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Old 07-09-2013, 06:37 PM   #1
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Whistling / Noisy Pressure valve on water main


I have a pressure valve on the main water line coming into the house, just before the cutoff valve.

I'm finishing my basement, and this valve will be in the wall (with access panel) of our new family room.

When someone flushes the master bed toilet, during part of the filling process, the pressure valve on the house inlet whistles so loud it hurts my ears, for about 5-10 seconds while the toilet is filling. I think it has to do with the flow rate, and some particular flow rate just kicks off the whistling.

This was fine when the basement was unoccupied, but now that it will be I'd like to fix it.

Any ideas? Do I need a new valve? Should I just try adjusting it a little and see if it goes away?

Thanks in advance!

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Old 07-09-2013, 08:00 PM   #2
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Whistling / Noisy Pressure valve on water main


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Originally Posted by danielrg View Post
I have a pressure valve on the main water line coming into the house, just before the cutoff valve.

I'm finishing my basement, and this valve will be in the wall (with access panel) of our new family room.

When someone flushes the master bed toilet, during part of the filling process, the pressure valve on the house inlet whistles so loud it hurts my ears, for about 5-10 seconds while the toilet is filling. I think it has to do with the flow rate, and some particular flow rate just kicks off the whistling.

This was fine when the basement was unoccupied, but now that it will be I'd like to fix it.

Any ideas? Do I need a new valve? Should I just try adjusting it a little and see if it goes away?

Thanks in advance!
Pinpointing noises like this are often difficult, but the first thing I would do is replace the fill valve on the toilet. It's the most likely culprit and a fairly easy repair. I would try that first before you adjust, rebuild or replace the prv valve.

One thing to try is to turn the water off to each toilet, one at a time, and check if the noise stops. If the noise stops when you shut off a particular toilet then change the fill valve in that toilet tank.

There are of course other possible causes. You could have a faulty pressure reducing valve (as you have already stated) on the water main or a faulty back flow preventer or and outside faucet with a back flow preventer that has minimal flow.


Last edited by jmon; 07-09-2013 at 08:10 PM. Reason: additional information which may be helpful
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Old 07-11-2013, 01:21 AM   #3
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Whistling / Noisy Pressure valve on water main


Thanks jmon. You've given me some great things to check into. I'll start with the toilets and go on from there.
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Old 07-18-2013, 01:21 AM   #4
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Whistling / Noisy Pressure valve on water main


So I bought a pressure meter, the kind you put on your hose faucet. My wife was taking a shower. It measured 44 PSI.

When she stopped her shower, it went up to 95 PSI.

Huh.

So I turned on a faucet. It dropped to about 55/60. Another faucet and it dropped to 30.

My guess is that the PRV is really leaky. When everything's off, the municipal pressure leaks in, taking it up to 95 PSI.

When something is on, since it is set pretty low (from me trying to fix it I turned it very much CCW), it slows the flow all the way down to its low setting.

When I set it for higher (very much clockwise) the pressure didn't drop as much when the faucets were on, though they still almost immediately dropped to 70 if there was much of any flow.

My diagnosis - leaky PRV, and I need a new one. Does that sound right?
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Old 07-18-2013, 11:31 AM   #5
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Whistling / Noisy Pressure valve on water main


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My diagnosis - leaky PRV, and I need a new one. Does that sound right?
I agree with your diagnosis daniel. That would be the next logical step.

Your water pressure readings confirmed it. Depending on how it's plumbed it may be an easy swap out. If you need more help, please post some pics of it when you get a chance so we can better assist you. Thanks.
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Old 07-18-2013, 10:19 PM   #6
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Whistling / Noisy Pressure valve on water main


I have a 3/4" Watts N35B. It is discontinued, but repair kits are available.

It looks to have threaded connectors on the top and bottom, so swapping it out could be a 10 minute operation - if I can find a compatible model.

I don't want to do a repair unless I can't get one that will screw into it's place. I'd rather repair than sweat copper pipes, but I'd rather screw a new one on than repair it.

From the pictures, the Watts N45B or N55B look compatible, they seem to have threaded connectors on both sides too. I sent an email to Watts asking if I could swap out for one of those.

