Chattering Pipes - Posted by Cathryn

Posted by JT - IN on July 02, 2001 at 21:49:38:

Would it take this long for the Plumber to call you back? Good contractors are busy people, and us investors have to be patient, except when we have a LEAK !!! Yikes…

Hey, I checked out your picture you posted… we look like we could be brothers… Well maybe NOT.


Chattering Pipes - Posted by Cathryn

Posted by Cathryn on June 28, 2001 at 18:48:10:

I have a three-bedroom, two-bath house and the pipes in the wall of one bathroom vibrate every time the toilet is flushed and starts to refill. I had someone tell me that it was air in the pipes, which at first made sense, since some people up the road are building a new house and the water main was cut twice to hook them up. But I thought that the air would eventually work its way out. Hasn’t happened! Weeks later, the pipes are still vibrating, so strongly that I’m afraid they might be damaged if I let it continue So I haven’t been using this toilet. Does anyone have any idea of what’s causing this and how to stop it? Thanks!

Re: Chattering Pipes - Posted by JPiper

Posted by JPiper on June 29, 2001 at 10:42:46:


Chances are you’ve already done something…I sure hope you didn’t blow that foam stuff into your walls. Makes future repair a pain in the rear, and may not solve the problem.

I’m no plumber by the way, but this could be a variety of things. I tend to agree with Rolfe…could be simply a matter of installing water chambers. That’s a easy fix, typically 2 copper pipes 12 inches long installed at the washer hookup, connected to the hot and cold water supply. Check to see if you have these there. If you do, then I think it could also be a venting problem. You should have a venting system that runs through your house and exits through the roof. This should be connected to the drain system in the bathroom.

This doesn’t sound like a problem that will be remedied by simply tieing down a pipe. Hate to say it but if you don’t know your plumbing you’re probably going to need a plumber. The good news is I doubt if this problem is all that expensive to remedy.


Re: Chattering Pipes - Posted by Tom

Posted by Tom on June 29, 2001 at 01:40:08:

Are any of the pipes accessible? If so, find a plumber who’s using Wirsbo Aquapex pipe and have hime install a length of pipe to replace the existing water line as close to the toilet as feasible.
Anytime you’re remodeling an older house, consider replacing ALL the pipes with aquapex. You’ll be surprised how easy it is, how inexpensive, and how quiet and trouble free.

Quick trick - Posted by David FL

Posted by David FL on June 28, 2001 at 20:15:12:

Cathryn, A quick trick I have used, If You know where the pipe runs through the wall. Make a tiny hole and spray a can of “Great Stuff” expandable foam (4 bucks at HomeDepot/Lowes) into the wall. It may work and save messing with the plumbing.
Good Luck…David FL

c/b water hammer? - Posted by Rolfe Kurtyka

Posted by Rolfe Kurtyka on June 28, 2001 at 19:14:53:

The problem could be what we refer to as water hammer, solved by installing expansion chambers, which look like copper torpedos, on the water distribution system.


Re: Chattering Pipes - Posted by Mark-NC

Posted by Mark-NC on June 29, 2001 at 12:10:30:

Hey Jim,
The venting system on a house is only for waste. Maybe I misunderstood your answer to the post, but it looks like you are suggesting to check this system as a solution to part of the problem or remedy for the chattering effect of the supply pipes.

Because waste and supply are seperate syetems the venting of the waste system will have no effect or solution on this chattering problem.

The suggestion of adding 2 risers above the supply creating an air cusion for the water preasure to work against is a good one along with making sure the lines are secure. Copper has a tendency to expand and contract so much during the years that it will loosen the fastening devices allowing the pipe to move freely adding to the chattering problem.


Re: Chattering Pipes - Posted by JPiper

Posted by JPiper on June 29, 2001 at 12:46:25:

Hi Mark:

I didn’t say the venting system had anything to do with the supply system…I used the word “drain” rather than “waste”.

But, I wasn’t making the assumption that “chattering” necessarily was only due to supply lines. A plumber told me that improperly vented waste lines could “chatter” as well. Sounds like you don’t agree. And frankly, as I said, I’m not a plumber.

I think first choice is the water chambers. And as you said maybe the water pipes need to be fastened better in some places.

Now you prompted me to call that plumber that told me that and ask him again. I’ll let you know what he says if he calls me back.


Did the plumber call back? - Posted by David FL

Posted by David FL on July 02, 2001 at 16:05:27:

Just wondering? Mr Piper with all due respect, I have had this come up twice. 1st time we tore the wall apart to find a pipe bouncing off the stud. Second time “Mr Fix It” sprayed the foam and fixed the noise. I sincerly hope I did not cause someone more problems I just offered up a cheap fix that had worked for us. If it fails I don’t think it would make another more involved repair more difficult.
Didn’t mean no harm…David FL

Re: Did the plumber call back? - Posted by JPiper

Posted by JPiper on July 02, 2001 at 16:46:04:

He hasn’t called me back yet.

Tell you what I was thinking. I had a tenant one time who blew some type of “foam” into the area between the door and it’s frame. I presume he did it to eliminate the draft that evidently existed. I also presume it worked.

However, the door didn’t function then as an exit. So when he moved and I finally discovered this situation I hired a guy to take out the foam etc. This stuff was like concrete almost…and took the guy a long time to get the foam out. In the process he damaged the door…so we also repaired the door. If memory serves it took a couple of days altogether.

It might never be an issue inside the wall. On the other hand, if a joint separated in the wall, it could be very difficult to get to it if it weer surrounded by foam…at least if it’s the same kind of foam. At least that’s what I was thinking.

I’d rather open the wall, make my repair to the pipe and then later repair the wall if that’s what it took. You might be able to anchor the pipe somewhere else that would eliminate the problem in the wall. But frankly this is most likely due to lack of water chambers rather than anchoring pipe per se. Goes to show, there’s alot of different opinions about these things.

I wouldn’t worry about it. And remember, I’m not plumber either.