Announcement

Announcement Module
Collapse
No announcement yet.

Strange Tapping Noise

Page Title Module
Move Remove Collapse
X
Conversation Detail Module
Collapse
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Strange Tapping Noise

    I've spent the last two weeks trying to find a strange tapping noise that wakes me up two or three times per night. It taps about once per second for 15 to 30 seconds and then stops. Sometimes it repeats after a minute or two, but then it is quiet for several hours. I think I have eliminated all of the simple explanations like rattling window screens, so I need to call a professional, but I don't know if this is likely to be a plumbing issue, or HVAC or what. The noise seems to originate in the crawl space under my bedroom near the location of the Pressure Reducing Value. So my question is: could a PVR cause this kind of tapping noise? And if so would it need to be replaced? or adjusted? or ...

    Any answers would be greatly appreciated as this is driving me crazy.

    Chuck

  • #2
    Re: Strange Tapping Noise

    What kind of water pipes are in your house, galvanized or copper

    What kind of heat do you ahve, steam, hydronic or forced air

    If it is forced air do you have electronic filters?

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Strange Tapping Noise

      The water pipes (at least at the location of the PRV) are flexible plastic - I'm not sure if its PVC or some other material.

      The HVAC is forced air without electronic filters. I've tried turning off the air to the upstairs zone with no effect, but it has been to hot in NC to try turning off the downstairs zone.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Strange Tapping Noise

        how long has the tapping been present. It could be fluctuations in pressures throughout the night or it could be that when the house was plumbed the holes for where the pipes were run is too small and the pipe is contracting and rubbing against studs. I would check the PRV first by installing a pressure gauge on a hosebib, they have ones that will monitor your pressure and "remeber" the highest pressure encoutnered, by putting one of these on you can make sure your PRV isnt leaking by building up pressure too much. If you dont have an expansion tank on your domestic line before the water heater I would recommend one to help alleviate any build up of pressure from you water heater. Those are my suggestions and ideas at least. What color is the pipe, is it a cream color or a grey color?

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Strange Tapping Noise

          The house is ten years old and the tapping noise started a couple of weeks ago. I tried to correlate the noise with things happening in and around the house, like the icemaker filling, or the heat running, but I can't find anything that consistently occurs with (or close to) the tapping. It seems to happen much more often at night, but it could be that I just don't notice it during the day.

          In this part of the house the pipes run through the crawl space and are attached to the underside of the studs with C-shaped holders.

          The hose bibs are before the PRV, and the only expansion tank is at the water heater.

          The pipes are cream colored.

          And, this may sound crazy, but I swear the noise stops if I try to walk over to the area where the noise appears to originate.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Strange Tapping Noise

            OK, so far so good, you have CPVC pipe and most likely where you are walking is where the pipe is passing though a floor joist that is drilled to tight for the pipe, if you can take a look see where the pipe passes though the joist and you should be able to see light all the way around it. If not the hole is too small. That may be an easy fix if you have an unfinished basement or drop sealings, the solution is simple cut out the pipe and make the holes bigger, most likely all of the holes will need to be made bigger. You should also pressure gauge installed after the PRV to keep an eye on pressure. Now to check your expansion tank, on the top of the tank there is a schrader valve, lie the knid you use to put air in a car tire, depress it ever so slightly make sure it expels air and not water, if just air measure the pressure with a tire gauge, you need to be sure that the pressure in the expansion tank is the same as your incoming line pressure. If all of the above doesnt work you should call a plumber. OH MAKE SURE THERE ISNT A LIGHT FIXTURE OF WIRE NEAR WHERE YOU HEAR THE TAPPING!!!! IT IS QUITE POSSIBLE THAT YOU PROBLEM IS A WIRE THAT MAY BE ARCING!! IF SO CALL AN ELECTRICIAN!!!

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Strange Tapping Noise

              Thanks for all of the info.

              On the first floor (where the noise is) all the pipes run through the crawl space and are simply attached to the bottom of the joists - none of the pipes run through holes in the joists. So could the noise be caused by slipping/sticking in the hangers?

              There are wires running through this same area, but I've inspected them, and I don't think it could be arcing, but I will certainly check that out again.

              I'll try checking the pressure on the expansion tank when I get home tonight. Thanks again for all of your responses.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Strange Tapping Noise

                Originally posted by cep View Post
                could the noise be caused by slipping/sticking in the hangers?
                Yes
                Last edited by wrench spinner; 08-28-2008, 05:03 PM.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Strange Tapping Noise

                  Not sure if the pipe is CPVC from his posts. Could be PEX. Usually quiet.

                  Check the Expansion Tank as WS says.
                  Get water-replace. Pressure must equal incoming psi after the PRV.

                  Check valves at the meter yolk can also cause "clicking". Might need a good plumber to do a little CSI. Good luck!

                  J.C.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Strange Tapping Noise

                    Sounds like you may have a thermal expansion/contraction issue, if this is the problem then what you may be hearing is a ticking noise as hot water is run through the piping.....expansion against the wood frame members.....and contraction as it cools down, both resulting in a ticking noise. Do you have a hot water recirculating system? Do you have family members in another part of the house that may be using hot water? It's possible that a visit under the house with some felt wrap to help isolate some of the piping may help, also you may wish to put your water heater on the "pilot" setting for one night and turn the water off to it as a test to see if the noise goes away for that time period.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Strange Tapping Noise

                      Originally posted by JCsPlumbing View Post
                      Not sure if the pipe is CPVC from his posts. Could be PEX. Usually quiet.

                      Check the Expansion Tank as WS says.
                      Get water-replace. Pressure must equal incoming psi after the PRV.

                      Check valves at the meter yolk can also cause "clicking". Might need a good plumber to do a little CSI. Good luck!

                      J.C.
                      I am a dick!!!!! Call JC's Plumbing and rest assured it will be fixed right the first time!!!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Strange Tapping Noise

                        It's ok man. Concord is too far for me.

                        And too much for him to pay me to travel. Notice how noone goes to the Ask section from where Carl and I live. We've already fixed it all.

                        J.C.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Strange Tapping Noise

                          Originally posted by wrench spinner View Post
                          OH MAKE SURE THERE ISNT A LIGHT FIXTURE OF WIRE NEAR WHERE YOU HEAR THE TAPPING!!!! IT IS QUITE POSSIBLE THAT YOU PROBLEM IS A WIRE THAT MAY BE ARCING!! IF SO CALL AN ELECTRICIAN!!!

                          Probally not a wire arcing, after two weeks this would have shown up as a tripped breaker and or a small fire type of issue.
                          Good idea though to have checked that already.

                          In my Home Inspection business I come across this issue often and it normally turns out to be pipes rubbing in a tight hole or hanger. You said it was a crawl space, might try to insulate the area around the pipes to control temperature changes.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Strange Tapping Noise

                            Do you have a water softener or an RO unit, anything else that might run on timers like sprinkling system?
                            sigpic3:00, I mean 5:00, and work is done. Time to crack a cold one.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Strange Tapping Noise

                              WS

                              I checked the expansion tank. Pressure is 60 psi - no water / just air

                              RP

                              The tapping noise happens at night when everyone is asleep, and the only possible source of water flow is the icemaker which I turned off for one night and the noise still happened.

                              boilerman

                              Nope, nothing like that. I can't think of any reason that water would be flowing (no leaking toilet tanks, etc.)

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X