Neighbor turning on her outside faucet causes noise in my water pipes

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by phall, Jul 13, 2008.

  1. phall

    phall New Member

    Jul 13, 2008
    I have had a problem for two years which NO ONE knows the answer to. When my neighbor turns on any of her outside faucets it causes a noise in my water pipes. The noise is continuous as long as she has her water running. The noise stops when she turns off her water.
    The city water department has replaced both our meters but the noise still continues. They say they've never seen this problem before and simply don't know what to do.
    If they don't know then who does?
    ANY advice on this matter would be greatly appreciated.
    P. Hall
  2. leejosepho

    leejosepho DIY scratch-pad engineer

    Nov 23, 2006
    disabled-retired industrial fabricator
    200 miles south of Little Rock
    As crazy as this might sound: Maybe her outside spigots are supplied by your meter and plumbing. A couple of years ago, I noticed a pipe just barely visible at ground level at the edge of my yard, and I ended up pulling out about 10' of 1" steel pipe running across the property line. I have no idea specifically why that pipe was ever there, but somebody apparently used to run something from one lot or house to the other.

    Turn your water off at the meter the next time your neighbor uses an outside spigot and see what happens!
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  4. BigLou

    BigLou New Member

    Nov 7, 2007
    I was just thinking the same thing, around here in the older nieghborhoods its not unheard of to see both plumbing and electrical to points on known across a property line that probably was not there 80-100 yeras ago

  5. phall

    phall New Member

    Jul 13, 2008
    Neighbor turning on outside water causing noise in my pipes

    The man from the water dept. did try turning off my meter and then turning on the neighbor's outside faucet. Then there was NO noise. He didn't seem to have an answer for why.
    Also, I lived in this house for four years before this noise started. It began around the same time my neighbor put in a sprinkler system. However, the sprinkler system man came and showed us that what he did in no way affected my water supply. He said the fact that he could totally turn off the sprinkler system and then turn on one of her faucets which still made the noise meant that the sprinkler system in no way caused it. He ended by saying it wasn't his problem. That's when I called the water dept. who also seem to be saying it isn't their problem either. It is evidently totally my problem.
    Thanks for any suggestions!
  6. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Dec 15, 2007
    Service Plumber
    Do you have one of these on the line?

  7. phall

    phall New Member

    Jul 13, 2008
    Neighbor turning on her outside water faucets causing noise in my pipes in my house.

    I have not seen one of these before. As far as I know I don't have one.
    A plumber came yesterday and determined that he felt the next door neighbor's sprinkler system was done correctly. He wants to try cutting my incoming water pipe at the meter, putting a water hose on it which will come directly into the outside faucet to my house. This would bypass the water pipe which is under the ground and goes into my house. He feels if the noise is not there when this is done that it will mean that the pipes are probably rubbing against each other and causing the vibrating noise. If so, then he proposes putting a new pipe from the water meter which would go into my house and just not use the old original water pipe underground.
    I have no idea is this is a good idea or not. I'm wondering that if pipes are rubbing together then why don't I hear a noise when the neighbor turns on her inside water. That should cause rubbing pipes also and thus cause the same noise shouldn't it? So why is there only a noise when she turns on her outside faucets?
    Any suggestions any one?
    P. Hall
  8. rombo

    rombo New Member

    Mar 30, 2008
    out door faucets allow a lot more water flow.

    How is your water pressure when she is using it ?
  9. phall

    phall New Member

    Jul 13, 2008
    As far as I know my water pressure is o.k. when the neighbor is using her outside water.
    The plumber came back and dug around the water meter and said it is NOT a plumbing problem. He said her and my pipes are completely separate from each other. He feels the problem may be between my water meter and where it T's into the main water line along with my neighbor's line. He suggests a separate water connection between my meter and the main line. So now I suppose I have to try to get the water dept. to come back out (which will be quite a feat!).
  10. m_amy49

    m_amy49 New Member

    Jul 26, 2008
    I have the exact same issue when my neighbor uses his sprinkler system. I have a similar device as pictured above and assumed it was a pressure regulator? Can that be the source? The water dept. checked it out and said they had no clue but that the addition of a expansion tank near the water heater might help.
  11. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Sep 2, 2004
    Retired Systems engineer for defense industry.
    New England
    One of the failure modes of a PRV makes noises. But, it normally only does that when water is running in your place, not from external problems.
  12. geniescience

    geniescience Homeowner

    Nov 27, 2005
    humid summers hot, humid winters cold
    Replacing HER outdoor faucet by giving her a new one may end the noise.

    Systems engineering point of view, is that some vibration is coming over to your "system" from hers... What triggers or generates the vibration is her faucet, which is getting older every day. The sprinkler guy changed things a bit when he installed his system add-on, but it is the faucet itself which either makes a vibration in itself (e.g. an old or loose washer in it) or generates something that then causes a bigger vibration elsewhere.

    The vibration comes out as noise, in your system.

    Fix her faucet. That is my suggestion.

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