View Full Version : Humming/Moaning noise ONLY from master bath

10-14-2004, 06:47 AM
Hello and THANK YOU so much for having this forum!! :) I am a stay at home mom who is married to a wonderful yet NOT handy man :D Anyway, We just bought our house last October (2003....it was built in 1994) and when we moved in we put our own showerhead in the master bath (we have had it for years and love it). It has alot of pressure that comes out of the head. I should also add that we never seem to have enough hot water when we take a shower because by the time we are done we are using only the hot and have turned the cold all the way off.....our bathtub/toilet area is open at the top to the master bedroom...does that make it colder?? I don't know if that is where the problem has originated from so this is why I put that in there. So, not long after that, we started hearing this loud humming/moaning noise but it is only from the master bath. There is another bathroom on the same floor, one on the main floor and one in the basement and none of the others or the sink or dishwasher or washing machine can make the pipes make that noise. And the noise starts almost as soon as the water stops running! It's mosty from the toilet and my sink (dual sinks) and the sinks aren't in the bathroom, they are right next to the bathroom but actually in their own little area that is part of the bedroom. If you can point me (and then I can in turn point my husband) ;) in the right direction I would be forever grateful.

Thank you again


10-19-2004, 06:33 AM
I'm going to guess this moaning occurs for less than 5 seconds. It's difficult to tell what the problem is without hearing the sound. This could be due to the pipes shifting and rubbing on the wood or their brackets as they expand and torque under pressure. When the water is on, the pipes go to their relaxed state. When you shut the water off the pipes are under some stress and will change length and diameter slightly. The amount of change is dependant on the material the pipe is made of, temperature of the water and water pressure. If the noise is worse when you shut the water off rapidly, you may be able to install an air chamber under the sink to slow down the rate of stress on the pipes. These are typically used to stop rattling and banging of pipes when water is suddenly turned off. I'd also check the water pressure to make sure it's reasonable.

10-19-2004, 07:25 AM
re: short supply of hot water.

1. You said you are using a very old shower head, which is wonderful, but may also be delivering 5 to 7 gallons per minute. A good 40 gallon gas water heater would have first hour delivery of maybe 60 gallons. That would give you around 10 miniutes of water that would be getting cooler by the minute. An electric delivers less.

2. If the WH is the original from 1994, it is a prime candidate to have a defective dip tube, which also causes short supply of hot. The class action suits are over, but the manufacturer's web sites can give you info by serial number to see if yours was affected. The fix is relatively simple and inexpensive.

10-19-2004, 07:38 AM
Thank you so much for the information Jimbo, can you tell me what WH stands for? So are you saying that it could be as simple as getting a new shower head? That would be the greatest news! :) Please let me know, I am willing to try anything!!


10-19-2004, 03:49 PM
WH stands for water heater. We all forget and use out little acronyms sometimes, sorry.
You do not necessarily have to give up your beloved shower head, you can put a flow restricter in to cut down the volume of water the shower head is putting out. This may affect how much you like it however, if the pressure is your favorite thing about it. I'm thinking high flow shower head as opposed to the dip tube. I think that you would notice a dip tube problem elsewhere and showers are usually extremely short with a defective dip tube. However you should start considering a water heater replacement. Ten years is about the life of a water heater. And, I have seen heaters where the sediment in the bottom of the tank had accumulated to the point that the bottom element was partially (mostly) encased in solidified sediment, making it fairly ineffective. You might also want to check the temperature that the water heater thermostats are set. They could have been turned down to save energy when not much water was being used. They generally come factory preset at 120. I usually turn mine up just a bit, but I have pressure balance valves and no children or elderly that might scald themselves. Be very cautious anytime you turn the hot water temp up. Hot water can cause serious burns faster than most people think possible.
The first thing that I would check on the noise problem would be the toilet fill valve. Shut off the shut off valve at the toilet and see if this makes a difference. Pressure reducing devices (if you have one) can go bad and cause noise or the high pressure could be causing other things to make noise (hmmm, if you have a bad pressure reducer, you could be loosing hot water through the T&P valve due to thermal expansion).
And since you are a stay at home mom married to a wonderful non-handy man who works outside the home, why don't you do this stuff yourself? There are plumbers at this (and similar) boards virtually all the time--if you have questions, we are here. Besides, this is mostly looking and every homeowner should be at least a little familiar with their plumbing, electrical, and HVAC--heating, ventilation and air conditioning (now you know what WH and HVAC stand for :D ) . Go to the library or maybe a thrift or used book store and look for a basic plumbing repair book. Most of them have alot of pictures and explain the basics of how things work. Understanding how things work is the first step in being able to diagnose problems. The cause of alot of plumbing problems is not readily apparent and takes some investigation. Plumbing is not just for men!
The Pipewench

10-20-2004, 05:28 AM
Thanks again Deb for the information :) I am printing these out and will take them with me to Lowe's so I make sure to get what I need!! Wish me luck.....I think I'll need it :o


10-22-2004, 01:17 PM
At least I know that you will read the directions ;)
Have faith, but be prepared.
Also, I hate to say it, but there is a good chance that the person at Lowes knows less than you do....
The Pipewench