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Patrick, General Contractor
Category: Plumbing
Satisfied Customers: 2429
Experience:  30 years commercial construction and 23 years house remodeling projects
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I did some copper water pipe repair under house [resoldered

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I did some copper water pipe repair under house [resoldered /replaced leaking copper pipe section, I did a lot of shaking the water pipes to loosen solder joints. Leak repaired no problems.   However now once or twice a day there is a humming sound that lasts 15 to 20 seconds. I have touched the floor and I can feel a vibration during the humming sound. My wife seems to isolate the humming to her bathroom.   No water is being run when humming happens and humming happens also in middle of the night. I have gone under house and attached any loose pipe with wire clamps made specially for attaching pipes. This did not help.                      This is NOT a "hammering or knocking" problem. Just a steady HUMMING and If you touch the floor you can feel a slight vibration.        Thanks
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Plumbing
Expert:  Patrick replied 8 years ago.
Have you checked the water pressure? If it is over 75 lbs that might be the cause. If not, the humming in the pipes can be caused by "washer chatter". Washer chatter is when a small amount of water sneaks through a rubber washer at a valve or water stop and the noise is echoed through the house. Normally the sound is very loud and pitch might change when fixtures or faucets are operated because the water pressure is changing. You may have a toilet that occaisionally runs or the icemaker in the freezer refilling. If your wife has isolated it to her bathroom perhaps her toilet has a faulty flapper that is allowing water to leak slowly causing the fill function on the toilet to come on creating the water flow that created the humming for the 15 to 20 second period that it takes the toilet to top off. It could be the shut off valve to the toilet has a bad washer. Try replacing it and check and replace the toilet flapper. It may be that the work you did loosened some flux or trash in the line that has found its way to the toilet shut off valve. Good luck. If this has proven helpful, please remember to hit ACCEPT, otherwise I do not receive credit. Thank you.

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
I did all that: ice maker not running,toilets ok,sprinklers off. I will go under house again and check ALL water pipes for looseness. I only attached and checked one area before. Also I have the water dept. coming Tuesday to check water pressure. I will install a "water pressure reducer" If pressure is over 75 lbs. If this cures the problem I will click on the ACCEPT botton. Thanks for infoCustomer
Expert:  Patrick replied 8 years ago.
Good luck. Ghost humming is always a bear to find. Work your way through your piping under the house. If you have used pipe straps to anchor your copper piping, make sure that you have put an isolator between the copper pipe and the ferrous metal anchor strap. This keeps galvanic action from eating away at the copper pipe and also cushions the pipe against the metal anchor strap.
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Patrick I waited for water dept. to check water pressure but I guess I am on a low priorty as they have not come out.
I have been turning water off at main turn off valve in front yard [the humming of pipes wakes me up at night]. Yesterday morning as I turned main water valve back on,I heard toilet tank in hall bathroom start to fill up. I let tank fill, then I turned off water valve to this toilet now all day and night yesterday I have not heard humming. This morning I turned toilet valve on to start filling tank again [however I just turned valve on slightly   takes a little longer to fill tank     But no humming has occurred all day.
    Should I replace valve to toilet?    Place dye in tank to see if water leaks under flapper? I am so happy humming has stopped I don't want to do anything. I will press "accept" on your next reply. Thanks
Expert:  Patrick replied 8 years ago.
The dye test is a good thing to do to verify if you are getting seepage under the flapper. If you are and your toilet has to refill between flushes then you are getting water flow at different times. If you are getting seepage and you replace your flapper you will cut down on wasted water. I am a firm believer in if you think you have pinned down a source to try to delete it from the list of possible causes. Replacing the toilet flapper and valve is a fast and easy thing to do. Remember to turn off the water supply and drain down the toilet tank and the water lines in the house before removing the old valve. Check for any debris and put teflon plumbers tape or an appropriate pipe dope on the pipe threads before installing a new valve. If your toilet has a flexible hose connection to the tank, you may want to consider using one of the reinforced stainless steel braided flexible hoses if you currently have a plastic reinforced hose only. Bring your old flapper to the store to match it up. Good luck.
Expert:  Patrick replied 8 years ago.
Customer I got to thinking about your situation again. Yes, the toilet valve could definitely be suspect and if you have a leaky flapper you are going to want to fix it. I still think you need to have the city check your pressure. The fact is, you did some changing of water pipe and may have pushed some solder or debris that has backed up to this valve. Definitely worth pulling the valve and making sure the line is clear. Installing a new valve never hurts since without use, they can jam up. Good luck. If this has proven helpful, please remember to hit ACCEPT, otherwise I do not receive credit. Let me know how you end up. Thank you
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