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Question DetailsAsked on 11/17/2015

Rapid ticking sound under the shower

I have a tiled shower stall with glass wall on two sides. It started to happen a few weeks ago. Every time after the shower, 30 second after water off, I can hear very rapid ticking sound right beneath the shower somewhere a foot to the drain. It went away in a couple minutes. Could anyone shed some lights on this? It is a 4 yr house, so the plumbing is relatively new.

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1 Answer


Could be pipes creaking because they are rubbing against joists or such, but I would suspect a leak to be on the safe side - though a "ticking" description,n would normally be a creaking pipe as it expands and contracts, not a leak. However, hard to tell at times, because a drip hitting a pipe or vapor barrier may not sound as much wet as mechanical. Try holding your ear or a cardboard tube (gift wrap roll works well) or piece of pipe or stethoscope (works best, about $10-15 at pharmacy, get metal head not plastic head one for best results) against the floor, stall, and underlying ceiling (if any) after running the water and listen - you should be able to tell if a creaking, dragging pipe sound or a drip. If not obviously a drip or unable to tell, then you are in a catch-22 - wait and see if it starts staining/wetting underlying wall or floor (which could cause mold or rot over a prolonged period), or open it up maybe needlessly.
If it does not START till 30 seconds or so after the water is turned off - but is not going DURING the shower and continuing immediately afterwards, then most likely thermal movement of the pipes, which is no concern other than irritating. However, I have seen cases where a drip at a trap or such did not start dripping until the pipes were thoroughly heated up, so did not start till after the water was off unless run for a long time. However, there is another possibility - it may be creaking (unheard) as it expands during the shower, and after the shower you are hearing it creaking as it contracts as it cools. One other thing you can do to tie down if a pan/shower leak, or a pipe creaking/leaking - try pouring hot water down the drain WITHOUT getting the shower floor wet - if sound does not occur, then leaking shower base/pan or possibly creaking base/pan. If does occur, then almost certainly drain pipe creaking or leaking. If not certain, or if there is valuable stuff in the rooms under the shower, your vendor category would be a Plumber - though to be certain if a leak or a creaking pipe, one would have to open up a hole underneath. Fiber optic scope (rent from tool rental place, Home Depot, some auto parts stores for $15 range/day or $40-50/day range depending on whether flexible optic tube or video fiber optic camera type) would let you look up in there - takes about 1/2" hole to go through. To fix a creaking pipe you can sometimes spray WD-40 on the pipe with an extended spray tube through the fiber optic hole while aiming with the fiber optic scope, otherwise needs a larger than hand sized hole to reach up in and grease it or put in plastic sleeve for it to slide on at the creak point, which of course means a ceiling drywall repair and painting for $100-250 afterwards, unless you DIY.

Answered 4 years ago by LCD

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