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I hear a humming noise when I turn the hot water on. It

Customer Question
I hear a humming...

I hear a humming noise when I turn the hot water on. It doesn't happen for the cold water. The humming is heard from the cold water pipe that is near the outdoor feed and near the water meter in my basement.

Contractor's Assistant: How long has this been going on? And how severe is the problem?

For a few weeks

Contractor's Assistant: Do you plan on doing the work yourself?

Yes

Submitted: 7 months ago.Category: Plumbing
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Answered in 3 minutes by:
12/4/2017
Plumber: Rick, Construction Supervisor replied 7 months ago
Rick
Rick, Construction Supervisor
Category: Plumbing
Satisfied Customers: 24,378
Experience: Licensed Master plumber with 40+ yrs. experience.
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Welcome to Just Answer, my name is ***** ***** I will do my best to help you with your issue. First I’ll need some more info so I have a more complete picture of your situation.

Do you have a PRV (pressure reducing valve) on the water main? It would most likely be near the meter.

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
What does a PRV look like? There's a couple valves near the meter, but they look like shut off valves to me. There's also a silver small water spicket looking thing on the line.
Plumber: Rick, Construction Supervisor replied 7 months ago

It's not a shut off (see attached pic for typical). If there's nothing other than the meter and some shut offs nearby then we have to move to the water heater. Keep in mind that while you may notice the noise near the meter when you run the hot water you're also running the cold which refills the tank. So the fact that you hear nothing when you just run the cold points to the water heater no matter where the noise travels. Do you have a tank type water heater? Any idea how old it is?

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
Yep, there's no PRV. The water heater is 11 years old, 40 gallon tank. I replaced the PRV on the water heater a few months ago because there was water coming from the extension pipe. I'm also currently having water come out of the extension pipe again.
Plumber: Rick, Construction Supervisor replied 7 months ago

The relief valve on the waterheater is not a PRV. If it leaks regularly then you need a thermal expansion tank but that's not the likely culprit here. I suspect the heat traps in the water heater are what's vibrating and making the noise. A plumber can remove them when he installs your expansion tank.

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
The relief valve doesn't leak regularly, and never has in 11 years - I don't need an expansion tank. It's only leaking now, and as I mentioned the pipe is humming. Any idea how to fix?
Plumber: Rick, Construction Supervisor replied 7 months ago

I just said how to fix this, remove the heat traps. Heat traps are usually plastic flappers (or a ball in a cage) that are locate at the top of the tank where the tank nipples screw into the tank. If you want to try this yourself you have to disconnect the piping and remove the tank nipples so you can get to the heat traps to remove them.

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Plumber: Rick, Construction Supervisor replied 7 months ago

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