pipe sound when sprinklers are running

Discussion in 'General Plumbing Help' started by shelt, Aug 21, 2019.

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  1. Aug 21, 2019 #1

    shelt

    shelt

    shelt

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    We moved into our house about a year ago and any time our sprinklers are running and sometimes when drawing a bath there is a noise like this from the pipes in the wall by our main valve. It's sort of a rhythmic chugging noise and is loud enough to wake me up. It's not completely consistent. Sometimes the chugging is faster or slower. I have been in the attic and the crawl space and it's definitely loudest inside the house.

    Also sometimes when the sprinkler valves change over there can be a banging sound but it doesn't happen every time either.

    Water pressure is 50 psi. I have already tried turning off the main and letting all the water drain from the house but that didn't help. The home has an old part built in the 20s and a newer section from 2005 or so. A lot of work was done on the plumbing for the renovation but I don't know if it was completely replaced.

    One thing that particularly perplexes me is I don't think any water is actually flowing through the home when the sprinklers are on. The main pipe comes up from the ground, goes past a shut off valve and then splits with one pipe going into the house and the other, past another shut off valve, to the sprinklers. So when the sprinklers are on I would think the water would be coming up from the ground and over to the sprinklers with the house not being involved at all.

    Any ideas? Ideally any ideas that don't involve ripping open the wall? The wall where the noise is coming from has tile on one side and cabinetry and a sink on the other side.

    Is this just annoying and I should live with it or is it dangerous? Are my pipes going to explode inside my wall?

    All help appreciated. Thanks.
     
  2. Aug 22, 2019 #2

    Jeff Handy

    Jeff Handy

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    Maybe there is a booster pump somewhere in the house. It sounds like a pump noise in your recording.

    You say your house was built in the 20’s, so the water line might be undersized, or your plumbing system has gotten constricted from minerals or corrosion.

    A booster pump helps fight the low water pressure from old narrow piping.
     
  3. Aug 22, 2019 #3

    Diehard

    Diehard

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    Do you have another valve that would isolate the house feed while still getting water to the sprinkler system. If so that could possibly do a couple of things for you.
    1) You could slowly shut it while the sprinkler system is running and causing the noise. Observe any noise change while shutting as well as when it's completely closed.
    2) If noise is still there when completely closed, the cause of the noise is upstream of that valve and the noise/vibration may just be traveling into the house.

    It reminds me of a some water meter sounds I've heard. Is you water meter out in a pit or box somewhere?
     
  4. Aug 23, 2019 #4

    shelt

    shelt

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    Thanks, Jeff and Diehard.

    I thought it was a pump at first as well but I couldn't find one in the attic or under the house. The noise is definitely loudest in the wall and I can't imagine someone sealed a pump inside a wall, right?

    The original part of the house is from the 20s but I think the plumbing was re-done in the renovation.

    I don't have a valve that could turn the house off while keeping the sprinklers on. I can turn off the sprinklers and leave the house on but not the other way around.

    The water meter is out in the sidewalk maybe 75 feet away from the noise.

    Does this noise sound dangerous to you?
     
  5. Aug 23, 2019 #5

    Diehard

    Diehard

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    If you have access to the water meter you may want to check it out close up while the sprinklers are running and the noise is present.
    Shock waves originating from say 75 feet away could easily travel to your house and cause pipes to vibrate and make sounds. Just another possibility.

    Also, during a noise episode, put your hand on that main valve that controls both your house and the sprinklers. If by some chance the gate was loose and stated vibrating at a relatively high flow rate.
     
  6. Aug 23, 2019 #6

    Jeff Handy

    Jeff Handy

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    Maybe there is a closet or a crawlspace behind that drywall.
    There could be a hidden access panel, or maybe they just drywalled over it getting ready to sell the house.
    Pbly not, but it happens.
     
  7. Aug 26, 2019 #7

    shelt

    shelt

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    Diehard, I think you got it. The noise isn't loud at the water meter but it's definitely there. It has the same rhythmic clicking noise. I called the city so we'll see what they say once they check it out.
     
  8. Aug 27, 2019 #8

    Diehard

    Diehard

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    Like I said, it did remind me of that typical water meter sound. Like you said, that rhythmic clicking noise. Well I guess we'll see.
     
  9. Aug 28, 2019 #9

    shelt

    shelt

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    Yup, that was it. The city replaced the water meter and last night the sprinklers did their thing. We had blissful silence in the house.

    The new meter makes a whirring noise, as opposed to the clicking of the old one, but all was quiet in the house. The city guy said there wasn't anything obviously wrong with the old meter but it did show "signs of use." Not sure what that means exactly.

    Anyway, thanks for the help.
     
  10. Aug 28, 2019 #10

    Diehard

    Diehard

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    :thumbsup:
     
  11. Aug 28, 2019 #11

    Jeff Handy

    Jeff Handy

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    Good catch, Diehard!
     
  12. Aug 28, 2019 #12

    Diehard

    Diehard

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    Just one of the possibilities, I happened to hear or read about, that could cause noise. Never experienced it.
     

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