Vent Noise - Rubbing Wood; Seeking Advice
Hi Everyone -
Just signed up for this forum and I'm hoping to get some advice.
We've had noisy pipes for a number of years now and it has come time to eliminate the problem.
The problem occurs in our second story bathroom. When running the hot water, the vent pipe heats up, expands, and is rubbing against wood. I've opened up the wall as shown here:
I can see visually where the vent pipe is rubbing wood. It is occuring in at least three places; two I can see from inside the bathroom, and one from the attic.
The way I see it, I either remove the wood, or I shim. If I remove the wood, I was wondering if it would be required / recommended to add a riser clamp. The wood of course is only rubbing on the side, but I was not sure that if I remove the wood, the pipe will just move further until it hits the drywall. You can see that the room inside the wall is quite constrained. I would have to add the riser clamp in the attic.
If I remove the wood, I'm wondering if it would be a good idea to wrap some noise-dampening material around the pipe.
If I shim, I read that using plastic from a milk-bag container allows the pipe to slip and reduces the noise.
Lastly, I've read that you can eliminate the problem by replacing the copper pipe with PVC. That seems like too much work to me.
How would you proceed?
Thank you kindly in advance.
I'd first try whatever method is the least amount of work and see if it remedies the problem. If not, keep moving up the list to the more work intensive attemps. I would first stick some kind of soft material between the wood and the pipe to reduce the friction of the rubbing between the pipe and the wood. Maybe some kind of thin rubber, like from a bike tire tube or something? Or possibly wrap the pipe in electrical tape so the tape glides on the wood? Maybe the tape would still have friction on the wood though. You can possibly try to rub some paste wax on the wood to give it some glide.
That's a 3" copper pipe which fits nicely a 2x4 partition because it's outside diameter (OD) is about 3 1/8". If you switch to PVC, the OD of 3" PVC is 3 5/8" which makes for a tighter fit - and that's only if there are no fittings on that pipe (like a coupling for example). The OD of a 3" PVC coupling is about 4 1/8".
Switching to PVC is not the answer here.
One other note: swapping the copper out for PVC would be a big job, but you can get a good amount of money selling the copper as scrap. A new 10' length of 2" DWV copper is about $100. I don't know how much less scrap is, but you'd probably get half of that if not more. I just redid the drain for my basement sink. It was about 10' of 1.5" copper DWV and some brass fittings (two traps, two elbows and a tee), and I got a little over $50 for everything.
So anyway, it would be a lot of work to swap it out, but the sale of the copper would cover the cost of the job. But you'd still have a few hours of work, especially with the drywall repair.
Thank you for the replies.
I worked on it this evening. If you can see in the original photo, there is a small portion of 2x4 that was left behind the pipe. I cut through one of these and removed that portion. I was a little concerned because I'm not sure why it was left there in the first place. I was not sure if this was required to support the pipe somehow, or to keep the wall together.
I also shimmed with a plastic material in four places (two in the bathroom, two in the attic).
I'm still getting noise.
My next step is going to be install a riser clamp in the attic, and then start removing wood using a drill / dremel, and wood file. Unless I get a better idea from here, or from whomever is in the plumbing isle at home depot tomorrow morning.
I figure that by installing the riser clamp, I do not need to be as concerned about removing wood that might have been supporting the pipe.
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