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Noisy water pipes

Postby Helen Ballard » Mon May 18, 2009 10:15 pm

We are experiencing problems with what appears to be vibrating pipes near the hot water tank. The problem occurs when the hot water taps are run, no matter whether in the kitchen or upstairs (we only live in a small house). It also occurs when the washer fills, which we can't understand as its a cold fill only washer. The water pressure is not affected at all and the only way to stop the noise is to run the cold water tap in the bath on full power. We have tried blasting the cold water back through the hot water system using the kitchen mixer tap. Please help, as this is the most annoying noise in the world and we can't stand it anymore, just hope the neighbours can't hear it every night!!! :roll:
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Simply Build It

Postby zantebob » Tue May 19, 2009 11:53 am

You almost certainly have what is called water hammer. There are a couple of solutions, the first (and the easiest) is fit an equilibrium ballvalve on your cold water storage tank. The valve will be about £20.00. Turn off your stop valve on the incoming main (that will be under your kitchen sink/in the garage/on the pipework in the loft) and disconnect the exisiting ball valve. Fit the new one and turn your water back on. A couple of pairs of grips/ spanners are all you should need. Any compotent DIY entusiast should be able to complete the task. A more complicated way to solve it is to fit what is called an air bottle. This involves alterations to the pipework. A pro should be employed to do this. Hope you solve it, it rally is an annoying problem whether it is rattling or sounds like a train roaring down the track!
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Postby Dave From Leeds » Tue May 19, 2009 11:59 pm


Before changing your ball valve, you could try turning down the incoming mains water stop tap slightly. It may simply be that your incoming water pressure has increased, leading to the problem that you are experiencing. The reason I mention this is that I assume your washing machine cold feed comes straight off the same pipe that feeds the kitchen sink cold tap and this is likely to be connected directly to the mains. If that doesn't work you'll probably need to try zantebob's approach.
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Postby rosebery » Thu May 21, 2009 9:49 pm

"A more complicated way to solve it is to fit what is called an air bottle."

A shock arrestor is very easy to fit actually and its certainly not a complicated device.

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Postby steve the plumber » Sat May 23, 2009 2:27 pm

Alternatively you could just get some pipe clips and make sure they are placed at regular intervals along exposed pipework.
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