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Old 03-05-2013, 12:55 PM   #1
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water main whine related to main sewer line?


Hey all,

I've had a strange thing going on. I have a septic issue we live with - during heavy rains, it slows and the basement toilet stops working. A day later all is well. So yes, I'm sure the sewage/drain pipes in the wall start to fill up.

During these exact times, when we run water in the house, the area in my basement where the main water line comes in hums and whines like a jet plane. There are no drains in this area. The sound is 100% from water coming into the house, and the sound stops when the water is shut off.

I put a stopper in the sink so no water can enter the drain system and run the water - and this sound happens. So I know the sound isn't water trying to go down the drain.

I figured the drain system and the water into the house were two totally separate systems with open air in between then. For example - water comes our the sink faucet - then goes down the drain. There is no pressure or relationship there other than the obvious.

This strange whining sound stops once the septic rights itself and things dry out.

So what the heck could the relationship be here? Is there some other fixture in my house (HVAC or something) that when the main sewer drain is backed up - somehow it puts pressure or resistance in the main water line somehow?

I can't for the life of my figure this out. But the issue is like clockwork - heavy rains/slow septic - whiney water main coming in.

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Old 03-05-2013, 05:49 PM   #2
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water main whine related to main sewer line?


I am not a plumber but, Is there a possibility that the drain line is impinging or resting against the incoming water line when it is filled with water? This could cause a vibration between the two creating some sound which is amplified from the harmonics within the piping. Proper separation and anchoring may cure the problem. Get someone to hold or slightly pry on the incoming line to see if the whining stops. If it does then I think that it's a good possibility.


Last edited by techpappy; 03-05-2013 at 05:52 PM. Reason: typos
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Old 03-06-2013, 05:34 AM   #3
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water main whine related to main sewer line?


You may have a slight kink in the water line--and it is getting pinched as the subsoil swells--

Is this sound something like a hose with a kink?
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Old 03-07-2013, 08:48 PM   #4
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water main whine related to main sewer line?


The best way to describe the sound is that it sounds like a jet plane far away in the sky.

The copper pipe runs through my ceiling joists in my basement - and I do think it's bowed slightly in one place near where the noise comes from. But it's been dry outside and the noise has stopped. It will be back when it rains heavily again. Not sure how this spot could be the culprit.

If my sewer/main drain was totally backed up - could that have any effect on the water coming in? Like the water would somehow be fighting very hard to come in to some appliance or something? Or should they truely be two different systems?

So far - the outside ground swelling sounds like the best answer.

What sort of pipe is that under the ground out there? I can't even begin to think how I'd locate a kink without digging up my whole front yard.
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Old 03-07-2013, 09:14 PM   #5
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water main whine related to main sewer line?


Your drains are seperate --so not likely--

But I bet the same weather is causing both problems---the kink or bend is likely right where that water pipe comes through a hole in the house---when it's dry the hole enlarges and the pipe doesn't touch---as the house moves and swells--that pipe is bent a bit and vibrates against the framing.

Next time you hear the noise--grab that pipe and gently move it aroind and see if the sound changes.
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