Any plumbing experts in here?

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  • Every morning my storage / airing cupboard makes this noise:



    It's been doing it about two months now, almost at 7am every day! Today's the first day I managed to capture it! :eek:


    It's a communal heating system, there's a cylinder and a few pipes in the cupboard, and the noise seems to coming from an old capped off iron pipe, but because it's a vibration it could be coming from anywhere.


    I'm currently waiting for the council to call me back! :calmdown:

  • You should sell tickets


    As Doc said,it sounds like air in the system as its heating up...or defective pump noise being transmitted round the system.

    If its communal heating youre best leaving it to the landlord to solve or theyll just say youve damaged it.

  • Yeah -- meaning that I have to wait another 10 days for the appointment + however long it takes to fathom it out. :insane:

    Your call. Councils like to recoup maintenance costs, if they think they can blame tenant for tampering with the system they will.

    Youve got working heating and youve had the issue two months so 10+ days will make a difference?

  • Elimination could throw new light on it. If you switch off power (your system side) soon as it starts making the noise. Isolating your own heating pump (fused switched spur) If it continues. I would ask your neighbours to investigate their system. The noise you hear may not be anything like the level they experience if any. Also this will put the onus on the landlord to fix it without your involvement. Do you have a combi boiler in your apartment/flat? Do you ever need to re-pressurise the boiler, eg open A water valve and turn off when pressure gauge sits in normal range.


    It could be a pump on its way out or a solenoid not closing fully and high pressure water forcing through the remaining unclosed (gap)

    I’m not a plumber, but air lock in a system tents to create a knocking.

  • As above, air.


    Does your system have a grundfos pump on it? These normally have a 3 speed selector on the side of them.

    If so, turn it up to full speed and then turn the power off to it for a few seconds, then on again a few times. This would normally be enough to displace any air in your part of the system, either to a point where there is a vent so you can bleed it or to someone else's part.

  • The system is communal -- all I have here are pipes leading from 'fuck knows where' into a cylinder.


    There is a pump to the shower and hot water, but I've already isolated that by turning it off overnight, and that doesn't change anything except for the water pressure.


    The central heating is turned on at the start of the cold season, but the hot water is on all year round -- the radiators have a master lever at the wall (no thermostat) and isolating that doesn't change anything either.


    I've tracked the capped pipe to an old gas main, so it's just picking up the vibrations from elsewhere.


    I think the problem will be at the boiler side, but having knocked again tonight, it seems that the neighbours aren't on the same shift as me -- hence them not experiencing the issue.

  • I ve got a few questions here,


    1 is it a pressureisied system,

    2 is it a gravity fed system,


    it may be the pump or bad pipe clipping ie the pipes need more pipe clips or someone elsewhere in the flats has removed or moved pipes without clipping them properly causing them to vibrate,


    if its to its poss a condtion called water hammer,, (google it) but its bascicly limescaled taps, or the float valve in the header tank or again bad pipe clipping, causing vibration, i think it might be gravity thus the old float valve is limescaled up and when the tank gets fuller as the float valve shuts the water off its basicly fighting with the water trying to shut it off, easiest way is drain header tank by running hot taps and shutting water stop tap off and change float valve for a new one, also is your water pressure higher? if it is that causes water hammer,


    Water hammer main causes.. high pressure, bad or sparse pipe clipping, limescale build up on taps, float valves etc thus not shutting off properly, vibration off pumps, again bad pipe clipping,


    You might find it happens after you or your neighbours use the loo, often header tanks were used to supply the feed to hot water cylinder and the bathroom suites as a cold feed for loo, basins, and bath . I had bad water hammer on my loo cistern i replaced the float valve on it stopped it.

  • I cant quite get to grips with it it happens at 7am? so workm out your and poss niehgbours routine, when you turn heating on, when the noise happens, does it happen after you flush loo, have a shower or bath, or wash or use sink, or heating on or off, describe your water use that makes diagnosis easier, maybe a better picture of system, it does sound like the noise stops after so long either pointing to something filling up or a pump stopping.

