Humming Pipes

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by Moondancer, Sep 4, 2007.

  1. Moondancer

    Moondancer New Member

    Sep 4, 2007
    Help! We have a humming noise in our pipes, sounds like a fog horn. Searched the internet and came across this.
    "Shut off main valve, turn on water inside house, flush toilets and then slowly turn back on main valve."


    That didn't work. There is also something my husband called a relief valve the builder put in but he can't remember what the builder said it was for. He tried to open it fully and close it but that doesn't seem to make a difference.

    Any suggestions would be appreciated.

  2. SteveW

    SteveW DIY Senior Member

    Feb 11, 2005
    Omaha, NE
    When does the foghorn blow?

    For example, is it at night, when the water is not running?

    Happened to me - it turned out to be that after I added a pressure reducing valve, it caused the house piping to be a "closed" system. Under those circumstances, when the water heater heats cold water and makes it warm, the newly expanded water has no where to go, and can create all sorts of loud noises as the pipes expand.

    If that's the problem, the solution is to install an expansion tank. Do a search on this site - it is discussed often.
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  4. Moondancer

    Moondancer New Member

    Sep 4, 2007
    Additional Information

    Sorry, the noise happens when we either run hot or cold water or flush the toilets. Seems to happen with all running water in the house. My husband just told me we have an expansion tank.
  5. Mike Swearingen

    Mike Swearingen New Member

    Jan 12, 2005
    Independent Real Estate Broker
    On Albemarle Sound In Northeastern NC
    Replace the toilet water tank inlet valve(s) with Fluidmaster 400A float-cup types. They only cost about $5-$7 bucks at a big box and come with easy illustrated installation instructions. Should solve your problem.
    Good Luck!
  6. patrick88

    patrick88 Plumber

    Sep 3, 2007
    Webster Ma.
    I would check each knob style shut off in the house, before i spend any money on anything else. The washers tend to come loose and will vibrate when water passes over them. I would change all old shut offs to new 1/4 turn ball valves no rubber to make noise when old
  7. Verdeboy

    Verdeboy In the Trades

    Jun 12, 2006
    I agree with Mike S.

    Try to isolate the problem by turning off the toilet stops one at a time. When the noise goes away, you'll know which toilet fill valve to replace.
  8. vmplumbing

    vmplumbing New Member

    Jul 5, 2006
    i've solved this problem by actually replacing the old pressure reducing valve.

    and, it's always a good idea to install an expansion tank when installing or replacing a PRV.
  9. geniescience

    geniescience Homeowner

    Nov 27, 2005
    humid summers hot, humid winters cold
    diagnose first, replace after you know

    i won't disagree with the suggestion to change to this or that... It could be a valve. You said this only happens when water moves.

    a,) "knob style shut off" --- that is a valve
    b,) it could be the toilet water tank inlet valve.
    c,) or even a pressure reducing valve.

    All are valves, and all can be happily replaced with the newer and better alternatives suggested. Turning off valves and "seeing what happens" is a scientific process of methodical trial and error, assuming you keep track of the permutations and combinations. This will help you isolate the most probable causes, and eliminate some of the possibilities too.

    Post what you find out.

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