Help with Whining/Singing Pipes

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Josh44

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Hi All,

We've recently had issues with our hot water heater and then, separately, the pressure reducing valve on the water main line. Both of these items have been replaced within the past two weeks.

Everything seemed to be working fine for about a week here until yesterday morning. Wife got up in the morning to take a shower and we both heard a whining sound in the house. I ran water in the kitchen sink and, again, the whining sound. Once we were sure we both heard it, I had her open the kitchen tap again while I tried to find the sound.

The sound seems to be strongest in the basement, right near where the main line enters the house. More specifically, it seems to be within the first 10ft of pipe coming in. In the first 6ft/horizontal part of pipe there is the main shutoff valve, water meter, pressure reducing valve, backflow preventer, secondary shutoff valve. The next 4ft or so bends straight up/ vertically toward the floor joists and only has a gauge that doesn't seem to read any pressure.

The sound is a singing/whining/vibrating sound that starts out fairly loud and slowly tapers off to nothing. If I turn on the water for a short duration (say a few seconds in the kitchen sink) and then turn it off, the sound will happen for 5-10 seconds after the water is off. If water is on for a prolonged amount of time (say taking a shower on the second floor), the sound will start after a few seconds of having the water on, continue the whole duration, then hang around for a few seconds after the water is off. It does the same thing whether I turn on hot water, cold water, or both.

Info about the house: The house was originally built in 1908 but has been added on to/remodeled several times. Most of the piping looks newer but I can't guess at the age of anything. I do know that there is a 3/4" line coming into the house (because of the 3/4" line PRV that was just replaced) with a water meter that is at most 10 years old. The house has a basement (where the main line, PRV, and water heater are located, no sinks/showers/toilets), first floor (3 sinks/1 toilet/1 dishwasher/1 washing machine/1 outside faucet), and second floor (1 sink/1 toilet/1 shower).

One other thing of note is that I am getting air sputtering out of my 1st floor bathroom sink occasionally. I've seen that air in the lines could cause something like what I'm describing but I don't know what the best process is to get air out of the lines if that's the case.

Any help would be awesome. Thank you!
 

Jeff H Young

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PRV causing it I belive. as for air in pipes run water till sputtering stops
 

Josh44

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Hi Jeff,

Thanks for the reply. So if I just replaced the PRV with a new one, what might be the problem?

Could it be the rubber washer at the PRV didn't seat right? Or maybe I got a bad PRV and need to replace it with new?

Thanks again!
 

Jeff H Young

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Hi Jeff,

Thanks for the reply. So if I just replaced the PRV with a new one, what might be the problem?

Could it be the rubber washer at the PRV didn't seat right? Or maybe I got a bad PRV and need to replace it with new?

Thanks again!
I would insure air has been removed . there is more than one ruber part inside . something is bad inside not nessesarily defective. did you check pressure ? coming in and going out? usually its coming from PRV no mention why You just replaced it.
 

Josh44

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I would insure air has been removed . there is more than one ruber part inside . something is bad inside not nessesarily defective. did you check pressure ? coming in and going out? usually its coming from PRV no mention why You just replaced it.
I'm going to try to get all of the air out tonight and see if that helps.

I haven't checked the pressure in and out. The pressure in our house was crazy high and had been for the year or so I've lived there. I tried to turn down the pressure on the old PRV and it started gushing water from around the adjustment screw. I replaced the PRV with the same watts model.
 

Josh44

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I think my plan for tonight is to try to completely drain the house water lines and start from scratch. As far as I understand it, I need to shut off the main water valve and then start from the top of the house opening all faucets. Then I need to open the lowest faucet in my house so the water will drain out from above. Then open the tub/shower faucets, flush the toilets, run the washing machine/dishwasher, and use water dispenser in the fridge.

In my house I don't have a sink or laundry tub in my basement, which is where the main water line, PRV, and all of that good stuff is. Does that make my water heater (also in the basement) the lowest point that I need to open so the water will flow from above? If so, would I need to shut down the water heater and drain that too or am I way off base here?

Thanks for the help.
 

Jeff H Young

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same steps I mentioned. If your pressure is crazy high Id want to know how high?120 175 psi? I paid 10 or 11 dollars for my gage. It helps me understand things. I guess you just run with preset pressure out the box on the prv I dont see draining system as a help
 

Josh44

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same steps I mentioned. If your pressure is crazy high Id want to know how high?120 175 psi? I paid 10 or 11 dollars for my gage. It helps me understand things. I guess you just run with preset pressure out the box on the prv I dont see draining system as a help
So that's the weird thing, the pressure was crazy high with the original PRV that must have been bad and ended up leaking when I tried to bring the pressure down. The new PRV is just out of the box/preset pressure and the pressure is now normal in the house. But now it's whining even with normal pressure in the house.

I can snag a pressure gage to see what pressure I'm actually at in the house. Do you think it's worth my time just to pick up a new PRV and swap it out to see if that fixes the problem?
 

Jeff H Young

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100 bucks for a 1 inch regulator I wouldnt buy another I would clean it out attempt to figure it out . I refrain from returning merchandice unless its defective. I dont know exactly what youll learn with pressure gage its just that Id want to know if my new reg is working properly how high is it . your pressure could be higher than the recomended max of the prv .
 
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