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Thread: 4:45 AM wake up call, The Walls are alive

  1. #1

    Default 4:45 AM wake up call, The Walls are alive

    Tried to figure this one out in the archives but have failed so far.
    At 4:45 every AM for about 15 min the pipes are tapping about once every second. It stops only when water is running or the main shut off into the house is turned off.
    I have turned off the water to the drip system, washing machine, and the hot water heater so far with no effect. I have adjusted the pressure regulator in and out and that also had no effect.

    I am going to turn off the toilets tonight but I am not holding my breath that the toilets are that timely.

    This problem only happens at 4:45 in the AM and not any other time of day and has been happening for at least 3 weeks.

    I called the city today and they had no idea but said they would put a pressure gauge on one of the hydrants around the house if it continues.

    Thanks for taking a look

    CJ

  2. #2
    Commercial Plumber markts30's Avatar
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    Water softener installed recharging at that time?
    City might have a pressure spike at that time... Do you have a PRV?
    Check your T&P valve for discharge when this is happening... might be being tripped and water running out... (eg-city starts up pump at 4:45AM to boost pressure for the day and the excess pressure is tripping an already faiiling T&P valve...)
    Don't really have enough info for a good diagnosis at this time...

  3. #3
    Licensed Grump GrumpyPlumber's Avatar
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    Drip system?
    I'm with Mark, or it could be pent up pressure from the water heater causing thermal expansion.
    "The biggest regrets we have in life are the chances we never took."

  4. #4

    Default

    Thanks for the reply.
    The drip system is the irrigation system.

    Do not have a water softener

    I believe I do have a PRV where the city supply enters the house. I tried to adjust it while the noise was happening but it did nothing to help with the noise.

    I turned off the cold supply to the water heater also with no luck, the noise was still present.

    Is the T&P valve the one on top of the water heater? If so I cracked it for a few seconds and let some of the pressure out and the noise did not stop.

    I am setting my alarm for another set of tests. Any suggestions on how to troubleshoot this further?

    Thanks
    CJ

  5. #5

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    Do you have a neighbor that gets up at that time? ...Or possibly has a sprinkler system that comes on at that time?

  6. #6
    Sound and Light Suppervisor for a School District tjbaudio's Avatar
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    is the HWH electric? if so does it have a timer to run it off peak? it could be heating at that time, closing the cold supply would not stop the noise if it is heating.

    Also what kind of heat do you have?

  7. #7
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    You say you have a PRV, but do you have an expansion tank? The two go together. If you do not have an expansion tank you need one. If you do hae one, it may be bad.

  8. #8
    DIY scratch-pad engineer leejosepho's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tjbaudio
    is the HWH electric?
    I believe that should be "CWH"!
    Hot water does not need to be heated.

  9. #9
    Commercial Plumber markts30's Avatar
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    If you have a re-circ line then the heater could be called a HWH...

  10. #10
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default noise

    I believe that should be "CWH"!
    Hot water does not need to be heated

    It is only a "CWH" when it is initially filled with water, or all the hot water was depleted. After that it is a warm water heater, or a hot water heater/reheater. But the noise could be your, or a neighbor's, water meter running their irrigation system, depending on how the meters and/or your drip system is installed. Turning off the house valve will isolate your system from the noise, if it is being created externally, so that would seem to stop it.

  11. #11

    Default

    The water heater is gas and it is not running when noise is happening.
    I do not have an expansion tank so apparently I do not have a PRV. What I assumed was a PRV is a valve right after the house shut off. It has a screw with a locking nut that adjusts the water pressure to the house.

    House is heated by forced air.

    All irrigation has been shut off electically and the water has been manually shut off to the system

    It sounds like I need to invest in an PRV and expansion tank.

    This noise apears to be an external source from a neighbor or most likely a pressure increase from the city pumps.

    The time and durration of the occurance is just too precise to be anything other than some daily scheduled event.

    cj

  12. #12
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    A good plumber would install a prv and an expansion tank at the same time, but it is entirely possible you have one without the other. The device you describe is a prv. You should have an expansion tank. The prv may not be working.

    Buy a pressure gauge, attach it to an accessable point, get adapters if you want it to go somewhere it won't screw in (it is designed to screw onto a hose bib). Check that out.

    The noise could be from things cooling off after the WH ran, rather than while it was running. If you habits were consistent, the tank might be running at about the same time during the night to reheat the water.

    Do you have an icemaker in the frig? Most operate on a need basis, but I suppose it could have a timer as well.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  13. #13

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    I have an icemaker that I turned off manually and I also turned off the power to entire house while the noise was happening,, no change.

    I will turn down the water heater to its lowest setting and see if that helps.

    I will get a pressure guage and monitor the pressure durring and after the noise and report back.

    Thanks
    CJ

  14. #14
    DIY Senior Member SteveW's Avatar
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    When you get that pressure gauge, make sure to get one with the extra "arm" which records max pressure - you may be surprised how high the pressure gets overnight if you do indeed have a PRV but no expansion tank.

  15. #15
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    You don't need to wait all night for the pressure to rise dramatically if you have a PRV without an expansion tank. As soon as the water heater begins to heat the pressure immediately begins to rise. Warning: It will scare the hell out of you to see how much pressure change there is.

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