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Old 07-15-2010, 09:16 AM   #1
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Terrible humming in pipes


House is about 15-20 years old. Recently (past few weeks), there has been a loud humming sound in our pipes. Sound is constant, even when there isn't any water running. I've went around the house and started shutting off all valves to try and locate the source. Was thinking at first maybe the toilets or faucets were the culprit in some way. But when I turned the valves off (one at a time) at all the toilets and sinks, the humming still continued. In the home is a utility closet where our hot water heater and water meter are. I can feel the vibration on these pipes in the utility closet. The only other place I feel a vibration in the pipe is to a toilet in a bathroom where this utility closet is located. Although, when I turn off the valve to the fill tank, the humming still continues. In the utility closet, when the valve is shut off for the pipe coming out of the water heater, the humming still continues. When I shut off either valves on either side of the water meter, the humming STOPS. Have I isolated the area of problem? And if so, what is causing the humming and how do I fix it?

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Old 07-15-2010, 09:25 AM   #2
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Terrible humming in pipes


I would check your water pressure. Do you have a Pressure Reducing Valve in the main line before or after the meter? It may have failed. The water pressure should not exceed 80psi

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Old 07-15-2010, 09:49 AM   #3
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Terrible humming in pipes


Did you also turn off the valves to your washing machine? Just one more place to check. What I have seen (rarely) is the rubber washers go bad, and allow air to be sucked into the water lines. Doesn't take much to cause humming since the washer will vibrate when air is crossing over it.
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Old 07-15-2010, 09:49 AM   #4
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Terrible humming in pipes


There isn't a PRV before or after the water meter. Written visual view of the water line...3 1/2" from floor, ball valve -> 1 1/2" pipe -> elbow -> 6" pipe -> water meter -> 6" pipe -> elbow -> 11" pipe -> ball valve
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Old 07-15-2010, 09:51 AM   #5
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Terrible humming in pipes


majakdragon...have turned off the valves to the washing machine also. Humming still continued. Also did not feel a humming in those pipes. The washing machine is located on the 2nd floor of the house. Humming and vibration of pipes seems to only be isolated on the first floor.
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Old 07-15-2010, 09:53 AM   #6
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Terrible humming in pipes


Quote:
Originally Posted by purplepirate View Post
There isn't a PRV before or after the water meter. Written visual view of the water line...3 1/2" from floor, ball valve -> 1 1/2" pipe -> elbow -> 6" pipe -> water meter -> 6" pipe -> elbow -> 11" pipe -> ball valve
I don't get it and have never heard of such a thing. 11" pipe?

EDIT - I re-read your post. I think I understand now you're speaking of "lengths" of pipe not pipe diameter haha. Guess I need more coffee
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Old 07-15-2010, 09:57 AM   #7
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Terrible humming in pipes


11" copper pipe...was just a rough guesstimate, not an exact measurement
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Old 07-15-2010, 09:57 AM   #8
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Terrible humming in pipes


So if you turn the valve off after the meter, is the meter spinning?
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Old 07-15-2010, 09:58 AM   #9
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Terrible humming in pipes


Quote:
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11" copper pipe...was just a rough guesstimate, not an exact measurement
Length?
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Old 07-15-2010, 10:00 AM   #10
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Terrible humming in pipes


Meter was not currently spinning. Turned water on at sink in bathroom (meter naturally spun), turned valve off and meter stopped spinning.
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Old 07-15-2010, 10:08 AM   #11
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Terrible humming in pipes


First thing I would do is check the water pressure then. I'm assuming you're on city water. There may have been a spike from the city. Any other changes in the last few weeks? Repairs to the city main? Excavation nearby? May need to pull the meter and check for debris, rust, etc. which may be the responsibility of the city.
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Old 07-15-2010, 10:13 AM   #12
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Terrible humming in pipes


Yes, approx. 11" in 'length'
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Old 07-15-2010, 10:19 AM   #13
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Terrible humming in pipes


Do you have a pressure gauge? They sell them in HD or Lowe's - you can use it to check your static (no running water) pressure on your outside hose bib.
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Old 07-15-2010, 10:24 AM   #14
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Terrible humming in pipes


I don't have a pressure gauge. Just called the Water Authority, explained the problem and all that was checked with the woman who answered the phone. She said she would find out what she could and get back to me.
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Old 07-15-2010, 10:26 AM   #15
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Terrible humming in pipes


OMG... Water Authority just called back. Said it isn't their problem and for us to call a plumber.

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