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Thread: Loud Hum from Water Pipe - High-Rise Condo

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  1. #1

    Default Loud Hum from Water Pipe - High-Rise Condo

    I live on the 11th floor of a multi-unit building. Over the past year a humming from the main water pipe that runs straight up through the building has gotten much louder. We recently re modeled out kitchen 2 years ago. The noise wasn't there before, and it didn't show up directly after the remodel. The building maintenance people turned off the motor that pumps the water up through the pipe to all the units. The noise went completely away. The noise can be heard from other "06" units above and below us, but not nearly as loud. We have a 2x2' hole behind the slide-in stove where we can see / touch the water pipe. It definately is the vibration. The ceiling and floor are concrete, and the humming travels through out the entire condo. It's very loud, and driving us nuts. We tried seeing if anything was touching / vibrating on the pipe, and nothing is (from the hole behind the oven).

    What would be our next step? Does anyone have any ideas? Any advice would be fantastic.

  2. #2
    Plunger/TurdPuncher kingsotall's Avatar
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    You can let the building management know about the problem. Whether they do anything is the question. As far as stopping the sound at your end is futile. I mean the pipe in question can be fitted with an isolator (foam, rubber matting, etc) where it penetrates the wall but that will most likely result in very little in eliminating the hum.
    I just post cuz I like to see my avatar.

  3. #3
    Plumbing Designer FloridaOrange's Avatar
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    How old is the building? Where the pipe penetrates the floor there should be vibration isolators; springs or neoprene. The incorrect size or lack of one could be an issue. The same applies to the pump(s). Those are the 2 starting points for an issue as described.
    Matt
    Semi-professional plumbing designer
    Enjoying life in SW Florida

  4. #4

    Default Building Built in late 70's

    Thanks for the replies. The building was built in the late 70's.

    So far it sounds like it could be one of these problems (from this board and others):
    - loose support / something lodged against (from our remodel)
    - vibration isolators; springs or neoprene at the floor needed
    - vibration isolators at the pump connections
    - partially throttled valve

    Again, appreciate the help!
    Michelle

  5. #5
    Plumbing Designer FloridaOrange's Avatar
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    I would, if possible, ask your management company to hire a forensic engineer if the problem persists. There are mechanical engineers who specialize in tracking down problems, you would benifit by having an overseer on the project who may be necessary if legal problems arise.
    Matt
    Semi-professional plumbing designer
    Enjoying life in SW Florida

  6. #6

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    Just had a thought... we are in the exact middle of the building. Would it be possible that the pipe is moves most in the middle, like a guitar string? Just a shot in the dark... Went to other 06 units today, and the units two above and below us have the noise... but not nearly as loud as ours.

    The forensic person sounds like a good idea...

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