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Get Rid of Humming Noise from Pipes

  • Transcript

    LESLIE: Alright, here at The Money Pit we sometimes try to determine the source of mystery noises. Diane in California, what are you hearing?

    DIANE: Hi, I have a – there’s a hum that’s coming from inside my bathroom …

    TOM: OK.

    DIANE: … and underneath the bathroom is where the water heater and the furnace and then the septic system pump and all that is. So at first I thought it was that, but I shut the electricity off in the house and it’s not that.

    LESLIE: And it’s really bothering you.

    DIANE: Well, it’s a very loud hum. And so I went out to the street and shut the water main off and the hum went away. And so …

    TOM: Aha.

    DIANE: … my question is have you ever heard of water from the tank of the toilet or some sort of place where pressure is – maybe there’s a leak or something in there causing a hum in the pipes?

    TOM: Well, a couple of things. First of all, copper pipes do a really good job of transmitting sounds but, typically, what causes this is if you have a bad valve somewhere. Now it could be the fill valve on the toilet. It could be the main water valve to the house. It could be another valve somewhere that’s not fully open or fully closed and so when the water runs through it’s causing like a turbulence that causes a vibration that transmits down the pipe causing the sound that you hear.

    DIANE: Mm-hmm.

    TOM: So what I would try to do is identify, by turning off different valves; like for example, if you turn off the toilet does it still happen. You know, kind of isolate it that way until you figure out exactly what’s causing the problem. And lastly, when you’re in that crawlspace, I’d also check the pipes to make sure they’re securely attached to the framing because if you have loose brackets sometimes the brackets …

    LESLIE: Some sort of vibration?

    TOM: Yeah, the vibration gets a lot worse.

    DIANE: OK. Well that’s helpful. Thank you so much.

    TOM: You’re welcome, Diane. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.

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