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Old 05-22-2011, 03:04 AM   #1
doitmyselfdean
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Default Pulsating Pipe Nightmare - Bad PRV?

I am in need of some advice. I just bought a bank owned house "as is". It had a blown PRV that I had plumber replace before we closed (pressure was 120).
I just moved in and replaced all the toilets with high efficiency "quick fill" models.
Here is my problem:

Every time I flush the toilets (and sometimes when I run the shower) the pipes pulsate in the basement (only while filling) so its not water hammer when the valves close. I can remedy the problem by slowing the flow to the toilets at the supply valves at each of these.
*So I thought maybe the supply valve or washers were bad... replaced them.
didn't work. Next; Lowered the water pressure to the prv (55PSI). The pulsating went away . Fully opened all valves and no pulsation. Today it is back again.

A few notes: I have pinpointed the vibration to the PRV or Water Meter right above it. (they both shake violently). 2nd.... If my sprinklers are running this does not happen. I am going crazy.. any ideas??
Thank you!!!



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Old 05-22-2011, 03:40 PM   #2
Caduceus
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There could be a loose washer, still, somewhere in the meter spread. It could also be debris in the PRV that needs to be cleared. Most companies will allow one free call back on the PRV to clear debris because it is known that within a week or two of installing it, there is the potential for debris to cause this problem. Not all plumbers will do this free of charge, they really aren't responsible for the stuff in your water service, but it never hurts to ask you installer.
I am concerned that you 'lowered the pressure' to the PRV to 55psi. Most domestic PRVs are preset to 50 or 55 psi and don't allow adjustment above 75 psi. Depending on the size and design of your home, you should keep it no higher than 55psi to preserve the integrity of your plumbing fixtures.
Anyways, check or have checked the valves in the meter spread, PRV cleared of debris and make sure the PRV is adjusted with a cold water valve open and then rechecked with all valves closed.



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Old 05-23-2011, 11:21 AM   #3
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I agree with Caduceus. That vibration is always caused by a loose washer or something loose in the pipe. My guess is the PRV. It may be debris or a backpressure issue messing with the PRV. Does the PRV have a bypass built in? Do you have a thermal expansion tank on the water heater? Is there a pressure gauge on the house side of the PRV? Is there a strainer assembly on the PRV? Sorry for all the questions but more info is needed.

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Old 05-23-2011, 04:05 PM   #4
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check to see if the shut off is on all the way, be sure the PSI is NOT to low (below 55)and the lock nut is secure. also if you have the ball cock style in your toilets, this can also be a problem, not allowing full flow of water into fixture... GL

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Old 05-23-2011, 09:19 PM   #5
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One other suggestion. Try shutting off the washing machine taps and see if the noise still exists. Most people leave them on all the time. If there is a loose washer and the taps are left permanently on , it can vibrate like you mentioned.

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Old 05-23-2011, 10:56 PM   #6
doitmyselfdean
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Thanks for all the suggestions everyone.. I really appreciate it. So.. I shut off the washing machine taps and the problem still exists. I do not have any ball cock type toilets... PRV does not have a bypass, strainer assembly, nor pressure gauge hookup. It is just a pretty simple one and the lock nut is secure. I checked the water pressure with a gauge hooked up to my outside hose bib(65PSI). Some other weird things happened today: Strange vibrating "sonar or UFO" sounding vibrations from the watermeter/prv while the kitchen sink running. 2nd: while my sprinklers were going.. everything was fine until zone 7 of 8 kicked in. Then the jackhammering noise came back (the original problem). I have called the watercompany to come out and look at the water meter on Friday.

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Old 05-23-2011, 11:16 PM   #7
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yea, if the humming was from the reg, then thats the problem...

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Old 05-24-2011, 01:10 AM   #8
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When cleaning debris from most regulators it involves disassembling the whole thing. The strainer is inside. Not always the easiest of tasks, either.

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Old 05-24-2011, 01:29 AM   #9
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Not saying this is the problem, BUT

I always check the toilets when there is a humming noise involved.

I had a 1-1/2" prv that was squealing on a multi unit bldg. PRV was less than 6 mo old so the boss had me change it out.
The new one started squealing about 2 weeks later. I told the I need to check the toilets inside each unit.
I even told the maint. crew what to look for but after 3 trips trying to get into various units I found the problem.
This video is not the actual culprit but it is the same cause. It was in the 3rd unit from the PRV.

They are not usually this loud but very common with ballcock type fill valves.

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Old 05-24-2011, 05:06 AM   #10
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piece of shait ballcocks



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