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Thread: shower drain noise

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  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member vmplumbing's Avatar
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    Jul 2006

    Default shower drain noise


    i have a customer who just had a bathroom installed. i had nothing to do with the rough in of this--only the trim.

    he is unhappy with his shower, in that the drain makes a lot of noise while draining.

    he asked me if i knew of a way to suppress the noise.

    i told him no, but i know who might, which brings me to you all today.

    this is an upstairs bathroom with no access to the trap without tearing open a ceiling.

    any thoughts?

  2. #2
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Sep 2004
    New England


    Is he complaining about the sound of the water running through the pipe, or gulping air, or what?

    Assuming it is done in plastic (PVC or abs?) then packing some insulation around the pipe will help some. People that are used to cast iron drain lines don't realize how noisy plastic can be.

    If it is gulping or something else, it may not have a proper vent line or the drain line connections are not done properly and water running by that connection is creating problems.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  3. #3
    DIY Junior Member vmplumbing's Avatar
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    Jul 2006


    hi jim--thanks for the fast reply.

    it's making a "gurgling" noise. i believe the drains in the floors and walls were plumbed in cast iron...

    i'm fairly certain the thing is vented properly...you can see the trap water when the light hits the drain "just right."

    packing with insulation won't go over well with this client, as the project is complete and i know he won't want to open any walls or ceilings.

    he was hoping there was something we could stick into the drain. i told him this would stop it from draining, but that i would ask here anyway.

    i suspect i'm gonna have to have that "live with it" talk with him...or offer him some waterproof earplugs HA!


  4. #4
    Homeowner geniescience's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    humid summers hot, humid winters cold


    Quote Originally Posted by vmplumbing
    ... i believe the drains in the floors and walls were plumbed in cast iron...

    i'm fairly certain the thing is vented properly...
    venting has nothing to do with the visibility of the standing trap water between showers. Unless the trap loses all or almost all of its water... which is not the issue here.

    Can you check and double check what the pipes are made of? First things first.

    If it gurgles LOUD, then there is something happening in the transfer of air and water in the pipe while draining, and that has a lot to do with venting and the slope of the drain. Is his drain pipe pitched too steeply? Is the venting really up to the requirements?

    Something may be causing the drain to suck or burp a little air while the shower is running. Then, that noise of water falling down a pipe, being amplified in a tube, coming back out at you, every half second, sounds disgusting. But this is not a diagnosis. Not yet.


  5. #5
    Plumber patrick88's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Webster Ma.


    I had almost the same problem yesterday, but it was a bath tub. The drain had a partial clog. I snaked the drain and the noise went away.

    I so love customers that say I need the problem fixed but, don't touch anything.
    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
    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    Aug 2004
    Bothell, Washington
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    My shower makes noise in the morning too.
    It got louder after I snaked it.

    I have ABS pipes, so the water running down the pipe will make more noise than if it were cast iron.

    Guess I'm going to have to start singing in the shower to cover up the water noise.
    That, and there is this water coming out of the shower head making noise too.
    Now I gotta sing a little louder.
    Geez, I hope I'm not waking up the neigbors now.

    Last edited by Terry; 09-27-2007 at 10:18 AM.


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