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Thread: drain echo when sitting on /flushing upstairs toilet

  1. #1

    Default drain echo when sitting on /flushing upstairs toilet

    Hello! I have an issue no plumber knows the answer to, so I'm done paying them for the moment. We have stacked bathrooms (2 upstairs, 1 down), the drain (thick black plastic tube) runs inbetween the upstairs and down the wall of the downstairs bathrooms. When you sit on the upstairs toilet, and again after you flush (once the initial flushing is done and it's more quiet) you can hear a loud dripping echo in this black drain pipe. I assume there is some sort of minor toilet leak or pressure issue, since it starts when you actually sit on the toilet, but I can get anyone to figure out how to fix it. It annoys me to no end.

    In addition (did i mention our townhome is 30 years old?), the hot copper pipe running from the upstairs to the downstairs behind the bathrooms that are stacked bangs with / after hot water is used. Ie. you take a shower upstairs and if you then go downstairs you hear a banging noise that is on a beat that gets slower and eventually (5 mintues or so) goes away.

    Any help or ideas that i can research for these two issues is appreciated!!

  2. #2
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    My guess is that this noises you are hearing are the result of the drain lines expanding or contracting, especially with regards to the shower. RUnning hot water down the drain causes the pipes to expand, if they are rubbing on anything, that movement can be heard. Once the flow stops, they gradually return to their original size, again rubbing on something. Without tearing out the walls to find the offending point(s) and alleviating the contact points, you'll have to live with it. Stuffing insulation in the walls will help a little, but not much.

    As the toilet finishes filling up, it might take a few moments for the bowl to equalize or stabilize to its desired level. Again, probably nothing you can do about it. Pretty much all toilets get overfilled...after the initial flush, the bowl fill function runs more water to them than they can take, so some continues to dribble out (just like overfilling a glass, once it is full, if you keep pouring, it overflows).
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  3. #3

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    yeah, don't feel like tearing open any more walls than i already have... maybe in 2 years if i'm as rich as I wanna be and i do the upstairs remodel then the banging pipe will get fixed.

    as for the toilet. super odd. so i had shut off the water and flushed (with some enzyme stuff to help clear pipes/maintenance) and noticed (hours later when i used the facilities and forgot to turn it back on) that there was no dripping echo while the water was off. defininately is THAT toilet and definately has to do with the higher water levels. I think it's old and wastes a LOT of water. I've been replacing toilets, maybe that one is due. thanks!!

  4. #4
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    The only thing that wears out in a toilet are the replaceable parts. If you're not concerned about getting a new low flow toilet, then just rebuild the one you have.

  5. #5
    Plumber Cass's Avatar
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    You didn't mention if any plumber has done any work yet. You also didn't mention if this just started or has been an on goining issue. If it is something that just started then something has changed. If this just started there are 3 things you can do that may help. Have the toilet pulled and reset and be sure it is set firmly on the floor with no movement also check the floor its self for movement while the toilet is pulled, and have the fill valve and flapper replaced at the same time.

  6. #6

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    These two issues have been here since we moved in (3 years) and i have had plumbers here than are unable to fix it, many saying they have no idea why the echo is occuring. The toilet is question 1) has some scratches at the bottom 2) is a big waster of water - so eventually replacing it is something i'd like to do. thanks!!

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