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Question DetailsAsked on 7/28/2017

Every time someone takes a shower, water starts running from the kitchen faucet. Hot water heater also makes noises

Just moved in, have adjusted all shutoff valves and ran water to get rid of any air in lines

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1 Answer


On the water heater noise, sounds like a shutoff valve or pressure relief tank or such is restricting the inflow to the water heater and causing cavitation (bubbling) in teh incoming water, some blockage in the heater is restricting outflow (like one of the defective plastic fill tubes), or the heater is boiling because of sediment in the bottom (especially with fuel-fired water heaters, though can happen if sediment is quite deep with electric water heaters too).

If it starts making water heater noise instantly as soon as the shower is turned on (with water heater up to temp so not already heating), then is an air in the system or blockage issue. If the water heater has to start heating (main burner firing) first before the noise starts and it sounds like bubbling or boiling, then try (beware of hot water burns) draining about 5 gallons of water out of the water heater at the bottom drain to clear out the sediment. (Safer to turn down to LOW or Vacation setting and either run water for 10 gallons or so or let sit for a few hours so the water in the tank is down to safe-to-handle temp first).

When you ran water to get air out of the lines - did you run it at ALL hot faucets and at full flow, to clear all branches - otherwise air can sometimes migrate from one branch to the other when water is run.

The water starting to run at the kitchen faucet when faucet is turned on sounds like a single handle faucet - commonly they will dribble if there is air in the system because the seals/gaskets are pretty watertight but not air tight.

Two other more remote possibilities:

1) if you have a hot water circulating pump (so have "instant" hot water at faucets all the time) sometimes when they get old they start cavitating, forming air bubbles in the pump, which then move through the system - to hot faucets and also back into the tank. 

2) darn - forget the other one - oh yeah, possibility you have excess water pressure (in which case water would forcefully jet out of faucets) - and is causing cavitation nin the heater, and when shower faucet is turned off you are getting a surge of pressure returning to full pressure which is deforming the seals in the faucet, causing it to flow at least for a little bit.

You can check with a hose-threaded pressure gage (about $7-10 at box store plumbing department, plumbing supplies, many hardware stores, amazon, etc) - screw onto any main line hose bib - outdoor hose connection (assuming that comes off the household piping system), drain from hot water heater, laundry tub faucet commonly - anywhere there is hose threaded faucet. Even washer connection though that is messier to get at and disconnect/reconnect without dribbling water out of the hoses onto the floor. Normal household pressure is about 40-60 psi (sometimes lower, especially with well systems or if one the higher ground in your area), anything over about 70 and certainly over 80 is excessive and should be brought down with a pressure regulator (which you may already have near where the water comes into the house).

If you can't solve it from the above, then Plumbing would be your Search the List to find well-rated and reviewed plumber to diagnose and solve it.

Answered 3 years ago by LCD

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