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Thread: Groaning pipes

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  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member Candice80's Avatar
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    Question Groaning pipes

    In the last few months I have noticed that when the hot water is turned on to an infrequently used shower (but not the bath faucet) the pipes groan and rattle. This sound and vibration immediately ceases when the diverter is switched back to the tub or the water is turned off. Cold water does not make any noise.
    I have tired a few suggestions that I found on the web such as taking off the shower head to clear air and shutting off the hot water and draining all of the lines in the house. So far nothing has worked (I am so glad that one of those links was to this forum.) I am not very experienced with plumbing and the sound and vibration really concerns me.
    The fixtures seem kind of old. Since this has been happening it also seems like the water pressure the the shower has gone down.


    Any ideas out there?

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Plumber Cass's Avatar
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    I woud check and see if you have a pressure reducing valve.

    It sounds like it may be in failure.

    It should be located near where your water enters the house and it will have an adjustment screw sticking out of it.

    If you have one purchase a pressure gauge that will attatch to your outside faucet and test the water pressure with nothing turned on in the house then turn on a tub faucet and see what the pressure drops to.

  3. #3
    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
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    If this is a basic old 2 handle ( or 3 handle) shower, you could have a loose washer on the hot stem, which causes vibration when turned on. In this example, if you open the handle wide open, does it go away?

    If it is a single handle, the problem is probably elsewhere, such as the pressure regulator mentioned,

  4. #4
    DIY Junior Member Candice80's Avatar
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    Jimbo-
    It is a 2 handle shower with a 3rd handle for going between the shower and bath, but opening the handle wide does not make the noise go away.

    Cass-
    We did have a pressure reducing valve put in when we bought the house about a year ago. The outside pressure was reading about 85psi and all of the faucets in the house were leaking when we were looking at the house. We are not having problems anywhere else in the house though... I will look into getting a pressure gauge to check on the pressure drop.


    Thank you both so much for your help.

  5. #5
    Plumber patrick88's Avatar
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    It is a 2 handle shower with a 3rd handle for going between the shower and bath, but opening the handle wide does not make the noise go away.
    I would atleast replace the washers on the three handle valve. This would be a good starting point. I don't believe it is a pressure problem, because it would be hot and cold.

    The old three handle tub/shower valves have washers. These have a screw holding them in place and when the screw gets old it loosens. The washers breaks down also causing it to loosen. This happens more on the hot side because it's hot water.
    The fixtures seem kind of old. Since this has been happening it also seems like the water pressure the the shower has gone down.
    They are very old I'm sure. I'm thinking screw head that held the hot washer is lodged in the valve body.

    If this was my house I just bought I would replace the tub/shower valve to a new single handle pressure balanced valve
    I'm just starting to work with an old friend of mine to bring solar electric and hot water systems, wind turbines, Flex Fuel Boilers, batteries, hydroponic gardening, books, pellet grills and more. Also the parts for DIY installation.

  6. #6
    Plumber Cass's Avatar
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    If the pressure every where else in the house is normal then I doubt it is the PRV.

    I mis read your first post and thought you said the pressure drop was at all faucets in the house.

    I think jimbo is onthe right track. It does sound like a lose washer.

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