Anyone here know for sure if N45B or N55B can swap out with an N35B?
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Old 07-19-2013, 09:55 AM   #7
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Whistling / Noisy Pressure valve on water main


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Originally Posted by danielrg View Post
I have a 3/4" Watts N35B. It is discontinued, but repair kits are available.

It looks to have threaded connectors on the top and bottom, so swapping it out could be a 10 minute operation - if I can find a compatible model.

I don't want to do a repair unless I can't get one that will screw into it's place. I'd rather repair than sweat copper pipes, but I'd rather screw a new one on than repair it.

From the pictures, the Watts N45B or N55B look compatible, they seem to have threaded connectors on both sides too. I sent an email to Watts asking if I could swap out for one of those.

Anyone here know for sure if N45B or N55B can swap out with an N35B?
I don't know for sure, need a picture to see what you actually got there. As long as they have the same connections on both ends and pressure rating as your current n35b, they should work.

Are both ends union? Sometimes in older houses one end is threaded and the other is union. Just make sure you get the right one so you can swap them out easily. Got a picture?

Don't forget the tape and pipe dope for the threaded side if you have one. None needed if both ends are union.
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Old 07-19-2013, 09:12 PM   #8
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Whistling / Noisy Pressure valve on water main


It's called "Double Union Solder" - the Watts representative I talked to said the N55BDUS should be able to replace the N35BDUS at the unions.

Same ratings otherwise.

Local plumbing supply house says they have them in stock. So I'll try one tomorrow and see how it goes!

Thanks again.
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Old 07-19-2013, 09:13 PM   #9
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Whistling / Noisy Pressure valve on water main


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Originally Posted by danielrg View Post
It's called "Double Union Solder" - the Watts representative I talked to said the N55BDUS should be able to replace the N35BDUS at the unions.

Same ratings otherwise.

Local plumbing supply house says they have them in stock. So I'll try one tomorrow and see how it goes!

Thanks again.
Your welcome Daniel. Hope everything works out for you.

Last edited by jmon; 07-19-2013 at 09:16 PM.
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Old 07-19-2013, 09:30 PM   #10
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Whistling / Noisy Pressure valve on water main


Great advice from everyone.... as to solving the PRV pressure problem....

but has ANYONE ever heard of a whistling noise from a PRV valve..


.... just plain curiosity
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Old 07-19-2013, 09:34 PM   #11
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Whistling / Noisy Pressure valve on water main


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Originally Posted by MTN REMODEL LLC View Post
Great advice from everyone.... as to solving the PRV pressure problem....

but has ANYONE ever heard of a whistling noise from a PRV valve..


.... just plain curiosity
yep all the time we get calls for prv whistling. hammering..to name a few...ben sr
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Old 07-19-2013, 10:18 PM   #12
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Whistling / Noisy Pressure valve on water main


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yep all the time we get calls for prv whistling. hammering..to name a few...ben sr
Hammering, stuttering, shuddering yes.... but there is no air vent in that valve... where does whistling come from Ben..."???
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Old 07-20-2013, 05:14 AM   #13
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Whistling / Noisy Pressure valve on water main


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Hammering, stuttering, shuddering yes.... but there is no air vent in that valve... where does whistling come from Ben..."???
Good question mtn remodel. I really don't know the answer, but I would take a guess it comes from debris stuck to it, by increasing the pressure and thus reducing the restriction, it could go away temporarily.

You could try to either clean the PRV inlet or better yet just replace the whole thing with a new one. Wichever is easiest for homeowner.
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Old 07-20-2013, 05:51 AM   #14
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Whistling / Noisy Pressure valve on water main


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Hammering, stuttering, shuddering yes.... but there is no air vent in that valve... where does whistling come from Ben..."???
really my guess would be from the pressure on the high side of the valve as the valve is trying to hold back the pressure ...it makes a very high pitch sound ...ben sr

Last edited by ben's plumbing; 07-20-2013 at 05:55 AM.
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Old 07-20-2013, 10:37 AM   #15
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Whistling / Noisy Pressure valve on water main


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Originally Posted by MTN REMODEL LLC View Post
Great advice from everyone.... as to solving the PRV pressure problem....

but has ANYONE ever heard of a whistling noise from a PRV valve..


.... just plain curiosity
Have you never heard a squealing flushometer on a urinal or toilet?

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