My pipes are moaning! HELP!

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23,591
I knew that would grab your attention. Whenever I turn my shower on a terrible noise occurs, accompanied by violent rattling. I either am dealing with demonic possession, a trapped banshee, or a plumbing related issue. My best laymen's guess makes the latter the likely option. Now, I have heard there are air reservoirs connected to the pluming, and if those reservoirs should be come depleted of air, then a racket may occur when turning on the water? Right now, if I turn the water on really fast, I can avoid most of the noise. If I turn the water on slowly, the noise and rattling are unnerving. This is a multi-apartment building. I hear at least one neighbor's pipes screaming. I believe all this started when our waterworks cut off the water for a few hours when they were replacing some major underground pipes a while ago. How do I get rid of the banshee, or how do I exorcise the pipe monster?
 
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39,806
Location
Pottstown, PA
Well, there can be air hammer, but seeing as your valve opening is critical to the sound, I'd say you've got some seat issue. You need a new washer. You can tell it being isolated to one valve/faucet on the same supply.
 
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39,806
Location
Pottstown, PA
Turn off the supply to the offending valve. With the appropriate wrench(es) remove the valve stem. At its base, you'll see a rubber disc held by a screw. Remove it. Replace it. here's your typical spigot valve. Note the two hex'd locations. One allows access to the seat (lower) The other seals the stem.
 
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5,573
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earth
clean your pipes. no such thing as air hammer, as air is compressible. the reason for water hammer is a shock wave in pressure due to a sudden stop drop in flow velocity.
 
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43,650
Location
'Stralia
Mori, I think that Gary's on the right track. Before the bathroom reno, when a washer was starting to go it used to hammer badly at light throttle. Ream the seat, and install new washer, and it was good...tap seat cutter would be a good addition to your toolkit. You can get spring loaded anti hammer washers, which seem to work fine until the spring goes flat. We've got one garden tap, at the end of a very long run that always hammers regardless. Off topic slightly, I've seen 16" water mains blown out of the ground by the hammer induced by OPENING a calve at the end suddenly...also 450psi 10" pipes swinging wildly in the air...colleagues have seen 30" steam mains with water in them crashing into each other when they are normally sit 6 feet apart. There's got to be a way to harness the phenomenon.
 
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39,806
Location
Pottstown, PA
 Quote:
no such thing as air hammer
Sure there is. It's just not the same as water hammer and is usually a one time thing when the system has air in it (like when repaired).
 
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43,650
Location
'Stralia
The air can provide the "spring" to excite a system for sure. Workmates with water filled radiatiors, and gas or coal fuelled "donkeys" have horrible issues with air.
 
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5,573
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earth
 Originally Posted By: Shannow
Off topic slightly, I've seen 16" water mains blown out of the ground by the hammer induced by OPENING a calve at the end suddenly...also 450psi 10" pipes swinging wildly in the air...colleagues have seen 30" steam mains with water in them crashing into each other when they are normally sit 6 feet apart.
+1 it's the pressure change, whether caused by closing or opening valve. goes positive and negative pressure depending on some finer details.
 
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39,806
Location
Pottstown, PA
 Quote:
colleagues have seen 30" steam mains with water in them crashing into each other when they are normally sit 6 feet apart.
I had a water logged header. I didn't realize it. It's amazing how the wave bounces around inside there when you open the header on the boiler. I think I managed to blow out a major gasket that day. It was close to shift end. I'm sure I was cursed many times. Small stuff compared to yours ..but disastrously impressive none the less.
 
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5,573
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earth
 Originally Posted By: Gary Allan
 Quote:
no such thing as air hammer
Sure there is. It's just not the same as water hammer and is usually a one time thing when the system has air in it (like when repaired).
yeah i guess! i just had to expand my box of thinking a bit.
 

moribundman

Thread starter
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23,591
 Originally Posted By: Gary Allan
Turn off the supply to the offending valve. With the appropriate wrench(es) remove the valve stem. At its base, you'll see a rubber disc held by a screw. Remove it. Replace it. here's your typical spigot valve. Note the two hex'd locations. One allows access to the seat (lower) The other seals the stem.
Hmm, I have no idea where to turn off the water supply to my shower. The only shut-off valve I know is for the toilet. It must be in the basement. I guess let the landlord cause a flood.
 

moribundman

Thread starter
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23,591
 Originally Posted By: Shannow
There's got to be a way to harness the phenomenon.
Well, when I take my shower the whole house wakes up at 4 am. Nobody needs an alarm clock!
 
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39,806
Location
Pottstown, PA
 Quote:
Hmm, I have no idea where to turn off the water supply to my shower. The only shut-off valve I know is for the toilet. It must be in the basement. I guess let the landlord cause a flood.
You can do this "hot" ..but the repair will be less than mori spec. You just over load the supply (turn on a few other faucets that share the line (hot or cold) and just allow it to run out the exposed valve body. Swap in your new seat, and tighten 'er up. ..but that would be cheating...
 
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