  • 1 is it a pressureisied system,

    2 is it a gravity fed system,

    Depends :D


    The mains is pressurised into a header tank, which feeds a cylinder, which feeds a pump, which delivers water. I can turn off the pump to the shower, but it makes no difference to the noise.


    However, something else is going on to keep activating the pump -- possible pump replacement needed.


    The hot water and heating comes through a communal boiler elsewhere in the block.


    A council plumber came today, took a good look at it and said he needs to get other people in because the system is mental! :o


    It's what you could call Plumbing from Hell -- I'll post a photo in a mo...

  • Pump is for hot and cold water hence seperate feeds and discharge pipework - does it only run when you are having a shower?

    It powers everything except the cold tap in the kitchen. The noise in the clip above will still happen, even when the pump is turned off at the switch.


    However, even the cold water comes out warm and the pump triggers randomly, even though there are no dripping taps or leaks.


    The vent coming from the top of the cylinder is capped off and a little way behind the step ladder is a thermostatic rad valve that seems to be there for no reason at all.

  • Oh my god what a mess, has this noise just started or has it been ongoing for a long while, there is a few basic things wrong the vent pipe at the top should be at a slight angle, (or the flat pipe coming out of top of cylinder) it looks to flat that is a bit crap as you get something called parasitic heat loss basicly the pipe is also to short so you get a heat loss travelling esp up a short pipe thts flat, this also causes kind of airlocks as basicly any bubbles in heated water gets trapped in the flat pipe.


    that top pipe out of cylinder should go to your header tank thiss allows water to expand when heated to your tank or if worse (boiling its arse off it vents into your header tank.


    Also your power shower is wrongly fitted it looks like its taking the cold feed off the cold supply to the hot water cylinder ,power showers should take there cold feed from its own separate feed directly from the header tank not the feed to the cylinder that causes all sorts of problems or is it the hot supply (its bad to tell as water jacket covering that pipe) you can feel with hands but either its going to starve the cold feed into the hot cylinder while using the shower with pump kicked in or if its the hot pipe out of cylinder its a bit badly done, an old school way is to tee off that top pipe on your cylinder, but nowadays I use something called an S flange, that's basicly a proper tee on the top of the hot cylinder thats designed for use with a power shower. or if your a pro and you have bollocks you put an Essex flange in that's done by drilling the cylinder but there a pig to do,


    An easy punt would be its being caused by the power shower, but that top vent pipes wrong, it should slightly rise and I think have minum length is about 900mm the slight rise is to allow any bubbles from the hot water cylinder to rise and stop airlocks, so you may also be getting airlocks. that makes things a bit noisey.


    If you have a header tank your on a gravity fed open vented system, (not pressurised) there in theory easier and cheaper to put right.


    Final prob I think I mentioned before it might be your float valve in your header tank limescaled up, it generally makes more noise as the tank gets fuller when itstrying to fiths against the mains pressure while closing the valve off.


    Hope some of this helps.


    If I was handy id drop in for nowt like problems like this its I think a fairly basic prob or sometimes gremlins appear you never know.



    Plumber might not like this so near to xmas, its either going to be an easy fix or a lot of new pipework, and a iffy cylinder, ie cylinders can split if fittings are hard on then its a no hot water job if a cylinder is difficult to get.


    Just a shame a few things have been done a bit badly a nw pipe here and there and new parts would sort it.


    Ill be honest iam slow as of course I ve been doing bits like this for about four years I keep it simple bathrooms power showers, pumps odd bit of central, odd cylinder here and there,


    to get through crimbo id either do it properly new feeds for power shower, and that bloody vent pipe or try and do a quick fix for Christmas,


    You can get venting valves, non return valves all sorts that would keep the beast quiet over Christmas.