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Question DetailsAsked on 4/26/2018

Does anyone know what this is when you have a bad water surge in your house with a terrible noise?I have city water

I have city water & sewer. 3 weeks ago I discovered bad water surges every time the toilet flushes, shower runs, all faucets in kitchen and bath and washing machine. Any use of these causes loud noises like pipes banging together under the house where the water source comes in at but there is no signs of water leaks anywhere. The water source comes in under the house in a crawl space. I bought this house 3 years ago and have not had any problems until now. I'm retired and on a fixed income. I'm hoping this isn't something serious but really worried as it sounds terrible. I asked an employee of the water department who was reading the meter and she said as it sounds terrible, it won't hurt anything and may fix itself but I'm still worried. My water and sewer bills are still the same as they have always been so that makes me think there is no leak. I live in a subdivision in the City of White House. My house was built in 1998. Can anyone tell me what this is and what I can do to fix it?

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Since this is new, could be some pipe restraint (especially drive-in J hook or finger-hook type) came loose and is letting a pipe rattle around.

Could also be you have a pressure regulator which has gone bad and is letting too high a pressure into your pipes. That you can check by getting a box store hose thread pressure gage (about $8-12) and put it on any hose thread faucet on the household pipe system (NOT on boiler or similar low-pressure appliance). If more than about 50 psi pressure that could be your issue - should generally not be over 70 psi, and never over 90 psi.

If pressure is too high, you may be able to adjust (if adjustable type, with adjusting screw or bolt on it) the regulator pressure - check instructions at manufacturer website - some have to have the water off and pressure relived from the pipes before turning the pressure down, most others you can do it under pressure. Also, read instruction because some if you unscrew all the way or screw too tight it ruins it. If regulator has gone bad and has to be replaced, typically minimum service call charge for that (see below on pricing) plus regulator cost - which can be about $70-100 bill-out for normal one on up to as much as $250 or so in the few towns (mostly east coast) which require a specific brand of dual-chamber integral regulator and backflow preventer units.

Meter reader was all wet (pun intended) about it not potentially doing any damage - if it sounds real bad and is quite loud (more than a simple minor tap or rapping) it can break pipes (sometimes split them, usually crack at joints) - as well as crack pump housings in dishwashers and washing machines and such, damage water heaters and water softening equipment, etc.

To fix means tracking it down - so a two person job, one turning water on and off, one walking around (cheap stechoscope helps here but you can put ear to wall too) to find where it is loudest. Where it is doing it the pipe will be jumping in your hand if you grab it while it is doing it. FIx is to secure the pipe - best with rubber padding if bumping end to end (like a 90 degree bend hitting wood), if jumping up and down against the joists under the house say then plastic or padded metal hangers or clamps should tie it down. Should NOT use metal-to-metal hangers as they may not stop the noise, plus can cause metal to metal wear-through.

If it is not just a loose pipe moving around, but general water hammer in the lines, may need to install a shock absorbing leg or chamber at one or two points in the household - can be just a foot or so pipe stickup (typically under sinks/basins) or can be an actual air (with or without springs) chamber. Typically about 1/2 hour labor each plus about $30-50 for the parts.

Plumber can certainly do either of these or both as needed - typically $75-150/hour but can range from $75-350 depending on your local costs, and probably 1-2 hours work depending on if water hammer chamber(s) have to be installed or not. Likely not in your case if this is a new problem without any recent plumbing or water-consuming appliances changes - or may be you have air chambers and they have become water saturated so are not working. In that case, entire house system has to be drained of water to drain out the chambers, so they refill with air.

Handymen can also track down and secure the pipe, but be sure to discuss HOW it is being tied down - both so it does not work loose (like wire ties or such) or wewar through (metal to metal clamps).


Answered 2 years ago by LCD

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