Crazy Humming Help!

Discussion in 'General Plumbing Help' started by H0us3, Sep 12, 2013.

  1. Sep 12, 2013 #1

    H0us3

    H0us3

    H0us3

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    Hi we've been living with an insanely loud humming noise for over a month now. Anytime any water faucet/washing machine/toilet is running, a loud humming sound occurs.

    The only change we made was change the kitchen faucet, but I don't remember if the noise started immediately.

    Whenever two water sources are on at the same time, this eliminates the humming sound. I have tracked the humming sound, seems to be the water pipes going back to the main water line valve, which is close to my water heater. The hot water pipes clearly vibrate more when I open a water faucet. However, the noise occurs with cold or hot water faucets.

    In case it was air trapped in the pipes from changing the kitchen faucet, i have tried several times to turn on all the faucets in the house in systematic function and let the water run so that it would push any trapped air out. This failed to solve the problem.

    I then closed the main water line and drained all the water from the pipes but opening all my faucets, and that failed to solve the problem.

    I have tried shutting the valve at the kitchen faucet for both hot and cold water, and it still makes the noise, so I am guessing that the new faucet is not the issue.

    I have heard that toilet ball cocks are the main culprit for this kind of noise, so could it really be coincidence that I changed the kitchen faucet near the same time the noise started? Could changing the faucet have changed the pressure in the pipes?

    What should I do?? Please help!
    Thanks:confused::eek:
     
  2. Sep 13, 2013 #2

    phishfood

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    That is usually caused by a loose washer in a valve "flapping in the breeze".

    Did you shut off a main valve when you changed the faucet? Do you have a pressure reducing valve on your water main?
     
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  3. Sep 13, 2013 #3

    Caduceus

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    Lots of good details, but as phish stated, the PRV could be the culprit if it's happening to all fixtures. But first, do you have a pressure reducing valve. That will start the process of elimination to solve the issue.
     
  4. Sep 13, 2013 #4

    H0us3

    H0us3

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    Yes there is a pressure reducing valve. Should I get a pressure measure and see what the pressure is? If so what should I set it to?

    I did not close the main water valve when I changed the faucet only the valves under the sink for the faucet.

    Hope to hear from you guys soon, will try o tackle this first thing when I get home today.

    image.jpg
     
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  5. Sep 14, 2013 #5

    phishfood

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    OK, thanks for the picture, it saved us from having to ask a couple of questions. For instance, it shows that your main valve is a ball valve, which doesn't have a washer, so that is ruled out.

    The pressure setting of the reducing valve is not what would cause your problem, it would be the seals inside of the valve getting caught in the flow and vibrating back and forth that would cause it.

    I am leaning toward the problem being with the PRV, since it is happening with all of the fixtures. But I am hoping that one of our members with much more service plumbing experience than myself will step in and offer their thoughts, as I wouldn't want to steer you wrong.
     
  6. Sep 15, 2013 #6

    Caduceus

    Caduceus

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    I agree that it is more than likely the regulator. There is always a possibility that something else is doing it, but this seem to be the most logical place to start given the info that you provided.
    I now have to ask if you feel comfortable enough with your mechanical abilities for one of us to talk you through taking apart and cleaning out the regulator then putting it back together?
    If you feel better calling a plumber, at least you can let them have an idea of what the problem may be when you call.
     
  7. Sep 16, 2013 #7

    H0us3

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    Hi guys, ok let me recap for my understanding before I start taking things apart.

    1. There can be two reasons why i get humming in my pipes, 1. loose washer anywhere in my system which would include the Regulator (which is the same thing as the pressure reducing valve) 2. I have air trapped in my pipes.

    2. It would seem that my changing the faucet is not the culprit of the noise, because if i closed the valve under the sink the noise continues.

    3. If I closed all the valves at all my faucets in my house, and opened each one at one time alone, would that be helpful in finding the problem? If there is no noise when I run one faucet in this scenario, it would mean a washer on one of the other faucets is the culprit. If there is still noise, than it would mean that it is the PRV (or it could still mean I was not able to successfully get the air out of my pipes.

    4. Is there another way or machine i can use to suck the air out? I have an electric pressure washer, if I closed the main water line and turned on the pressure washer from one of my garden connections would that suck all the water and air out of the pipes?

    Please let me know,
    Thanks!
     
  8. Sep 17, 2013 #8

    Caduceus

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    #3 is correct.
    #1 is partially correct. It may be a loose washer somewhere else, but PRVs have no washer...it is usually debris in the PRV or diaphragm damage. "Air trapped in the pipes" is a plumbing myth. I can't imagine a scenario where a person can run water and air defies physics and stays put while water passes by on a potable water system...so forget about #4. If you open all of your hot and cold faucets and flush all of your toilets, you will purge the air from the system.
    #2 sounds logical and accurate.
    Long and short of it. It sounds like the PRV. It can be serviced to see if it's okay or replaced. The only other culprits I could think of would be if you have a vacuum breaker on the hose connections outside. Sometimes they can do the same as a bad PRV. Or if you have a toilet in the house that has the rod-and-float type fill valves (with the plastic ball and long rod inside the toilet tank...sorry, best way to explain it in layman's terms).
    Close all of the stop valves to as many fixtures as you can. Run water from a hose connection and see if the sound still happens.
    This could be a bit of a long process over the internet... going back and forth, so, my apologies.
    This is usually easier to do on-site.
    A picture showing the whole set up next to the water heater from where the pipe comes up from the floor, may help us to talk you though cleaning the regulator. An additional valve after the regulator would make it easier and less messy.
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2013
  9. Oct 31, 2013 #9

    H0us3

    H0us3

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    Thank you everyone! After trying all kinds of variations in trying to find a solution to the noise driving me and my family nuts, defying all logic I turned the pressure control on my main line a quarter turn counter clockwise.

    We have been humming free for the last three days! Fingers crossed and thanks for all your input!
     

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