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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi Good Day! I am new here and would like to seek good advice in this forum, for disturbance noises caused by faulty water pipe system.

I live in a 5th floor unit of public housing, in recent months it has been a loud “knocking” noise intermittently coming from the upper floor and it’s a serious disturbance noise even it happening in the middle of night, my family has been trying to endure but the problem does not seem to go away.

I had spoken to an upper floor neighbour and he is aware the noise existence, he advised me to provide a feedback to water department for a remedy action, then. I've called water department and a team arrived on-site for assistance, however they can’t carried out further checks for the problem as there were no one at home in upper floor neighbour’s unit they advised me to contact local town council for help, as they explained that the problem could be possible the water piping systems structure problem.

I've follow up contacted local town council and their team did a round of checking, interviewed the upper floor neighbour unit owner and claimed that the family member are not aware of such disturbance noises, hence the team needs to further investigate the problem to determine the root cause.

For past few days the knocking noise has been more intensive frequent in the night from around 8.30 pm onward and I‘ve searched google website and found some information which describes as follow:

{…Knocking noise or sound in water pipes can be due to several reasons, but if there is a ‘knocking’ sound from the water piping, this is known as Water Hammer. This can be heard when the tap turn off quickly and it could be caused by either faulty jumpers in stopcocks at the meter position or pipes which are not securely fastened.

As the moving water in the pipe is suddenly stopped, a shock wave is created through the water which causes inadequately fastened pipes to vibrate and ‘shudder’, thus creating the knocking sound......}

I would like to seek some expert good advices from this forum here about this noise, whether could the prime suspect possible root cause by faulty jumpers in stopcocks (main stop valve?) whereby if the water piping system structure not securely fastened will not cause a random “1 or 2 echo knocking noise” intermittently lasted for hours?

I look forward to hearing from anyone good advice and thank you.

Best Regards.
 

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Welcome to the forum----

There is a good chance that a pipe is not secured with the proper hangers---and is moving and banging into the structure of the building when water is shut off.

Fixing that will require locating the loose pipe and fastening it properly.

The building owner needs to send in a plumber to find and fix that.
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi Mr. Mike,


Many thanks for your quick reply and suggestion.


I’ve spoken to the town council team again and they already done 2 round of interviews with the upper floor neighbour whom acknowledged water hammer noise heard, the next step action plan is to check the suspect 6th & 7th floors Stopcocks controlled opening level for possible malfunction and carry out an isolation flashing to identify the possible faulty faucets/taps….meanwhile they do not rule out the possibility of loose pipes which were secured and cemented through the building storey base floors.



I would appreciate to seek some expert good advice on the type of water hammer noises from the plumbing, which could help to differential the possible root cause of the problem, for example, “One or Two loud knocking noises” or “A series of rapid banging noises”? Hopefully it could help to expedite the investigation process and resolve the issue as soon as possible. (#I’ve recorded a MP3 sound file for the knocking noise but unable to upload to forum here due the limitation of file size).


I look forward to hearing from you and anyone good advices.


Thank you and best regards.
 

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thank's for the sound clip----that is irritating---


Ghostmaker is a licenced plumber and also a building inspector---I bet he is right---regulating water pressure in a tall building can be difficult---

Over time, the repeated shaking of the pipes from water hammering can loosen the pipe and cause it to move and bang into the structure---

If Ghostmaker or one of the other plumbers has any suggestions,pay attention---We have some skilled pros here----

Your building manager is trying---please let us know how this ends---Mike----
 
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Welcome to the forum.

I couldn't make anything out with that link. It sounded like someone plucking an electric guitar. Not a sound I'm familiar with. You're right, it is annoying. Hope you can get it figured out.

Most here are located in the US, Canada, you're located in Singapore. Best advice I can give you, is stay on your building manager and let us know how things work out. Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Hi All,


Thanks again for your quick reply and really appreciate all possible good expert advices/suggestions.


Just for update, now the local town council team is facing challenges of a few residents refusal to cooperate, reluctant for the investigation, this has been already a month of slow progress but the team still exploring options to identify the possible root cause.


