Our 50 year old slab foundation home, 6 years new to us, has the original bathroom shower/tub, toilet, sink. Also a full bathroom add on that has no problems.
I don't know if the original plumbing would have come up through the slab and the previous owners remodeling projects changed the plumbing so that all the pipes are in the attic crawl space? Or the plumbing was always in the crawl space?
Regardless, sometimes the pipes in the original bathroom vibrate nosily whenever the shower or tub is running and a faucet is turned on somewhere else in the house. Also sometimes they just vibrate for no reason. The "user" has to turn off the water for a second and turn it back on for the vibration to stop. This happens several times a week.
I have just lived with or ignored this. Should I investigate more and do something or continue to live with it? I crawled into the crawl space once and just felt a slight vibration in the pipes that come up from (or go down to?) the shower/tub. I just spent a short time up there, it was a HOT day. And honestly I have not done a real thorough investigation of when, how often this happens.
It's called water hammer and it's very common. usually happens what a particular faucet is opened to a certain position. It's caused by air trapped in the pipes. Simple solution is to add a water hammer fitting that can absorb some of the air.
I'm going to have to respectfully disagree with Hayzee on this one.
I think this is just a case of the water supply pipes in the attic simply not being fastened down securely, and what's needed are just some two hole tubing straps to better secure the pipes in place.
Corrine: Water hammer is a jerking of the pipe at locations where the pipe (and hence water flow) change direction. Water is heavy, and when it gets flowing quickly through a pipe, it can develop a lot of momentum. Momentum is a form of energy, and energy is something that can't be created nor destroyed, but only converted into a different form of energy. So, when you shut off the flow of water through the pipe, the momentum in that water has to go somewhere. Just in the same way that the people in a crowded bus would all pile up against the front windshield of the bus if it stopped quickly, when you close a water faucet quickly, the momentum of the water is transfered to the pipe at elbows and tees, or wherever there is a change in the direction of the pipe / water flow. That transfer of momentum from the water to the pipe causes a the pipe to jerk in the same direction the water was flowing, and the result can be that you hear your water pipes bouncing around in the walls or in your attic immediately after closing a faucet.
The fittings Hayzee mentioned are called "water hammer arrestors" and they work by using the momentum of the water to compress air in a small cylinder. By using the water's momentum to compress air, there is less movement of the pipe, and hence less noise from pipes bouncing around.
But, regardless of what's causing the movement of the pipes, in my view, the best fix is to fasten the pipes down more securely to minimize their movement. Typically, water hammer arrestors are used where the pipes themselves are not readily accessible as they are in your case.
So, if you have good access to these pipes in your attic, the way to go is to fasten them down more securely with copper straps like the one shown above. That will stop the pipes from moving around and making noise regardless of the reason for their movement.This message has been edited. Last edited by: Nestor,
I'm not going to have to start calling you Mesmor now, am I?
Either of our responses could be the fix. If there is good access to all the possible unattached plumbing lines, then clamping all the loose lines down is an easier DIY fix, as there is no need to cut open any water lines. If you have some unattached plumbing in an unaccessable area, then installing a water hammer arresstor may be easier.
I've seen houses where the plumbing is all secure yet still have a water hammer problem - the obvious fix there is an in-line arresstor.
Thanks to both of you.
I have heard of water hammer and filters. But the obvious simple solution is to fasten down the pipes in the attic crawl space better and see if it stops. That way I should know for sure what the problem is.
Sometimes I have to think these things over, like for five years!!!!
Jaybee: Sorry for the mix-up. I also answer questions on this DIY Q&A forum:
and one of the regulars in there goes by the nickname "HayZee". I just forgot what web site I was in.
That's Great! Just started my day with a laugh!
Could always be worse as one of these days we will not start.....
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