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Thread: Hi, I Need a Plumber Friend

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Oceanside, So. Calif. 5 mi. to the ocean
    Posts
    4,944

    Hi, I Need a Plumber Friend

    I have a thrumming sound in the plumbing. It is like a vibration---something like 50 cycles per second.. It sounds like it is in the ceiling of the downstairs bath. Almost all of the plumbing feeds through above that bathroom.

    Unlike "pounding" this happens ONLY when NO water is running.
    All I have to do to stop it is open a tap so a stream of water about 3/32 of an inch is running. It does not matter if it is hot or cold. A larger stream of water does not seem to make a difference.

    If there is noise and I open a faucet it stops. If I close the faucet again, it stops again. If I let the water run for awhile and close the faucet, the noise may not start again for a few minutes or hours. It seems like the more water I run, the longer it will stay quiet.

    When it is quiet, I can tell when the thrumming will start again because it makes a faint squeaking sound for a few seconds before the thrumming noise starts. Turning on water during the squeak will prevent the thrumming for awhile.

    I tried turning off the main water valve--- to the entire house. Then I opened faucets and let water drain. This stopped the noises for a few hours, but then it was right back to ground zero. I have opened valves upstairs and downstairs and hose bibs. I have let the hot and cold water run full blast several times---one time for 30 minutes. I have tried opening different combinations of faucets when draining and when starting up again.

    One time only: After doing the water off, drain the system routine I opened the main valve. I was in the downstairs bathroom. I opened the lavatory sink faucet (I'm pretty sure it was on all cold...but not positive.) and a full column of water came out as normal, except it looked like black ink. This lasted approximately 3 seconds. It has not happened again. The color was not dark brown, it was as black as black India ink.

    I have been trying different things for two days now. I turn off the main valve whenever I can---especially when we go to bed---Who wants to get up in the middle of the night to turn on a water faucet?

    Enjoy,

    JimB

    Don't forget to vote.
    Last edited by Jim C Bradley; 10-05-2011 at 09:14 PM.
    First of all you have to be smarter than the machine.
    VOTING MEMBER

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Kansas City, Missouri
    Posts
    13,440
    I had the same issue in my old house, was the toilet valve causing the issue. I thought it was the hot water tank, changed out a part in it, not luck, but noticed the noise at the toilet, could feel the float valve vibrating and a saw a slight leak, changed out the tank/valve and it stopped.

    If there is a shut-off to the toilet(s), try shutting it off during the occurrence of the noise, which is how I determined it was the valve in mine.
    Last edited by Darren Wright; 10-05-2011 at 09:28 PM.
    Darren

    To a small child, the perfect granddad is unafraid of big dogs and fierce storms but absolutely terrified of the word “boo.” – Robert Brault

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Oceanside, So. Calif. 5 mi. to the ocean
    Posts
    4,944
    Darren,

    The sound seems to be in the ceiling. However, what you wrote sounds so darned logical that I am going to check into it. The time variance could easily be how long it takes the tank to drain a certain amount and what I do with the plumbing could be affecting that.

    Sound can be transferred in many strange ways. If you don't believe that, think about the last time you tried to find a squeak or rattle in an automobile.

    Thanks and Enjoy,

    JimB
    First of all you have to be smarter than the machine.
    VOTING MEMBER

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Kansas City, Missouri
    Posts
    13,440
    What I had was sounded a bit like a large truck brake squeal when it got going. resonated throughout the house. Like a washer was vibrating. Funny it was a very, very slight leak too. Changing the water pressure (opening a faucet) stopped it for a second, then started again.

    Oh, took me about a week to fix before I learned the valve shut off trick.
    Darren

    To a small child, the perfect granddad is unafraid of big dogs and fierce storms but absolutely terrified of the word “boo.” – Robert Brault

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Oceanside, So. Calif. 5 mi. to the ocean
    Posts
    4,944
    Hi Again,

    I went down to the bathroom. It was in the quiet phase. I lifted the top off of the tank and I could just barely hear the "brakes" sound. I pushed down on the floppy. It did not change the sound. I turned off the ball valve at the toilet and drained the tank.

    I am now waiting to see if the sound resumes. I left the tank empty and the ball valve closed. I would bet a lot of money, though I am not a gambler, that it will stay quiet.

    I don't think I would have ever thought of that. The type of sound and where I thought the sound was coming from would have kept me from thinking of the toilet.

    Thank You, THANK YOU, Thank You, THANK YOU!!!

    Enjoy,

    JimB
    Last edited by Jim C Bradley; 10-05-2011 at 09:47 PM.
    First of all you have to be smarter than the machine.
    VOTING MEMBER

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    North West Indiana
    Posts
    6,098
    Whatever you do Jim, don't send him your address! You'll get a bill in the mail and those darn plumbers and wanna be plumbers are expensive!!!!!!!

    Good catch you two. I am impressed!
    Jon

    God and family, the rest is icing on the cake. I'm so far behind, I think I'm in first place!

    Host of the 2015 FAMILY WOODWORKING GATHERING

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Kansas City, Missouri
    Posts
    13,440
    Oh, I'm just glad it saved you the mental aggravation it caused me.
    Darren

    To a small child, the perfect granddad is unafraid of big dogs and fierce storms but absolutely terrified of the word “boo.” – Robert Brault

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    No, not all of SoCal is Los Angeles!
    Posts
    9,076
    Thank you Darren, thank you for helping fix this before I went down for another visit
    Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
    - Arthur C. Clarke

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Kansas City, Missouri
    Posts
    13,440
    No Problem.
    Darren

    To a small child, the perfect granddad is unafraid of big dogs and fierce storms but absolutely terrified of the word “boo.” – Robert Brault

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Oceanside, So. Calif. 5 mi. to the ocean
    Posts
    4,944
    9:00 pm and all is still quiet.

    Trip to Lowe's tomorrow and a new flush valve.

    If I ever want Glenn to stay away, all I would have to do is mention plumbing. Well, he is a good kid and he would come anyway. However, it would probably be via Van Couver (sp?), Fairbanks, NY, Atlanta and Mexico City.

    Thanks again everyone, especially Darrin!

    Enjoy,

    JimB
    Last edited by Jim C Bradley; 10-06-2011 at 04:07 AM. Reason: Spelling
    First of all you have to be smarter than the machine.
    VOTING MEMBER

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