In Singapore, a typical ten storey public housing block has about total of 70+ units and a common water storage tank installed at the roof top, supply waters through a steel pipe system with secured structure which were cemented through the building storey base floors, each house unit fitted with a main stopcock valve and a water meter located just right outside the main door entrance, thus in logical sense of any disturbance water hammer noise could have been easily detected by a resident at the common walking corridor, I was puzzle and shocked when town council team informed me that upper floor neighbours claimed that family member are not aware of such disturbance noises existence?



There are multiple parties needs to be involved for the problem investigation; building & structure management by government agency, where the daily maintenance is the local town council’s responsibility and water department is the public utility board for waters supply which only take care the water meter in this case, therefore a big effort needed for a good coordination!



I am trying to help on my part and searched Google website, there are many useful information on water hammer noise causes and solutions, here I would like to share this useful site link from practicalDIY.com (http://www.practicaldiy.com/plumbing/pipe-noises/water-hammer.php), mentioned here namely probable sources of ‘water hammer’ are:

1.) Inadequately secured pipework – more likely to cause ‘water hammer’ after new work has been done
2.) Ball and float valves
3.) Washing machines and Dish washer
4.) Worn Stop Valves
And also from the related page: Noises from the plumbing (http://www.practicaldiy.com/plumbing/pipe-noises/water-noises.php
) suggested that “One or two loud banging noises, usually when a tap is closed”, mentioned this is a typical water hammer sound caused by a loss jumper or washer in a valve, which is very similar to the noise that I’ve managed to capture and recorded?
As from the information gather, now I just could only deduce to suspect 2 possible causes:
4.) Worn Stop Valves with a loose jumper: #Reason: Main Stopcock Valve is located at 6th floor common corridor area (Noise source location?)
OR a possible combination of noise occurred trigger by waters back flow when inlet shut off by (3.) Washing machines - #Reason: in one of 6th floor neighbours unit (?)
I appreciates of all your good advices/comments.


Thank you again.
Best Regards.
 

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The USA only use cisterns on high rises usually more then 10 floors. I have no experience with them at all in my short career of 28 years in the plumbing field. I would suggest one find out who was the original design engineer of the building and get them in the loop.

From listening to your audio it sounds as if a specific pipe is rattling as water is turned on and off.

I would suggest you see if you can make it rattle and which specific units cause this to happen. Once you do that you will need the original building drawings to trace down which pipes are attached to these units.

Then it is a process of elimination.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Hi,
Thanks for your suggestion.

Yes, I agree to your elimination process approach, the town council team currently focus area is at 6th & 7th floors house units where the suspect pipe knocking noise heard, they plan to carry out an isolation flushing in these floor house units as to identify possible faulty valves/taps, and also checking the stopcocks control level position to look out for possible faulty symptoms.

Just to share my own opinion, I've noticed the noises heard were 1 or 2 repetitive sounds with echo in background, it seem could be a loose part or component vibrate within a compartment knocking against the inner wall? As the building pipes system were steel made structure thus the noise got amplified travel downward to lower floors? Could this be the first suspect of faulty loose jumper in one of the main stopcock valves?

One other observation was the rattle noises could be triggered by the rapid water back flows when a washing machine electrical valve quickly shut off during the clothes washing cycle, this combination seem to be more often happens daily from 8pm onwards and on weekends afternoon, it were lasted for a hour? In a logical sense a person will not repeatedly open a basin tap or took a shower for up to a hour?
This is just my own suspect and I could be wrong ? Please allow me to ask a question here, I am not sure in plumbing point of view, should a faulty stopcock valve practically be repair or get a new replacement, if a same old model part not longer avail?

I really hope this issue can be resolved as soon as possible.

Best Regards.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Hi All,
Just I would to update that over last weekend no much progress as the knocking noise still heard, still waiting to hear from the town council investigation result. Hanging on.....
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Hi All Plumbing Professionals,


Please help! I would really needs to seek some plumbing Professional’s advice here to suggest what could be the possible root cause of these “pipe knocking noises”?
Just to update that the local town council team had taken action and carried out a local flashing at 6th and 7th floors common corridor areas about a week ago on Thursday (# as they tried to identify any faulty house unit’s valve or faucet?) , however after about 3 days the annoying knocking noises has recurred again on Sunday night?



