardware store for around $10 or so. If you find your pressure to be high and you have a pressure reducing valve, then that of course indicates its time for a new one. You'd most likely find your PRV near where the water main enters the house.

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Old 04-17-2012, 07:37 AM   #5
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Squealing water pipes


Is the squealing associated with one particular faucet or hose bibb being on? If you turn that faucet on higher does the squealing go away?

Any unusual low pressure problem for that faucet?
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Old 04-17-2012, 08:10 AM   #6
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Is the squealing associated with one particular faucet or hose bibb being on? If you turn that faucet on higher does the squealing go away?

Any unusual low pressure problem for that faucet?
There is no particular faucet that I can link to the problem.

A couple months ago we did have an issue with a shower that had substantially reduced pressure. I took the cartridge out and some debris spilled out when I flushed the line. I put in a new cartridge (it was like $35 at Lowes) and the pressure returned to normal, as far as I can tell. Wonder if this could be related?
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Old 04-17-2012, 10:33 AM   #7
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Squealing water pipes


I'd say check out the water heater. Does it have an expansion tank on it? Sometimes they can be noisy or maybe it's bad, and you're hearing what little air is left in it being absorbed by the water and the water squeezing through the air bladder...

Might be a longshot, but I check mechanical devices first.
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Old 04-17-2012, 08:15 PM   #8
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Squealing water pipes


if you have a pressure reducing valve at meter sometimes these can make a squealing noise if they need cleaned....
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Old 04-21-2012, 01:02 PM   #9
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So, I had a plumber come out. He found that the relief valve? on the hot water tank was bad, and was letting a steady flow of water spill off into the sump pump. He replaced that with an expansion tank.

I have noticed that the sump pump was dumping more water than usual outside, so maybe this was why. Anyway, the squealing has stopped.

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Old 04-21-2012, 01:09 PM   #10
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So, had a plumber come out. He found that the relief valve? on the hot water tank was bad, and was letting a steady flow of water spill off into the sump pump. He replaced that with an expansion tank.

I have noticed that the sump pump was dumping more water than usual outside, so maybe this was why. Anyway, the squealing has stopped.
More likely, he replaced the relief valve and added an expansion tank.
You might find an increase in your water bill too because of the faulty valve.
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Old 04-21-2012, 01:16 PM   #11
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More likely, he replaced the relief valve and added an expansion tank.
You might find an increase in your water bill too because of the faulty valve.
Right. That's what I tried to say in my last post.

Actually, I am expecting the water bill to go down now that the faulty valve is not wasting water.
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Old 04-21-2012, 01:37 PM   #12
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Right. That's what I tried to say in my last post.

Actually, I am expecting the water bill to go down now that the faulty valve is not wasting water.
Ha, that's what I was trying to say in my last post
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Old 04-21-2012, 10:44 PM   #13
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Ha, that's what I was trying to say in my last post
"That's what I'm saying to YOU!"

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Old 04-22-2012, 09:06 AM   #14
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