Any plumbers here?

Have a noise issue that’s been driving me nuts.
Please see this thread here, any help would be appreciated

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I had a very similar issue that was resolved by a plumber shortly after moving into our home that was in a new neighborhood. Turns out as the mains pressure changed (due to all the new and constant construction going on), that the pressure regulator was the source of the sound.

It didn’t happen all the time, but when it did, it was very annoying. I’d go for a day without issue, and then days with the noise. At first he thought air was trapped in the regulator, but purging didn’t help. I had him come back the very next day when the noise happened all the time, and he adjusted the pressure regulator. We was able to adjust the pressure to still be within building code limits, and to also make the noise go away.

I have not had the noise in years now, and while my pressure is higher than my builder’s plumber originally set it to (the lowest possible), I have no leaks, or failing o-rings in fixtures, or other things typical of too high of a water pressure in a home. I also have a gauge I use every so often to measure mains pressure, just to make sure there’s been no significant change.

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Perhaps I’m stupid but where is the pressure regulator in the photo? Or perhaps we don’t have one?

What is your pressure set to by the way, and at what pressure did you have the noise?

If the noise is pretty consistently occurring only when water is running, and varies based on how much water is flowing through, then it might be a burr or extra bit of solder inside one of the plumbing joints. This would happen if the original plumber didn’t properly deburr the pipes after cutting them. To fix it you’d just have to re do the section that has it.

Also, I am not a plumber so take everything I say with a big grain of salt :upside_down_face:

How would I ever find such a burr though in a building with six units?

Is there some way to pinpoint the sound more exactly? It’s very hard to tell where it’s coming from.

This is the pressure regulator! Make sure the two valves are fully open, and better check if all the valves are fully open

The item in the picture below the red spare sprinkler box is a reduced pressure zone (RPZ) backflow preventer, not a pressure regulator. There is no pressure regulator in the picture. The RPZ could be the source of the noise when water is flowing. The 2 ball type control valves are wide open.

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What about the main shutoff valve which is a gate valve, could that be the source of the noise or more likely the rpz? Is the rpz adjustable or does it need to be replaced?

I ordered a pressure gauge to test the water pressure, there is a hose outlet directly outside this closet I can hookup to.

The main incoming water valve appear to be a butterball valve which is a ball valve with a gear train and tamper switch. It appears to be wide open so it should not be a source of noise.
The RPZ is not adjustable. The RPZ contains 2 spring loaded check valves and a relief valve. Water going by the check valve being pushed towards the closed position by the springs could be making noises.
With water running you could check for the source of the noise by putting the blade of a screw driver on each device and the handle end on your ear. This will transmit the sound to your ear.

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I’m referring to this guy after the rpz

You can’t visual tell if a gate valve is fully open. Since you have water it’s at least partly open.
You need to physically turn it to see if it is fully open. Counterclockwise in usually but not always open in the US. A fully open gate valve should not make any noise. A party shut gate valve can make noise.

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Could it also make noise if it is old and needs to be replaced?

Also, who is responsible for the rpv, the water company? My understanding is that regular plumbers can’t test them, you need someone licensed for RPVs

It is unlikely that an old gate valve will make noise if fully open. Since they are rarely operated they do not wear out. They my sieze up do to lack of use but that will not cause any noise.
The RPZ would be the responsibility of the property owner, not the water company.

So your opinion is replace the rpz?
I can tell that to management.

No, I would listen to water flowing through it as described above to see if it is the source of the noise.

@Paul_Oliver
I listened to the water pipes on each side and could only hear water. I listened to the rpz and could hear a faint noise. I’m wondering if this gets louder when multiple people are using water, or if something like a washing machine is using a lot of water.

It seems intermittent, for example I cannot get the noise to occur just by running my sinks alone.

By the way, I checked and all valves are fully open.

I would expect the noise to increase as the flow increases. So you may need to listen when to the flow is higher.

If that’s the case, based on what I was able to hear with just my own water running, it sounds like the rpz needs to get checked out and rebuilt or replaced.

This may depend on where you live.

Also, because the devices are intended to protect health (their whole purpose is to keep wastewater from contaminating incoming water supplies), in many jurisdictions you are required to have a city-approved inspector check them once a year for proper operation and any maintenance may have to be done by city-approved personnel.

If you suspect or are sure the RPZ is causing the noise, the first thing is to request another city-approved inspection. That will determine if there is any required maintenance on the project.

Because of the potential health hazards, this is not a DIY project, even for the diagnostics.

Luckily it’s not actually my problem, it’s the HOA’s problem. I just need to tell them ‘look, there’s a noise coming from the backflow, check it out’
This will get my issue solved faster than just saying ‘there is a noise’

They scheduled the backflow tester to come check it and rebuild or replace.

Hopefully, that will solve the issue for me.

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