Again I had captured and recorded MP3 file this morning at the below Zippyshare.com URL share folder:



http://www31.zippyshare.com/v/t6Z6sfE7/file.html


Apparently the noises were “Off” for about 3 days but has recurred again? Whereby now could be focused the suspects on (1.) “Faulty loosen internal jumpers in stopcocks” or rather over (2.) The structure pipes which are not securely fastened? (#Really unsure?)


I would appreciate to seek anyone good advice on this and hope to resolve this problem as soon as possible.


Thank You again and best regards.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Hi All,

Many thanks for your advices and I would like to update the pipe knocking noises status, I've followed up with local town council team and they had already went round to check for faulty valves/taps in upper floor neighbors units but apparently to no avail.

On second thought, again I had called water department for advices and shared the recorded audio file with the maintenance team, they have came twice in past 2 days to check and investigate, a senior technical officer went round to each house units to verify the faucets and toilet flashes for possible cause and he has also checked all suspect floor main stopcocks and found some were not fully opened, he told me that could be the main cause of the pipe knocking noise heard, whereby the jumper washers would be noise source and he has helped to put all of these stopcocks to fully open position. He has advised me to continue monitoring and asked me to give him a phone call next week to update the status.

Kindly permit me to seek pros advices here that Stopcock should it always be fully open when switched on, as I have always think had it open just enough to get decent pressure and have never put it anywhere near fully open to prevent leaking or dripping happen? Or having the Stopcock fully open will it harm if in long run eventually the spindle jam with limescale and unable to turn it off ? Indeed this is useful information as I could have been totally wrong with my own misconception all the while?

I hope this would be the root cause of the issue and problem can be resolved soon.

Thank you and best regards.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Hi,

Thanks again for quick reply.

Please I would like just to seek some advices further clear my misconception of the “Loose Jumper Washer” in Stopcock is originally intended to be a “loose” component in nature? Or not to be confused with the “faulty loosen jumper” which I could have been misunderstood of reading from some web site’s descriptions of possible root cause of water hammer noises?

Attached two files shown the internal structure of Stopcocks diagram for your reference.

Best Regards.
 

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It's possible, but not likely it's a loose jumper in the valve causing the water hammer because the valve is normally opened.

If that is the case, then you would have to narrow down what valve(s) it's coming from, then either rebuild or better yet replace the bad valve. This could be time consuming in an apartment complex such as yours.

Like your maintenance building supervisor said, give it a couple days and see if what he did fixes the problem.

Others will be along with more suggestions/advice.
 

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I always run stopcocks full open.

I don't normally associate occasional water hammer with a partially open stopcock. Usually they hum, shudder, or vibrate as the turbulent water tries to flow past the floppy rubber seal that's positioned right in the middle of where the water wants to go. But I suppose they could also hammer when water pressure / water usage varies.

If the rubber washer is making noise, it's wearing out. Eventually, when you go to shut off the water, the degraded washer will make a poor seal and be unable to fully shut off the flow of water.

As for scaling, I suppose the risk of freezing might be slightly higher on a fully open valve that lacks a back seat (a second sealing washer that protects the shaft packing from water pressure when fully open). But a valve with a back seat should be opened all the way, hard up against the stop. By keeping water out of the shaft packing, it should be much less likely to corrode or scale and be frozen when you need to close it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Hi, Many thanks for your prompt reply and information.

I have clearer understanding now of main stopcock should be fully open position and the internal loose jumper washer is a floppy rubber seal with a small free play space which it may not generate a high knocking sound that associate to water hammer noise, nevertheless the unusual sounds heard were from the water pipe structure and I think suppose there a loosen component that “vibrate and shudder” could has created by a moving water shock wave? when a valve/tap turn off quickly.

Apparently the building water steel pipes structure were cemented through all base floors and it’s probably not create noises, if a section of pipe vibrate and knocking against the walls, hence the pipes inadequately fastened may not be in this case.

As suggested by the water department maintenance team officer, I would continue monitoring for next few days and update this problem accordingly.

Thanks again and best regards.
 
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