Water flow noise.

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & ' started by cmw, Sep 17, 2012.

  1. cmw

    cmw New Member

    Messages:
    38
    Location:
    New York
    I just started using a 2nd floor shower that was built in the 60's. The supply is copper pipe and has not been used for all these years.
    The problem is a constant roaring noise when either the cold or hot water is turned on.
    I was hoping the sound would go away after using the shower for a few weeks but, that hasn't happened.
    It almost seems like there is too much friction between the water flow and the inside of the copper pipe.
    Has anyone run into this problem & solved it?
  2. Tom Sawyer

    Tom Sawyer In the Trades

    Messages:
    3,185
    Location:
    Maine
    What is the pressure like at the shower
  3. cmw

    cmw New Member

    Messages:
    38
    Location:
    New York
    Water flow appears normal. I didn't measure the pressure.
    One thing I failed to mention is: if I remove the shower head the noise goes almost completely away. Maybe back pressure is creating the noise.
  4. nestork

    nestork Janitorial Technician

    Messages:
    98
    Location:
    Winnipeg
    Maybe buy a new shower head.

    Here in Winnipeg when they introduced a water conservation program about 20 years ago, the City tested several dozen low flow shower heads with the idea of purchasing them on a large scale and selling them at cost to Winnipeggers.

    The two shower heads they decided on purchasing were both made by Niagara Conservation, which still makes shower heads, but none of those original two are still in production.

    http://www.niagaraconservation.com/water_conservation/products/showerheads

    I have 21 Niagara N2130 shower heads in my building, and Moen 3931 diverter spouts (which don't leak any water when the shower is on), and in 20 apartment in near 20 years now I haven't had a single tenant complain about the shower pressure.

    The original N2130 shower heads had a flow performance as follows:

    1.28 US gal/min @ 20 psi water pressure
    1.78 US gal/min @ 40 psi water pressure
    2.18 US gal/min @ 60 psi water pressure
    2.49 US gal/min @ 80 psi water pressure

    City of Winnipeg water pressure is typically about 60 psig, so my tenants are happy with the shower head spraying out about 2.2 gallons per minute.

    So, find out what your city water pressure is, and get a shower head that will give you from 2.0 to 2.5 gallons per minute, and you should be happy with the shower head you bought.
  5. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,058
    Location:
    New England
    Being built in the 60's, the shower valve may just have some washers in it. Over those decades, the rubber can get hard and maybe a little loose. WHen that happens, they can vibrate in the flow.
  6. cmw

    cmw New Member

    Messages:
    38
    Location:
    New York
    Thanks, that is a good thought. I will checkout the valves.
  7. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,689
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    The problem is probably turbulence in the shower head. IF it were "flow noise" it would INCREASE without the shower head because then there is MORE water flowing.
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