Pulsating water from shower

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Dorlando13

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Hello, I haven’t been on the forum in a couple of years but I always appreciate everyone’s help. The pipes in the shower have been pulsating over the last week. It doesn’t happen with every shower. The toilet in that same bathroom has also been making a pulsating type of vibration, almost like it has the case of bad hiccups.

any ideas on where I should start to look for this problem? We are not experiencing it in other places of the house. The only repair job recently done was a busted hot water pipe in the ceiling. I stepped on a Tee when in the attic and that led to the kitchen sink and I think also the shower that is pulsating. That was fixed a couple of months or so before the shower started pulsating
 

Reach4

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You have pulsating in two places. I would get a garden-hose thread pressure gauge, and see what the pressure is. Those gauges are inexpensive and readily available.

You may or may not have a pressure reducing valve (PRV).

If it were just the toilet, I would try partially closing the stop valve on the toilet supply.
 

Dorlando13

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I have the copper looking relief valve on top of the water heater. The shower head mysteriously drips water also. I read another thread on the forum about similar issues and it ended up being an O-ring on the shower valve. Could that be causing my problems even though it is at the toilet and shower? Should I check my cut off valve which is right outside where the toilet is to make sure it is fully on?
 

Dorlando13

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Update. I checked the shut off valve outside the house and there is a little bit of water forming on top of the valve so there may be a leak there. Could that be my issue?
 

Reach4

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I have the copper looking relief valve on top of the water heater. The shower head mysteriously drips water also.
Are you saying that the water heater relief valve drips?
 

Dorlando13

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No, sorry for any confusion. The shut off valve outside the house has some water drops on the top of it. Don't know if it is from the dew but the dirt underneath looked like it was a little wet. If it is has a leak could that be causing my pulsating?
 

Dorlando13

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To kind of summarize, the toilet pulsating happens on it's own whether in middle of the night or other times. I don't think the toilet issue is related to other fixtures in the house coming on or off. The shower pulsating is normally when in use it doesn't happen every day, maybe every few days or so. The shower head mysteriously drips on it's own at times, possibly separate issue.

I might have a leak in the main shut off valve outside the house, which is actually outside the wall where the toilet is.

I believe these are the only two places in the house that have the pulsating.
 

Reach4

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To kind of summarize, the toilet pulsating happens on it's own whether in middle of the night or other times.
My summary is that you should check your water pressure, because high water pressure can cause strange symptoms.
 

Dorlando13

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I can do that. Where should I check the pressure at (spigot outside) and what readings am I looking for (what is acceptable and not acceptable)?
 

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I can do that. Where should I check the pressure at (spigot outside) and what readings am I looking for (what is acceptable and not acceptable)?

Outside, laundry tap inside, or the drain valve on your WH.

If the outside is high, you would check inside too, because sometimes there is a PRV that does not feed water to the outside spigots.

Look for water pressure to be 80 psi or less, even when the toilet makes the noise.
 

Jadnashua

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When they fixed the leak, they likely turned that main water valve off. Depending on the type, some of them have a washer in there. When they get old, that washer can sort of break up. That can bounce around depending on the flow, and that can cause the flow to vary.

That valve also likely has a packing nut. To try to stop that slow leak, you can slightly tighten that nut which will squeeze the packing (seals) tighter to the stem. If you tighten it too much, you may not be able to then turn the handle. If you can't stop the leak there without that happening, it's either putting new packing in it (would require shutting the water off at the curb - often by the utility company), or replacing that valve with a new one. If you removed the packing nut and stem, you could then check if it's a washer, but again, you'd need to shut the water off at the street first.
 

Dorlando13

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The water pressure at the main valve coming into the house is 60 PSI. The shut off valve coming into the house is a ball valve and I was told that they do not have a washer, which means that would not be the cause of the thumping.

when the thumping happens the water is sputtering during those 10 seconds as if there is air in the line or a blockage. I attached a picture of my valve in the shower, is there something I should replace to see if that is causing the thumping?

could it be the water heater? I am able to see the back of the valve in the closet and the pipes connecting to the valve are not strapped in. However, if the water is sputtering then does that mean it is not a strapping issue?
 

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Reach4

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The water pressure at the main valve coming into the house is 60 PSI.
The two symptoms are probably independent.

For the toilet, you can change the fill valve. Some have a replaceable part that you can change out. For example,
Fluidmaster 400A, you may be able to just change out the Universal Replacement Fill Valve Cap.
 

Dorlando13

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Thanks. I will try that. Any thoughts on the shower? If air is getting in where can I start, would the cartridge cause that? Water heater? When I repaired the tee in the attic could the new fitting have a pinhole gap, I checked it over several days and there was no leak
 

Jadnashua

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Generally, water supply systems don't have lots of air in them. While there is some dissolved oxygen (well, air) in there, it's a very small proportion of the whole and usually doesn't cause any issues. If you were on a well, if the pump was sucking air, it would add lots more air into the system. On the hot water supply side, depending on your water chemistry, it can react with some anode rods, and produce some gas, but it's not "air". The only time you normally see air in the system is after you've drained it during the refill.
 

WorthFlorida

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Water here in Orlando by Orange County Utilities has fairly constant pressure. A PRV would be rare since it is all pumped, not gravity feed and no hills or water tanks.

The toilet problem is one of two things that were mentioned by others. The fill valve in the tank will cause all kinds of vibrations as thing get stiff or the shut off valve for the toilet. If it has a flat washer, they can get brittle and will vibrate as water flows past it. I would change the fill valve in the tank first. They don't last forever and it's around $10 for a FluidMaster. If you already have a FluidMaster, just changing the diaphragm will usually fix the problem.

For the shower I doubt your are sucking air. Moen valves don't last forever. I've changed many of them out in homes of friends, both my son's homes and my own. Moen 1222 cartridge is the most common. They have a moveable balance spool and sounds like it is moving around when water is flowing.


shopping
brass-moen-cartridges-1222-64_145.jpg
 

dorlando

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Thanks. On the shower, my valve is 3 years old but I don’t have the part number. You mentioned a cartidge part number so I will see if that is the right one but I assume I can bring my cartridge to the store to match it up

on the toilet , I have a toto brand. Will the fluid master fill valve work on that?
 
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dorlando

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Here is a picture of the inside of my toilet
 

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Michael Young

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Hello, I haven’t been on the forum in a couple of years but I always appreciate everyone’s help. The pipes in the shower have been pulsating over the last week. It doesn’t happen with every shower. The toilet in that same bathroom has also been making a pulsating type of vibration, almost like it has the case of bad hiccups.

any ideas on where I should start to look for this problem? We are not experiencing it in other places of the house. The only repair job recently done was a busted hot water pipe in the ceiling. I stepped on a Tee when in the attic and that led to the kitchen sink and I think also the shower that is pulsating. That was fixed a couple of months or so before the shower started pulsating

does it pulsate ONLY when the shower is used? or does the tub spout also pulsate?
 
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